Anger in the courtroom? Anger is usually the judge’s province. The atmosphere outside the courtroom was disrupted in the domestic violence case of Johnny Depp and his ex-wife Amber Heard.
Two characters in this case got the brunt of fury, and through 2022 techniques.
Amber Heard and her treating psychologist
Dr. Dawn Hughes, a clinical psychologist, testified on behalf of Amber Heard and stated she diagnosed Heard with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of intimate partner violence. She reviewed medical records, interviews, and forensic testing results.
That sounds pretty benign testimony, right? Dr. Hughes was a treating psychologist.
While she was on the stand, Dr. Hughes’ WebMD profile was barraged by negative reviews. Many commenters accused Hughes of being biased against men in cases of domestic abuse, calling her sexist and unprofessional. Many objected to Dr. Hughes’ use of female pronouns when describing victims of abuse.
One of four women are the target of domestic violence in their lifetime, whereas one in seven men are victims.
The fact is that because this is a hidden crime, we don’t know the true numbers.
Depp’s expert testified that Heard did not have PTSD, and instead had borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.
WebMD removed the reviews.
After the fury unleashed on Dr. Hughes, some in the public turned to attacking Heard. When she took the stand to defend herself in a defamation lawsuit filed by Depp, social media users attacked her – via YouTube with a compilation of her most emotional moments and TikTok users who mocked her.
What is the cost of speaking up about domestic violence? Experts are concerned that the public attacks of Heard will intimidate domestic violence survivors who will worry about being disbelieved. The public watching this testimony through clicks in the news filters the information through their biases. How could beloved Johnny Depp be violent? Is Amber Heard credible?
This is a trial in which there are no winners. If you accept Heard’s testimony, Depp was a vicious partner. If you accept Depp’s testimony, Heard was an instigator, hit him, and used illegal substances.
Through revelations about the shame and hidden details of intimate partner violence, the public is getting an exposure to the details of a high profile couple whose private interactions are becoming fodder for social media haters.
This aspect of litigation involving intimate partner violence is distressing to all concerned.
Get tips on how you can assist in domestic violence litigation support by attending our June 9-10, 2022 virtual conference. Walk away with concrete strategies for how you can assist attorneys in criminal case analysis. Get your seat here: LNC.tips/DV
Pat Iyer is president of The Pat Iyer Group, which develops resources to assist LNCs in obtaining more clients, making more money, and achieving their business goals and dreams.
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