Women’s advocacy organizations say the defamation lawsuit between Amber Heard and Johnny Depp in the United States and its television broadcast will have a “potentially disastrous” impact on victims of domestic violence.
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Six weeks of court proceedings in Fairfax, near Washington, turned into a major disintegration of the private lives of the two Hollywood stars who accused each other of violence.
Juries ruled in favor of “Pirate of the Caribbean” on Wednesday and awarded him just over $10 million in damages, ruling that the 36-year-old actress denigrated her ex-husband by presenting himself as a “personal representation of domestic violence” in a column published publicly. 2018, even if Johnny Depp is not mentioned.
Judge Benny Azcaret decided to allow the hearings to be televised for this highly publicized case, despite opposition from Amber Heard’s attorney.
For Michelle Dober, a Stanford University law professor and campus sexual assault activist, this is “the worst decision the court has made in decades for victims” and it shows, she believes, “a profound ignorance of sexual violence on the part of a judge.”
according to mI Dauber, Amber Heard “had to describe her alleged rape in stark detail on TV. It is appalling and should offend all women and victims, whether they agree to the verdict or not.”
She notes that the last time a rape victim was forced to testify publicly was in 1983.
“There is no public interest in this case that can outweigh the harm he has caused,” the lady said.I Dober, believing that, from now on, “every victim will think twice before coming forward and requesting a restraining order or telling anyone about the abuse they suffered.”
“Women can be hurt, even killed, for not asking for help. This case was a complete disaster. And potentially disastrous.”
The trial has wowed a global audience unaccustomed to witnessing allegations of sexual assault between spouses, and that’s a problem — regardless of opinions about the verdict — warns Ruth Glenn, chair of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
“I don’t think our society yet understands the dynamics of domestic violence,” she told AFP.
This important context was not sufficiently discussed in court proceedings, she said, saying that for her there was “no doubt” about the kinds of violations that were revealed at the trial.
“We have to make sure the people in attendance understand this. But as long as we don’t, don’t show this stuff on TV,” she warns.
The degrading messages that Michelle Dober received for commenting on the lawsuit on Twitter also illustrate, she believes, the growing opposition to women’s rights in the United States, in a context where the right to abortion is under threat in the Supreme Court.
Public opinion supported Johnny Depp while the accused was the subject of “overtly misogynistic” insults and ridicule on social networks, she believed.
Amber Heard “metaphorically suffered the ordeal of tar and feathers,” M . believesI Dobber, while the American right welcomed the ruling.
The case also raises the question about the future of the #MeToo movement, a hashtag Born in 2017 to encourage women to speak out against perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault.
“It’s impossible not to view this as a backlash to #MeToo, women have gone too far. Ladies, we have listened to you and some guys have convicted. Don’t be too greedy,” one user wrote on Reddit.
But Tarana Burke, founder of #MeToo, emphasized on Twitter that “this movement is totally alive,” calling for a focus on the courage of the millions of women who have spoken out against violence rather than legal battles, won or lost.
Ruth Glenn wants to see the lawsuit as “a reminder of the work we still have to do.” “It’s an excellent example of an issue that affects culture,” she explains.
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