Re: Cohousing-L Digest, Vol 85, Issue 7
From: Martha Lee (
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2011 10:20:10 -0800 (PST)
I have never posted before, but here it goes!
I would like input from other co-housing groups on how you have dealt with 
adult bullying problems. In order to help me to identify this problem at 
Pacifica I am using a list of characteristics I found on the UC Davis HR 

Overruling decisions without a rationale, Sabotaging team efforts, Demeaning 
others, Verbal intimidation, Harassment, Incivility, Teasing, Gossiping, 
Purposely withholding business information.
Pacifica is 4 1/2 years old.  It is a large urban co-housing group, 46 
households in mostly townhouses.  Over the last few years our morale has been 
dropping, and participation is waning.  It is very hard to find folks who will 
run for executive committee, and our steering committee has been abolished.  
Community meals and other community-wide events are few.  I have done research 
on the bullying issue and concluded that we have 3 adult serial bullies here, 
and a number of others who act as "lieutenants", who actively collaborate with 
bullies.  Community members seem scared to speak up at meetings or appoach 
others when they have concerns that might be seen as controversial. The few of 
us who will speak up are harassed, bullied, and marginalized.  Example 1:  the 
son of an adult bully and his pre-teen friends were regulary shooting bb guns 
and metal tipped practice arrows on the grounds of our urban densely populated 
co-housing, an act which is illegal in the city limits due to the safety 
hazard.  Another resident was hit by a bb in the head.  By the time I found out 
about this, it had been going on for several weeks, and no one had had the 
courage to approach the bully about the problem.  Example 2:  My tires were 
slashed recently on the same night as some very angry e-mails targeting me were 
sent out on our list serve.
Where do we go from here? How have other co-housings dealt with bullying?  Are 
three bullies too many to confront?  
Martha Lee
Pacifica Co-housing
Carrboro, NC

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