Domestic Violence Among Celebrities and in Our Community
Domestic violence, or DV, is another topic that many people don’t like to talk about (see this article for the other main topic of avoidance). DV is something that happens to other people, never to us. This feeling of protection and safety we get from denying that DV is all around us is just that- denial. DV occurs in every neighborhood, every zip code, and with every race. There are no exceptions.
Every now and then the topic of DV will grace the headlines as it did this past weekend with Amber Heard coming forth with allegations of domestic abuse in her marriage with Johnny Depp. In the article, it states that Heard is reporting abuse to have been occurring for years during her long term relationship with Depp, and states that she is fearful for her life and safety. It is a very good sign that Heard was granted a temporary restraining order, as judges sometimes fail to take the allegations seriously and continue to put the victim in harm’s way. Everyone has the right to remain innocent until proven guilty (which is why these statements are being referred to as allegations), but those in the business know that these allegations are, for the most part, very true and very real.
Photo by Newsweek (www.newsweek.com)
Hopefully Heard will get the support and safety she needs to end the cycle of abuse in her relationship with Depp. Best case scenario in these instances is for the victim to achieve safety and peace of mind with the threat of looming danger being removed.
One major question remains- what about Depp?
Depp’s new movie, Alice Through the Looking Glass, was released this past weekend and will no doubt bring in large profits in the box office. Depp has been praised in the past for his ability to portray dark, mysterious, drug addicted, abusive characters in movie roles- but what if they were not merely just roles?
It’s widely known that many male and female actors suffer from drug addiction and mental illness. Up until this point it has not only been tolerated, but accepted, as it is believed by many that these dark phases of an actor’s life help them tap into characters and portray a greater range of emotions for movie roles. This acceptance not only puts the actors in danger, but also the people in their lives and those they influence.
The solution comes in two forms. The first is getting actors the help they need to increase their mental wellbeing while still being able to tap into dark emotions when they need to (and to tap back out). The work of continuing to remove the stigma of mental health will help with this effort as more and more celebrities feel less ashamed to seek help and even speak out about the help they are receiving to encourage others to do the same. As the stigma continues to be removed, we can finally shed the image of actors and creatives as being dark, disturbed, or mad.
The second part of the solution comes from us as consumers. We use our voice in many ways, mostly through how we choose to spend our money. Choosing not to support movies that star celebrities with an abusive record speaks volumes. It shows that domestic violence is not accepted by the public and helps build the conversation around prevention and support for both victims and perpetrators. The more recognition domestic violence receives, the less people can continue to deny that it exists.
Become part of the conversation and use your voice by supporting efforts to end the cycle of abuse.
You can read the article about Heard and Depp here:
Having questions about your relationship? Contact a therapist at HeadFirst Counseling by calling (469) 665-9416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.