The actress married actor Johnny Depp in February 2015, and the two are currently working out the final details of their divorce.
In her essay, Heard wrote,
You may have suffered alone behind closed doors, but you are not alone. You need to know that. I want to remind you of your strength, a strength that has been multiplied by the number of women who stand silently behind you — a truth that allowed me to break down the doors I once found myself behind.
Speaking about the criticism women face for speaking up about violence, she continued,
Let's start with the truth—the cold, hard truth. When a woman comes forward to speak out about injustice or her suffering, instead of aid, respect and support, she will be met with hostility, skepticism and shame. Her motives will be questioned and her truth ignored.
Heard made a point to emphasize how "it takes real strength to come forward" and that "it isn't easy to raise your voice, to stand up for yourself and your truth, and to do it 'alone.'"
She also explicitly addressed being called a "victim," and how she harbors resentment toward the title:
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.'
Heard champions women to be empowered to speak out and concludes, "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."
If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit www.thehotline.org for help.