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dealing with abuse and domination in our community

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dealing with abuse and domination in our community

I'm curious to know if there is willingness out there to have some discussion about ways that we might create more understanding and safety in our community around the presence of abusive and dominating behaviours.  How might we, as citizens, create opportunities for making our community safer, without relying on current institutions to somehow do the work for us that we might do?  I am interested to hear your thoughts about this and to have some considerate discussion.


I'm interested in this discussion John. Could you share an example of an abusive and/.or dominating behaviour that was perhaps misunderstood by the community at large and perhaps made the community less safe? And what institution would normally address that?  Such a broad context....  I think I could better understand what you are asking by way of a specific example :) I agree with the idea that many safety/security issues could be addressed by individuals and/or groups of citizens mutually supporting one another. That said, where abuse or dominance of an idividual or group may warrant a place wihin the legal system , are you proposing citizens do that work too? I'm really not sure I'm understanding what you're asking without an example to reference :)

I'm interested in this too, John. I have witnessed this kind of behaviour with friends spouses and other acquaintances, and it is frankly very difficult to know what to do about it. It seems so difficult to take action and protect friends who are being abused or bullied, because police intervention seems fairly ineffective. An example I can think of: a friend of mine was in an abusive relationship and her husband was verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive, but because he never hit her it was difficult for her to take action with police or have any proof in order to stop it. She ended up leaving him after much strife and was bullied throughout that entire process as well. The legal system doesn't seem to be set up to deal with bullies because the high financial cost of taking someone to court makes it almost impossible for many people.  As a bystander this was extremely frustrating. I don't know how or why people think it is okay to act like this. 

My apologies to you both, but I have not been receiving notifications signalling your response to my posting!

I guess that I am proposing that we, as citizens, first be responsible to educate ourselves as to what abusive and dominating behaviours are, and then, second, to take action to prevent these behaviours from arising through our educating others in our communities about abuse and domination.  I am interested in exploring ways of strengthening communities and in preventing opportunities for abuse and domination to arise, and I believe that we all have had many experiences with such behaviours.  I have my own definitions of abuse and domination, but I'm more interested in hearing those of others, at this point.

Would either of you, Jennifer and Bonnie, be willing to describe your understanding of domination?  Thanks for your interest in the discussion!


Hi there,

John let me know a while ago that he was not receiving notifications for comments on his post. I only got a chance to work on that today. That should be fixed now! :)