SAN DIEGO – The Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial resumed in court Monday with Depp taking the stand and captivating some viewers with his side of the story.
Now, some are saying that this massively public trial is giving more men the courage to come forward with their own stories of abuse.
“I think that it’s reassuring for men to hear this, especially as somebody that a lot of people look up to in society. He’s been a public figure for a long time,” says Matthew Longoria, a domestic violence survivor.
Longoria says he and his son were both victims of domestic violence.
“Chocking, damage from nails, punches, there’s a scar on my arm,” he said. “I don’t know if you can see it on camera, it’s about eight inches long way. I didn’t punch, I didn’t do anything. I’m not a violent person.”
During his time of need, Longoria says he didn’t see many resources offered to male victims of domestic violence. He wasn’t the only one to notice this, though.
Therapist Navid Zamani observed the lack of resources for men when he worked with victims.
“There (were) no services for male survivors and there were no, specifically, support groups. And so in my context as a therapist, one of the things I am really interested, in is creating a context where people can connect to each other and feel seen and heard,” Zamani said.
The therapist created a support group for male survivors to turn for help.
Longoria now says that after years of violence, he’s been able to escape his abusive relationship with full custody of his son.
“I would want to encourage male victims that it’s not that way. There’s more of us than you might think,” said Longoria.
“It’s embarrassing to say anything,” Zamani said. “But being able to observe that- see themselves in that story- it puts wind in their sails to say like ‘hey perhaps people might believe me, too,'” said Zamani, who told FOX 5 that in the course of two years, roughly 20 male survivors benefitted from his free support group.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline says on average, one in four men in the U.S. will experience some form of abuse by their partner.