If you've been following the details surrounding Amber Heard and Johnny Depp's divorce, you'll know the situation is very emotionally charged. Shortly after the news was announced, Amber came forward with allegations of domestic abuse, and Johnny Depp released a statement counteracting the claims. As tension increased, Johnny's daughter, Lily-Rose Depp, spoke out in defense of her father, and his ex, Vanessa Paradis, shared similar sentiments.
On Wednesday, iO Tillett Wright, a friend of the former couple, penned a chilling account of the alleged domestic abuse, and admitted to making the first 911 call that brought the police into the situation. The intense essay goes on to discuss the public's noted tendency to blame victims and side with alleged perpetrators; it makes it that much harder for battered women to come forward. If you don't want to read to essay in full — which, frankly, you should — we've pulled out a handful of poignant quotes below.
- "I witnessed firsthand the absolutely baffling mental pretzel that an abused person puts themselves into, trying to balance the desire to protect their aggressor, with the knowledge that their swollen face is unacceptable."
- "The bottom, unequivocal line is, nothing she ever could have said or done deserves what she describes as him dragging her up the stairs by the hair, punching her in the back of the head, choking her until she almost passed out, and smashing his forehead into her nose until it almost broke."
- "We say domestic violence is bad, we condemn it. But as a culture, we create the most fertile breeding ground for it to thrive."
- "The cycle of abuse is perpetuated by every person who asserts that the victim more likely punched themselves rather than addressing the very real evidence of violence in front of them."
- "Right now, every battered woman in the world is watching this media circus, internalizing the message that when they come forward for help, when they break the cycle, they will be called a gold digger, a cheater, and be accused of having faked it all for attention.
- "Your searching for an explanation for why he would have hit her sends the clear message that there CAN be a reason why someone hits their spouse."
- "It doesn't matter what was said between the two lovers, it doesn't matter if the romance was coming to an end, because nothing warrants that response. No person, ever, should suffer violence at the hands of the person they love."
- "I watched a woman with a broken spirit go on national television the next night, covered in makeup, smiling through a bloody lip, who nearly jumped out of her seat when someone casually put a hand on her shoulder because she didn't know what was coming."
- "Because I realized that as long as I was protecting the abuser from consequences, I was enabling the abuse and I could no longer partake."
- "Whether we loved him or not has nothing to do with it. When it comes to violence, 'love' is no longer part of the equation."