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Psychologist In Amber Heard & Johnny Depp Trial Slammed For Implying That All Abuse Victims Are Female

Johnny Depp, Amber Heard

Amber Heard’s psychological witness is under fire following her controversial testimony on Tuesday. 

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Dawn Hughes took the stand on Tuesday in the midst of Heard’s ongoing legal battle with ex-husband Johnny Depp.

During her testimony, she explained the dynamics of abusive relationships using gendered language that suggested only women can be victims in abusive relationships, and only men can be the abusers.

“Stalking and surveillance behaviors are a common tactic of, typically men, who use violent behaviors in an intimate relationship,” Hughes said at the stand.

“What they do is they allow the woman to know that wherever she is, wherever she goes, he’s going to know.”

Amber Heard's psychologist is now being criticized for downplaying male domestic violence victims.

A member of the subreddit r/JusticeForJohnnyDepp posted a screenshot of Hughes from the trial while slamming her for boiling the case down to solely a matter of gender. Other users in the thread then commented about their outrage over her testimony.

“From this witness' perspective, it seems like she can't even imagine a scenario where a man is a victim,” one Reddit user said.

“Why would she use neutral language for something she believes is fundamentally a one way only problem? Shows you how deep the prejudice is.”

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“I've never felt such a strong need to advocate for men as victims, this is really not looking good for her credibility imo,” another user said. “I have my suspicions she was encouraged to use gendered language to influence the jury.”

Users on other social media platforms shared the same sentiments. Some Twitter users even went so far as to say that Hughes’ testimony undermined her entire profession.

“Dr. Dawn Hughes using female pronouns when describing the abused and male pronouns when describing the abuser is PROBLEMATIC,” one Twitter user said.

“It also is DISAPPOINTING for someone who's in the field of psychology for more than 3 decades.”

Other users said that Hughes’ language exemplifies why men who are victims of abuse are so hesitant to speak out about it. 

“Dr #DawnHughes, today you have insulted every single man who has been subjected to abuse with your gender bias, anger & complete lack of professionalism,” another Twitter user said.

“Your testimony highlighted why so many men feel afraid & ashamed to come forward.”

NBC News reported that many users left negative reviews on a WebMD profile that appears to belong to Hughes.

The profile had no reviews on it prior to her appearance at the stand on Tuesday. The reviews have since been deleted.

"Doesn't believe men can be victims of abuse," one reviewer said. "Guess she'll discredit victims just for money."

Hughes said during her testimony that she diagnosed Heard with post traumatic stress disorder following alleged intimate partner violence from Depp.

Shannon Curry, a psychologist called to the stand by Depp’s team, rebutted Hughes’ diagnosis. Curry previously diagnosed Heard with borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder, which Hughes disagreed with. 

Depp’s team is set to begin cross-examining Heard on Wednesday, with Hughes’ claims expected to play a large part in the questioning.

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Jonathan Alfano is a writer who focuses on news and entertainment topics. Follow him on Twitter to keep up with his content.