Recent news coverage of the high-profile defamation trial involving actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard has been everywhere. For some, this case was salacious entertainment, but for others, it has been triggering. For CAPS, the Depp/Heard accusations bring up the important issue of intimate partner violence (IPV).
Journalists and the general public have speculated on what really happened between the divorced partners, as both Depp and Heard accused the other of abuse. Some have chosen sides, feeling that one or the other party seems more credible. Some don’t realize that men can be victims of abuse and/or hold stereotypes about male victims. It’s unfortunate that the coverage of the case has led to a lot of assumptions, victim-blaming, and judgment.
Here are a few facts about IPV in the United States (from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, unless otherwise specified):
- More than 10 million adults are physically abused by a partner each year.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced physical violence by a partner.
- IPV’s most frequent victims are women ages 18 to 24.
- Transgender people are at high risk for abuse, with as many as 50 percent experiencing IPV at some point in their life (lifewire.org).
- 43 percent of college women who have dated reported experiencing violent or abusive behaviors from a partner.
- According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, approximately 4 out of 10 non-Hispanic Black women, American Indian, and Alaskan Native women, and 1 in 2 multiracial non-Hispanic women have experienced IPV, rape, and/or stalking by a partner in their lifetime.
- IPV in some form has affected 43.8 percent of lesbians and 26 percent of gay men, and bisexual people are more likely to be victims than heterosexuals.