In the case of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, there are many allegations of physical and verbal abuse. After their divorce, Amber made claims that Johnny had abused her throughout their marriage and won a court case against him in the U.K. However, this year, evidence emerged that Amber admitted to hitting Johnny and having anger issues. According to a male trauma expert, almost all men never state that they’ve been abused. With Johnny and Amber, we can never know what really happened between them. But, if we believe her, then we must also believe him when he says that he was abused.
Johnny and Amber’s case is important because it represents the stigma men face when seeking help. As I’ve discussed in previous posts, there is a harmful gender stereotype where men are taught to “act tough” and never admit anything has happened to them. Especially with sexual assault, men are extremely less likely to report being assaulted. Terry Crews is one example of a man who shocked the country when he revealed he was sexually assaulted. This really brought into light the seriousness of this issue and the lack of support men have when dealing with this trauma. Terry was fortunate enough to have a strong platform to share his experiences. However, many are not as lucky, and end up having their voices ignored. It’s important that if someone we know opens up about their experience, we should never ignore or minimize their situation.
Because there is a lack of reporting among the male population, they are extremely underrepresented in statistics about mental health. The stats are so skewed that many believe that depression and trauma are purely a female phenomenon. It’s important to understand that men are just as likely to go through traumatic experiences. Additionally, abuse is not always about physical strength. Many think, “Well how can a woman harm a man when he’s stronger than her and could just push her away?” Anyone who is abused can get gravely injured regardless of gender and strength. There are many other variables that need to be considered when dealing with these cases. We as a society should always consider both the female and male perspective equally.