Amber Heard Fights Back Tears as She Opens Up About Her Own Experience With Domestic Violence

Actress released a PSA with the #GirlGaze Project

By McKenna Aiello Nov 26, 2016 2:45 AMTags

Amber Heard is speaking up for victims of domestic violence. 

The actress, whose own abuse allegations against ex-husband Johnny Depp made headlines earlier this year, teamed up with the #GirlGaze Project to create an emotionally-charged PSA released Friday. In the two-minute video, the actress speaks directly to the camera, often fighting back tears, as she describes in great detail the "shame" she felt through her experience.

"I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that label of 'victim,'" Heard explained. "It happens to so many women. When it happens in your home, behind closed doors, with someone you love, it's not as straightforward. If a stranger did this it would be a no-brainer."

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Amber, 30, then reflected on the support she's felt from close confidants: "If I hadn't had a few people that I really trust around me, a few women support, a few friends. If I hadn't had them around me, how different my life would be."

At the end of the former couple's lengthy divorce battle, the Pirates of the Caribbean star agreed to pay Amber a $7 million settlement, all of which she requested be donated to the ACLU and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. During this time, E! News also reported the actress dismissed her domestic violence restraining order petition against Depp.

In the PSA, Amber continued, "As a women having gone through this in the public stage, in the public arena that I did it in, I have a unique opportunity to remind other women that this doesn't have to be the way it is. You don't have to do it alone. You're not alone, and we can change this."

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Heard believes there should be a greater focus on the negative stigma attached to reporting instances of domestic abuse and how to combat it, instead of solely addressing the attackers.

"We need to take responsibility for how we talk about these things. The only way people are going to feel comfortable coming forward, raising their voices and standing up for themselves, is if we change the system in place that keeps them quiet," Heard said. 

"Speak up, speak up. Raise your voice, your voice is the most powerful thing and we, together, as women standing shoulder to shoulder cannot and will not any longer accept silence," Amber concluded her message. 

For more information on domestic abuse or to get help for yourself/someone you love, visit the website for The National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233.