In her article titled “The Disposable Woman” Anna Holmes ponders why the mainstream media has dismissed Charlie Sheen’s history of abusing women.  She suggests that his abusive behavior has been dismissed as “the antics of a ‘bad boy’…, a ‘rock star’ and a ‘rebel’.”

Follow this link to read full article.

The anti-violence world describes the dismissal of abusive behavior as collusion. Specifically, it is a process whereby a group facilitator or group participants condone abusive behavior through dismissal, inaction, laughter, going along with statements made, etc.

Collusion can happen in very overt and subtle ways.  Indeed, it is a challenge not to collude when the alleged perpetrator is charismatic and popular or powerful and authoritative.  The normalization of violence through humor and group think further challenges even those of us who are conscience of not perpetrating violence.

What are some tactics you have employed to interrupt collusion in a group setting? Have you always been able to catch it? How have you set up systems of accountability to examine personal biases as leaders in the anti-violence movement?  What is the role of self-reflection in domestic and sexual violence prevention?