It was a typical boring evening at college and I was scrolling through social media rolling my eyes and laughing at the obscene posts that people write and share. I came across a post that is going viral for its ignorance and its lack of humor. Before my very eyes I see a couple in their “Halloween costumes.” Except these weren’t your typical couple costumes.
In the picture there is a battered wife and her abusive husband. You can see the girl with her bruised face and bloodstained lips, which she used make up to create. Her boyfriend has his hand around her neck putting her in a chokehold. These two senseless human beings thought turning abusive relationships into a costume was cute or funny.
According to www.loveisrespect.org, one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Why couldn’t this couple go as a hunter and a deer or a cop and prisoner? Instead they chose to go as something that real people endure.
They can make a mockery out of abuse but until you have someone you love put you in a chokehold and tell you they want to choke you until you turn blue or call you every derogatory name in the book, then you have NO idea how much suffering people in abusive relationships go through/or have went through.
I’ve been choked and pushed around, but I can take physical pain. What I couldn’t take was the mental and emotional abuse. I couldn’t take constantly feeling like everything was my fault, and that I was trapped with someone who “loves me.” I was a prisoner in my own relationship and every time I tried to leave he would try or say he was going to kill himself, or beg for me back and say he would change.
I can take being called disgusting or being told that no one else will love me “as much as he does” but I couldn’t take someone who chooses how they’re going to get their next high over me or someone who’s idea of romanticism is snorting lines of drugs together.
I survived the twisted hell I lived in for four years, but there are people all over the world who are still stuck and who are still victims of abuse, and they can’t find a way out or get help.
Abuse isn’t something to glorify. I’ve experienced it first-hand and it’s sickening, heartbreaking, and traumatizing but it is certainly NOT funny. It’s especially not something to recreate as a costume.