Well-known actor Johnny Depp took a serious blow to his reputation -- and his career -- following allegations that he had violently abused his former wife, actress Amber Heard.
Now, after enduring the social stigma of being accused of domestic violence for a lengthy period, the actor has filed a $50 million defamation case against Heard. He claims that the actress perpetrated a fraud in order to gain public sympathy in the "Me Too" era and further her career.
Further, he also claims that he's actually the domestic violence victim. He's submitted to the court a significant amount of proof, including evidence that she partially severed one of his fingers and shattered bones in his hand. Multiple people have claimed they were witnesses to her hoax.
Whatever the eventual outcome of the lawsuit, the case has put a spotlight on two different problems with domestic violence that often go undetected and under-reported: Violence that's inflicted on men and the problem with false reports.
Figures on male domestic violence victims are hard to ascertain. Some sources say one out of every four men experiences some form of intimate partner violence -- while other sources say it's more like one out of every seven. What is known is that men are far less likely to report the fact that they've been victimized to the police than women.
The social aspects behind that fact aren't hard to figure out: Men are usually stronger than women and expected to protect themselves. They fear being disbelieved or outright mocked if they let the world know they're actually victims.
No reliable source has ever suggested that there are tons of false domestic violence claims against men (or women) -- most victims are sincere. However, they do occasionally happen. When they do, the person targeted by the claim can quickly find himself (or herself) subject to all kinds of legal restrictions -- and profoundly isolated.
If you've been falsely accused of domestic violence, don't try to handle the situation on your own. A mistake could make your situation far worse. Talk to an experienced advocate about the problem as quickly as possible.