After the allegations were announced, she was flooded with hate mail, accused of being a liar, and several Depp supporters tried to discredit her claims.
And while Heard didn't mention Depp in the essay due to a confidentiality clause in her divorce settlement, she did touch upon why being labeled a "victim" has been so difficult for her.
According to People magazine, Heard said she was physically abused on two separate occasions, including one night when she received a black eye at the hands of Depp.
I was raised to be independent and self-reliant. I was never given nor wanted the burden of dependency. I never felt like anyone would or could rescue me, so naturally I resented the label of 'victim.'
That resentment is why so many women choose to refer to themselves as "survivors" instead of "victims" in cases of domestic violence or sexual assault. As journalist Rahila Gupta explained in her article "'Victim' vs. 'Survivor': feminism and language," using the term "survivor" emphasizes that these women are heroic and have triumphed over their abuse. It also stresses that women of domestic violence can move on from the traumatic experience and continue to live extraordinary lives.
Even with all of the turmoil she's gone through these past months, it has only encouraged Heard to keep advocating against domestic abuse.
She recently participated in a domestic violence PSA discussing how the media needs to change the way we talk about violence against women. And despite speculations that she was trying to “secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse,” Heard donated her entire $7 million divorce settlement to the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and the American Civil Liberties Unionm in hopes of letting other survivors know that they aren't suffering alone:
As I write this today, I can promise every woman who is suffering in silence, you are not alone. You may not see us, but we are there.