Beyond the personal results for Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, after a jury decided the high profile case on Wednesday, some domestic violence experts worry that the trial and the verdict will have an impact on victims of domestic violence. The Virginia jury largely sided with the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star, awarding the actor more than $10 million in damages over a 2018 ‘Washington Post’ opinion piece in which Amber Heard claimed she was a victim of domestic violence. Heard then countersued, claiming Depp was trying to destroy her career. The jury also found that to be partially true and awarded her $2 million. Experts across the world said that what is clear to them is that the spectacle of the trial itself could keep victims from coming forward.
Already, experts say that about 70 percent of domestic violence goes unreported all over the world. Add in the celebrity element and a trial watched by millions worldwide, some fear victims will be afraid to face the kinds of accusations of lying they saw on television and that abusers could feel emboldened. In the Heard-Depp case, both made accusations of abuse. For a country like India where the domestic violence case is very high, the outcome of Johnny Depp and Amber Heard legal battle should worry the victim and experts. Many oppressors might use the case to mock the victims. But the victims should not lose hope. They should seek support and consider their options despite what some see as a mixed outcome.