Justice for Johnny: Men Can Be Victims, Too

CommentaryJohnny Depp’s victory is an important day for men around the world, especially those who are victims of domestic abuse. Contrary to popular belief, men can be victims, too. In “Platform,” a highly-provocative novel published 20 years ago, the author Michel Houellebecq put forward a rather provocative theory. As women become more accomplished, entering professions traditionally occupied by men, their actions and behaviors—both the good and the bad—would become more masculine in nature. Two decades on, the Frenchman appears to have been onto something. As you are no doubt aware, Depp recently sued his ex-wife, Amber Heard, over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post. In that particularly explosive piece, Heard painted herself as a victim of domestic and sexual abuse. Depp sued Heard for defamation. On June 1, jurors awarded Depp $15 million in damages. During their 15-month marriage, Heard, rather than Depp, appears to have been the real instigator of violence. The idea of a woman abusing her partner might strike some readers as odd. In reality, though, it really shouldn’t. As the psychologist Christopher J. Ferguson recently noted, although most violent crimes are still carried out by men, when one examines “crimes occurring among families, that dynamic changes.” Profoundly so. Actor Amber Heard arrives at the start of the day during actor Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against her at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., on May 26, 2022. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via Reuters) When surveyed, noted Ferguson, “women generally acknowledge using violence at equal levels with men.” According to Ferguson, a highly-respected psychologist, for well over a decade, “evidence has demonstrated that domestic violence is perpetrated by females as often as males.” Rather misleadingly, “female violence is often framed as reactive to male violence.” It’s described as being defensive, not offensive. However, the violence is “typically motivated by the same reasons” that drive men to lash out violently. As the gender wage gap decreases, so does the gender violence gap. When Depp declared that he would go public with the abuse he suffered at the hands of Heard, she responded by ridiculing him. “Tell the world, Johnny,” she said. Tell them, “I, Johnny Depp, a man … I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence. Let’s see who believes you.” Thankfully, the jury believed him. Of course, one needn’t be a multi-millionaire superstar to fear being ridiculed, dismissed, and viewed with the deepest of suspicion. Ordinary, everyday men are reluctant to report abuse for various reasons, including feelings of embarrassment, fear that their stories will be dismissed, and fear that the person responsible for the pain will take revenge. To say that gender stereotypes (passive women/aggressive men) still muddy the waters of domestic violence is like saying obesity in the United States is a minor problem. In other words, an understatement of epic proportions. According to one recent peer-reviewed study, law enforcement officers and medical professionals are far less likely to take female-on-male violence seriously than male-on-female violence. Domestic violence, it’s important to note, comes in many forms. It includes physical assault, emotional and psychological manipulation, financial abuse, as well as sexual violence. Across the United States, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male victimization “is a significant public health problem.” A third of American men have experienced “sexual violence, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.” Rather shockingly, more than 1 in 38 men in the United States have “experienced completed or attempted rape victimization in their lifetime.” An alarming number of men are the victims of female stalkers—1 in 17 men, to be precise. According to recent research carried out by academics at the University of Louisville and Tennessee, at least 100,000 men are “physically assaulted or raped” by an intimate partner each year. As the Johnson Criminal Law Group previously noted, “the popular belief that domestic violence can only be perpetrated on a woman by a man” is as dangerous as it is erroneous. An increasing number of men are now showing up “in emergency rooms with serious injuries sustained from domestic violence incidents.” It’s about time that “the same standards that are involved in bringing a man to justice for domestic violence should apply in cases where the abuser is a woman,” noted the legal scholars. Indeed. Although men, on average, still commit more crimes than women, dig a little deeper, and you’ll find some interesting facts. As The Guardian reported back in 2020, while crime rates in Western countries, including the United States, have steadily declined since the early 1990s, the number of women, particularly young women, engaging in violent, criminal behavior has increased dramaticall

Justice for Johnny: Men Can Be Victims, Too

Commentary

Johnny Depp’s victory is an important day for men around the world, especially those who are victims of domestic abuse. Contrary to popular belief, men can be victims, too.

In “Platform,” a highly-provocative novel published 20 years ago, the author Michel Houellebecq put forward a rather provocative theory.

As women become more accomplished, entering professions traditionally occupied by men, their actions and behaviors—both the good and the bad—would become more masculine in nature. Two decades on, the Frenchman appears to have been onto something.

As you are no doubt aware, Depp recently sued his ex-wife, Amber Heard, over a 2018 op-ed she wrote in The Washington Post. In that particularly explosive piece, Heard painted herself as a victim of domestic and sexual abuse. Depp sued Heard for defamation. On June 1, jurors awarded Depp $15 million in damages.

During their 15-month marriage, Heard, rather than Depp, appears to have been the real instigator of violence. The idea of a woman abusing her partner might strike some readers as odd. In reality, though, it really shouldn’t. As the psychologist Christopher J. Ferguson recently noted, although most violent crimes are still carried out by men, when one examines “crimes occurring among families, that dynamic changes.” Profoundly so.

Epoch Times Photo
Actor Amber Heard arrives at the start of the day during actor Johnny Depp’s defamation trial against her at the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Fairfax, Va., on May 26, 2022. (Michael Reynolds/Pool via Reuters)

When surveyed, noted Ferguson, “women generally acknowledge using violence at equal levels with men.” According to Ferguson, a highly-respected psychologist, for well over a decade, “evidence has demonstrated that domestic violence is perpetrated by females as often as males.” Rather misleadingly, “female violence is often framed as reactive to male violence.” It’s described as being defensive, not offensive.

However, the violence is “typically motivated by the same reasons” that drive men to lash out violently. As the gender wage gap decreases, so does the gender violence gap.

When Depp declared that he would go public with the abuse he suffered at the hands of Heard, she responded by ridiculing him. “Tell the world, Johnny,” she said. Tell them, “I, Johnny Depp, a man … I’m a victim, too, of domestic violence. Let’s see who believes you.” Thankfully, the jury believed him.

Of course, one needn’t be a multi-millionaire superstar to fear being ridiculed, dismissed, and viewed with the deepest of suspicion. Ordinary, everyday men are reluctant to report abuse for various reasons, including feelings of embarrassment, fear that their stories will be dismissed, and fear that the person responsible for the pain will take revenge.

To say that gender stereotypes (passive women/aggressive men) still muddy the waters of domestic violence is like saying obesity in the United States is a minor problem. In other words, an understatement of epic proportions.

According to one recent peer-reviewed study, law enforcement officers and medical professionals are far less likely to take female-on-male violence seriously than male-on-female violence. Domestic violence, it’s important to note, comes in many forms. It includes physical assault, emotional and psychological manipulation, financial abuse, as well as sexual violence.

Across the United States, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, male victimization “is a significant public health problem.” A third of American men have experienced “sexual violence, physical violence, and stalking by an intimate partner during their lifetime.”

Rather shockingly, more than 1 in 38 men in the United States have “experienced completed or attempted rape victimization in their lifetime.”

An alarming number of men are the victims of female stalkers—1 in 17 men, to be precise. According to recent research carried out by academics at the University of Louisville and Tennessee, at least 100,000 men are “physically assaulted or raped” by an intimate partner each year.

As the Johnson Criminal Law Group previously noted, “the popular belief that domestic violence can only be perpetrated on a woman by a man” is as dangerous as it is erroneous. An increasing number of men are now showing up “in emergency rooms with serious injuries sustained from domestic violence incidents.”

It’s about time that “the same standards that are involved in bringing a man to justice for domestic violence should apply in cases where the abuser is a woman,” noted the legal scholars.

Indeed. Although men, on average, still commit more crimes than women, dig a little deeper, and you’ll find some interesting facts. As The Guardian reported back in 2020, while crime rates in Western countries, including the United States, have steadily declined since the early 1990s, the number of women, particularly young women, engaging in violent, criminal behavior has increased dramatically. Why?

Kelly Paxton, a U.S.-based investigator and often referred to as the Pink-Collar Crime Lady, told The Guardian that modern women now have many of the same pressures that men have had for years, decades, even centuries. Women are now “the breadwinners in 40% of all households. If these women can’t pay the bills, some will resort to committing crimes,” including carrying out acts of violence.

Today, it seems, crime has no gender. If in doubt, just ask Mr. Depp.

Monsieur Houellebecq was certainly onto something.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.


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John Mac Ghlionn is a researcher and essayist. His work has been published by the New York Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, Newsweek, National Review, and The Spectator US, among others. He covers psychology and social relations, and has a keen interest in social dysfunction and media manipulation.