Amber Heard's powerful campaign against domestic violence has been met with fierce criticism.

On Friday, the GirlGaze Project released a Public Service Announcement video featuring Amber Heard, in which she emotionally advocates for women suffering from domestic abuse.

Heard opens the video asking, “How is this happening to me? I’m strong, smart, I’m not a victim.”

On the verge of tears, she describes the precarious position her own struggle of abuse put her in.

“I guess there was a lot of shame attached to that, the label of victim,” she explains.

“It happens to so many women you know. When it happens in your home behind closed doors with someone you love, it’s not straightforward. If a stranger did this, it would be a no-brainer.”

Despite the added hardship of dealing with abuse under the scrutiny of the public eye, Heard has chosen to take her platform as a means to help others going through that which she has fought.

“Just as a woman having gone through this in the public stage, in the public arena that I did it, I have a unique opportunity to remind other women this doesn’t have to be the way it is, you don’t have to do it alone, you’re not alone. We can change this.”

Heard ends the emotional video with a powerful message to her peers, and to society: “The only way that people are going to feel comfortable coming forward, raising their voices, standing up for themselves, is if we change the system in place that keeps them quiet.”

But the reaction to Heard’s PSA has incidentally functioned as a sad reminder of why so many women don’t come forward about abuse.

Despite the undeniably important message Heard is putting forward, the 30-year-old actress has copped criticism from online commenters quick to shame her following her split from high-profile actor Johnny Depp.

One commenter on The Daily Mail, wrote,
“So, now that she is in need of $10M because of the lawsuit, she plays victim again and hopes to extort another $10M from Depp. This woman is totally without scruples. Won’t be surprised to see her spend another night in jail.”

Even a commenter who claims to have experienced abuse took aim at Heard, stating,

“I’ve been attacked by an (ex-)partner so I know a bit about this. To me, Heard comes across as COMPLETELY unconvincing. She does not seem anything like a victim of DV. She does seem like a very poor actress. And attention seeking.”

While another commenter simply wrote, “I don’t believe her.”

The number of naysayers is not surprising, given the fame and fan-following that Depp has built throughout his considerable career, despite Depp’s alleged assaults, restraining order, and the fact that Heard donated her $7 million settlement to victims of domestic violence.

It is this stigma against survivors that Heard is fighting against, urging those abused to speak up in spite of the doubt and hate it may arise in others.

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