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  • Accountability News Staff

More than 300 Domestic Violence Experts Sign Open Letter in Support of Amber Heard

By: Accountability New Staff PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 16, 2022

Over a hundred of organizations and experts signed an open letter supporting Amber Heard to call for an end to online harassment of individuals who report sexual, and domestic, abuse where a woman’s allegations were mocked for entertainment.

The signatures include many gender justice organizations including: the National Women’s Law Center, Esperanza United, Futures Without Violence, Feminist Majority, Sakhi for South Asian Women, Women’s March Foundation, National Organization for Women, Equality Now and a host of domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy organizations, academics who work in the field, legal and other experts including author and activist Gloria Steinem.

Dr. Emma Katz, an academic and author of Coercive Control in Children’s and Mothers’ Lives, added, “In the Depp v. Heard trial, behaviors that are common to survivors were relentlessly mocked and misunderstood. Many survivors watched these public conversations unfold with dread, as the question “will I be believed if I come forward” seemed to be met with a resounding ‘no’.”

“Everyone should be able to report abuse without fear of retaliation,” said Elizabeth Tang, Senior Counsel for Education and Workplace Justice at the National Women’s Law Center. “But survivors of sex-based harassment, including sexual assault and domestic violence, often face retaliation—including, increasingly, through the misuse of defamation lawsuits." She continued, "In the aftermath of the high-profile Depp-Heard defamation trial and the vitriolic online harassment unleashed against Heard and her supporters, we are deeply concerned that survivors will be further intimidated from reporting abuse.”

Lisa Sales, President of the Virginia Chapter of the National Organization for Women, and a member of the Fairfax County Council to End Domestic Violence. Sales states that: “From the courtroom to the boardroom, I worry about American institutions creating conditions for survivors to be fearful to talk about what happened to them openly. There is no doubt that the way Heard was mistreated online during the trial, which happened in my backyard, has had a chilling effect on women and other vulnerable populations in Virginia, and indeed nationwide.” Sales continued, “As a survivor myself, I believe it is critical that judges making decisions in the lives of survivors should be mandated to take training in trauma-informed handling of sexual and domestic violence.”

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit

CONTACT: Jessica Baskerville,, NWLC, 202-588-7601; Bell Abesti (Pseudonym),, Open Letter Project Organizer, 408-922-9921, @letterforAmber (Twitter and Instagram)

California/ Amber Heard/ News


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