Psychology of the Joker and Harley Quinn Domestic violence

Domestic abuse or inter-partner violence (IVP) is an incredibly common yet overlooked issue. Unfortunately, relationships in which one partner violates the other’s basic rights are often somehow romanticized in media, perpetuating a culture that ignores this problem.

Information taken from the National Domestic Violence Hotline website

Abusers – including fictional ones like the Joker – employ a number of tactics on their victims to keep them physically, emotionally, and psychologically in submission.

1) Dominance: The Joker tries to make Harley feel like he is above her in the relationship.
2) Humiliation: He wants her to feel worthless. Abusers do this so that their victims feel as though no one else would love them and are less likely to leave the relationship.
He withdraws his affection from her as a form of punishment.
3) Threats: Not only does the Joker threaten to hurt or even kill Harley, he has attempted it on multiple occasions.
4) Intimidation: Like the Joker, abusers want to keep their victims in constant fear and submission.
5) Denial and Blame: In order to keep their victims in love with them and blind to their true selves, abusers will blame their actions on circumstances, even made up ones.
After using these different tactics, abusers will apologize for their actions, or blame them on the victims themselves, then act as if nothing has happened.

Often times victims will leave their abusers, only to return to them again. Concerned family and friends can find this frustrating, without realizing the emotional and psychological pull abusers have. Or family and friends may even deny that an abuser is actually abusive, because they never see that side of the person.

If someone confides in you that they are in an abusive relationship, please, do not tell them that they are mistaken. Believe them, because they know their situation much better.


If you feel like you may be in an abusive relationship and are in need of assistance, please call the appropriate hotline for you.

  • US: Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).
  • Canada: Visit ShelterSafe to find the helpline of a women’s shelter near you.
  • UK: Call Women’s Aid UK at 0808 2000 247.
  • Ireland: Call Women’s Aid at 1800 341 900.
  • Australia: Call 1800RESPECT at 1800 737 732.
  • Worldwide: visit International Directory of Domestic Violence Agencies for a global list of helplines and crisis centers.
Created By
Heather Ness

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