SARATOGA — October is the month when fall leaves crinkle underfoot, jack-o’-lanterns flicker in the moon’s beaming light, and pumpkin spice lattes are cradled by passers-by. October is also a month of remembrance. National Domestic Violence Awareness month is when survivors bravely speak out to tell their stories with the hope that their words can reach ears that have become deafened from constant threats, beatings, and torment.
One in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of domestic abuse or violence during their lifetime. The National Domestic Violence Hotline receives more than 20,000 calls each day. Twenty men and women are abused every minute by an intimate partner, and 1 of 2 females and 1 in 13 male murder victims are a result of domestic violence.
Local Harley Quinn cosplayer, Harleen, is raffling off two autographed graphic novels, “Harley Loves Joker,” and “Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 years,” to benefit the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
“I am a statistic, a victim of domestic violence. I have struggled for years with the post-traumatic effects from being physically, emotionally, and mentally abused. I found my solace through cosplaying, or the portrayal of a character in comics, television shows, movies, video games, and pop culture,” says Harleen.
Harley Quinn, a character created by DC Comics in 1992 to be the Joker, Batman’s nemesis’ sidekick, first appeared in Batman the Animated Series in the episode “Jokers Favor” and through her journey in the show as well as in her comics, the abuse that Joker put her through swiftly emerged to the audience.
“I get a lot of questions about why I cosplay Harley Quinn, and the truth is, she left her abuser, the Joker, and that gave me the strength and courage to leave mine.”
Both graphic novels were donated and signed by Harley Quinn’s creator, Paul Dini. All of the proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, whose mission is to “lead, mobilize and raise our voices to support efforts that demand a change of conditions that lead to domestic violence such as patriarchy, privilege, racism, sexism, and classism. We are dedicated to supporting survivors and holding offenders accountable and supporting advocates.”
For a link to the raffle link, go to: go.rallyup.com/sweetheartharley.
For more information about the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, go to www.ncadv.org