Domestic abuse and the persistence of excuses.

So twitter’s on fire with the news that Amber Heard, soon to be ex wife of Johnny Depp has been granted a restraining order, because she alleges he hit her on the face with an i phone and she’s got the bruises to prove it. ‘Course the bruises aren’t enough for the naysayers who reckon they’re self inflicted, ‘coz that’s what women do when they leave their partners, walk into the nearest door and cry domestic violence. It’s not that some men routinely beat their spouses, and this tendency towards violence escalates when she leaves or threatens to.

Heard’s got an uphill struggle if she hopes to prove that she’s the victim here, for many reasons. The first being that it’s always a struggle to prove you’re the victim of domestic violence. If you want to be taken seriously as a victim, you need to get yourself mugged, or your house robbed, or your car stolen, or if you’re going down the assault root you need to hope it’s a stranger, in daylight, in a public park, where all the present witnesses are willing to acknowledge you didn’t do anything to provoke it.

In Heard’s case there’s the further problem of making these allegations and an application for spousal support simultaneously, and that’s a big no-no. Victims of domestic abuse should never care about anything as crass as money. Also  Heard has committed an even bigger sin by filing for divorce three days after Depp’s Mother’s death, which according to twitter is morally repugnant. But then I’m guessing twitter’s never lived with an unstable man, because if they had they’d know intense emotional occurrences rarely bring out the best in them.

As Heard is taunted and vilified over the coming weeks, by strangers on twitter and by some of Hollywood’s most elite, because like night follows day she will be, she should know that there is nothing she could have done to prevent this from happening, other than to not speak out at all.








Nothing compares to her… Why you gotta love Sinead O’Connor

Sinead O’Connor’s having a hard time and refuses to suffer in silence and that’s what I love about her. It’s very inappropriate, this constant public airing of what is still considered fundamentally private stuff, and that’s what I love about her. As most women age they become more discreet, mirroring consciously or otherwise a society that still prefers it’s women docile, but the controversial singer seems to have missed that memo.

Of course maybe I’m giving her too much credit. Fact is, she’s had some form of breakdown, and as anyone who’s ever broken down knows, self censorship is for the clinically well. Maybe at some later point she’ll regret being so open about her family situation, but then again maybe she won’t. Either ways, it hardly makes me psychic to speculate that we haven’t heard the last of this woman’s no holes barred opinions and that dear readers, is a good thing.

The world needs more women like Sinead O’Connor willing to stand up and shout about stuff that’s happening to them, when it’s happening to them, not in carefully edited articles after the fact.  Yes, it makes us uncomfortable, but I think that’s her point.

It’s been over twenty years since she ripped up a picture of the pope on live T.V, becoming overnight one of the most reviled and revered women in the world. I was definitely on the revered side, my eighteen year old self gasping in awe at her wondrously brave actions. See, these days criticising the catholic church is so passe that even the Irish taoiseach (head of state) has got in on the act, but when O’Connor did it, it definitely wasn’t done. In spite of half the homes in Ireland housing victims of child abuse, whose pain could be directly (paedo priests) or indirectly linked to the catholic church, nobody was pointing a finger at them. Nobody that was, besides this petit Irish singer, with the voice of an angel and the courage of a lion.

I saluted her then and I salute her now, confident that she’ll ride this wave of personal crisis, like so many others she’s experienced and hopeful that she’s not done shocking us, because if you read between the lines of what O’Connor is saying, you’ll realise that what she has suffered is a lot more shocking than her refusal to shut up about it.