Amber Heard is finding support from domestic abuse survivors amidst online backlash.
Over 130 signatories, including the writer Gloria Steinem and notable women’s rights organizations, have signed an open letter written in support of the actress in light of the treatment she’s received after her televised defamation trial against Johnny Depp.
The letter, which was first shown to NBC, was signed by groups like the National Organization for Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Equality Now and the Women’s March Foundation.
“Much of this harassment was fueled by disinformation, misogyny, biphobia and a monetized social media environment where a woman’s allegations of domestic violence and sexual assault were mocked for entertainment,” the letter said. “The same disinformation and victim-blaming tropes are now being used against others who have alleged abuse.”
Heard has faced mass criticism and negativity online after the trial, in which Depp was awarded $15 million in damages by a jury in Virginia, later reduced to $10.35 million.
Reacting to the verdict, the “Aquaman” actress had called the result a “setback” for women.
“It is a setback. It sets back the clock to a time when a woman who spoke up and spoke out could be publicly shamed and humiliated. It sets back the idea that violence against women is to be taken seriously,” she wrote on Instagram.
Social media users have accused Heard of lying about the abuse from Depp.
Kathy Spillar, the executive director of the Feminist Majority Foundation, said her organization signed the letter in hopes to curb what they see as “growing backlash” for women speaking out about sexual abuse and domestic violence.
“If this can happen to Amber Heard, it will discourage other women from speaking up and even filing reports about domestic violence and sexual assault,” Spillar told NBC.