Ruth Glenn accused of 'fear-mongering' after she claims Amber Heard verdict was harmful to victims

Ruth Glenn, CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, was 'appalled' by the outcome of the trial and has 'serious concerns' about victims' ability to speak out


                            Ruth Glenn accused of 'fear-mongering' after she claims Amber Heard verdict was harmful to victims
Ruth Glenn (L) feels the vitriol toward Amber Heard (R) and her supporters is unwarranted (Twitter, Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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More than a week has passed since the verdict of the much-publicized defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, but the debate around it refuses to die. The jury ruled in favor of the 58-year-old actor after finding Heard's statements defamatory and awarded him $10.4 million in damages.

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Ruth Glenn, CEO of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, released a statement in support of the 36-year-old actress last week, stating that the organization is "appalled" by the outcome of the trial and has "serious concerns" for victims and survivors' ability to speak out about their experiences.

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"During the testimonies of witnesses, including but not limited to Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard, we witnessed in real-time an abuser gaslighting, a common technique used to manipulate others, specifically systems into misidentifying a victim for an abuser and an abuser for a victim. At the heart of domestic violence are dynamics of power and control. Victims of domestic violence can be female, male, or non-binary," the statement released by NCADV reads.

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"The important thing to remember when identifying an aggressor is to focus on who possesses the bulk of power and control between the two partners. Abusers often use litigation and the courts to continue abusing their victims after the relationship ends. As an organization, we try to have faith in this nation’s systems, including its judges and jurors, to recognize domestic violence and hold an abuser accountable. Clearly, that was not what happened in this courtroom," it continues.

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"The implications for the future of domestic violence victims and survivors are staggering. In seeing the mocking memes and jokes online, a victim may decide there's no point to reporting if this is what they will be expected to endure. But victims are not the only ones paying close attention to the trial; abusers are watching, too. Already we are hearing anecdotal reports of abusers threatening their victims — 'If you speak about this to anyone, I'll pull a Depp on you,'" the statement adds.

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Glenn tells TMZ that some of the backlash amounts to impassioned commentary, including sentiments that NCADV doesn't believe men can be abused, that real DV victims believe Depp, and even more shots at Heard, like people calling her a liar or a "psycho." She admits that her organization thinks Heard is the victim in this case despite the jury's verdict. Glenn adds that the vitriol toward Amber and her supporters is unwarranted, as even Ray Rice wasn't publicly dragged this much after his infamous domestic violence case.

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She believes the #MeToo movement won't suffer a permanent setback, but people need to rethink what it means to believe all survivors. Glenn suspects this verdict might affect how domestic violence victims come forward and speak on these issues. "I would ask the nation and your readers, would you think twice about coming forward after witnessing what’s happened? I don't think that it will necessarily be the only thing that stops someone from seeking support and safety, but I can tell you it just adds another layer," Glenn tells The Daily Beast.

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One user wrote, "This is really sad. The trial was just and fair. I'm a survivor of DV and found the court system to have worked. By pushing this fear-mongering narrative that this is setting back DV victims, you are actively setting DV victims back. You're part of this fear-mongering." Another said, "Amber literally said that she hit Johnny and no one would believe him because he was a man. NCADV approves of domestic abuse as long as it is against a man."

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A third tweeted, "Your statement is setting back abuse victims years by standing by a convicted domestic abuser and denying that men are as frequently victims as are females." A fourth added, "The verdict did not set back the cause of abuse survivors but a woman lying about it definitely did. She made it to where once again a woman may not be believed. Ugh!" A fifth replied, "Your organization needs to take a step back look at the facts."

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