iO Tillett Wright defends Amber Heard
"No person, ever, should suffer violence at the hands of the person they love"
Last month Amber Heard filed for a divorce from Johnny Depp because he allegedly assaulted her. Since then, friends of the two have rushed to take sides and reports of her arrest for being domestically violent towards ex-partner Tasya van Ree back in 2009 have surfaced.
Then, Amber's friend, writer and acitivist iO Tillett Wright (who was also mentioned in the actress's court documents) launched into a Twitter rant earlier this week, defending the allegations of Johnny's abuse. She claimed to have witnessed parts of his assault on Amber, adding that she heard Amber scream on the phone when she was getting hit.
How much evidence does a woman need to present?! She has photos, texts, witnesses, and filed a restraining order.— iO Tillett Wright (@iOlovesyou) June 6, 2016
This culture of victim blaming makes me sick. I'm a witness. I'm here. I'm standing up. I can't take any more of this witch hunt.— iO Tillett Wright (@iOlovesyou) June 6, 2016
I was on the fucking phone when he hit her. I HEARD HER SCREAM. I will testify. Here and in court. Under oath. WHAT ELSE DOES A WOMAN NEED?— iO Tillett Wright (@iOlovesyou) June 7, 2016
To take her testimony one step further, Wright penned a powerful letter, published on Refinery 29 yesterday. She explained how Amber had struggled with trying to protect Johnny, while coming to terms with the fact that she had been assaulted by him.
"I called 911 because she never would," she wrote. "Because every time it happened, her first thought was about protecting him. Because every time it happened, the sweet, loving man we all cared for so much would come back with apologies, profuse, swearing up and down that he understood how bad what he had done was, and swearing never to do it again. We all loved him, but especially, especially her, and she wanted to believe that the behaviour wasn't going to last."
"I listened as she cycled through things she could've possibly done to provoke him, or how she could've made him upset enough to do this," her letter reveals.
"We say domestic violence is bad, we condemn it." Wright added. "But as a culture, we create the most fertile breeding ground for it to thrive. The cycle of abuse is perpetuated by every person who asserts that the victim more likely punched themselves rather than addressing the very real evidence of violence in front of them. The culture of victim-blaming is the very thing that protects abusers' ability to get away with this kind of behaviour. Right now, every battered woman in the world is watching this media circus, internalising the message that when they come forward for help, when they break the cycle, they will be called a gold digger, a cheater, and be accused of having faked it all for attention."
Addressing the media and the public, Wright wrote: "I'm looking at every journalist, every editor, every person who puts a comment on an article pointing an uneducated finger. You are the lynch mob. You are a deafening chorus. Your searching for an explanation for why he would have hit her sends the clear message that there CAN be a reason why someone hits their spouse. It doesn't matter what was said between the two lovers, it doesn't matter if the romance was coming to an end, because nothing warrants that response. No person, ever, should suffer violence at the hands of the person they love."
Read the full letter here.