It’s safe to say that couples might piece together Joker and Harley Quinn costumes this Halloween.
Even before the release of the DC movie, however, the Internet was full of people who are sold on the idea that the Joker and Harley Quinn are what a couple should strive to be.
Anyone who’s done any research would know that this should be the furthest thing from an ideal relationship.
Since the introduction of Harley’s character in the DC Universe, her relationship with the Joker has been one of turbulence.
For the sake of avoiding the glorification of abuse toward women, the production team of “Suicide Squad” made it a point to water down the Joker’s gruesome treatment of Harley so often expressed in the comics.
Most unsettling is that there are millions of partnerships around the world parallel to this one.
Domestic abuse in any form isn’t an unspoken issue like it was in the 20th century. However, in a survey put together by Knowledge Networks in 2011, 43 percent of women and 28 percent of men entered abusive relationships in college.
There are shelters for abuse victims everywhere. There are hotlines set up.
Yet victims still live in fear of their abusers, sometimes for years, before they do something about it.
In extreme cases, some don’t even survive their relationships.
About three women a day are murdered by their current or former partners.
Many obstacles prevent people from escaping abusive relationships: lack of finances, nowhere to go, the fear of being found once they leave and many others.
I was involved in an abusive relationship.
A lot of it was emotional, and I thought that was the norm for a long-term relationship until my friends and family told me otherwise.
I felt like it wouldn’t be justified if my reason for leaving the relationship was based on the opinions of other people, so I stayed.
After three months, those opinions quickly turned into solid facts.
I was interrogated about what I was doing throughout the day, my phone was searched and I was threatened and berated with profanity. And then it turned physical.
After 14 months of feeling like I couldn’t just leave, I gained the courage to stand up for myself and put a stop to what I was going through.
Looking back, I always ask myself why I didn’t put an end to it so much sooner.
It taught me a lot about what potential signs to look for, and I urge anyone who reads this to do the same. You’re perfectly capable.
And skip the Joker and Harley Quinn get-ups this Halloween. They are not a couple to emulate.