A community free from fear, neglect, violence, and abuse.
to support all people to live free from fear, neglect, violence, and abuse.
We lead with a unique approach
In partnership with leaders in the field of domestic violence and abuse counselling, FearIsNotLove embraces a “Response-Based approach” to support any person who has experienced neglect, violence and abuse. This approach was developed by Canadian family therapists and researchers Dr. Allan Wade, Dr. Linda Coates, Dr. Catherine Richardson, Dr. Shelly Dean, and Nick Todd.
Violent and abusive behaviour is a choice
Our approach honours the many ways people resist domestic violence and abuse, and identifies abuse as a behaviour that can change. We rely on this best-practice approach in our work with anyone who has experienced violence, including children and youth, and any person who uses abuse.
Whenever people are abused, they often do many things to undermine/oppose/subvert the abuse and to maintain their dignity and self-respect. This is called resistance.
The resistance might include not doing what someone wants them to do, standing up to that person, and trying to stop or prevent violence, disrespect, or oppression. Imagining a better life may also be a way that people resist abuse.
Some people assume that victims of domestic violence and abuse passively accept violence, and lack self-esteem, assertiveness, or boundaries. Much attention is paid to these “effects” of violence. Unfortunately, this leads people to have a stereotyped, negative view of victims.
Resistance is often subtle
Domestic violence and abuse can be very dangerous, so people often resist in ways that aren’t obvious. People on the outside may not notice the resistance and assume that the person is passive” or “not doing enough to stand up for themselves.”
In fact, people are known to actively resist violence. The truth is, the so-called “passive” victim does not exist. For instance, some people will resist their partner’s abuse by leaving the house even though they have been forbidden to do so. Knowing this, the person who uses abuse may try to regain control by taking shoes, money, bank cards and car keys. Others might hide or destroy the person’s phone to prevent them from calling for help. This is an example of how people who use abuse often try to stop the person from resisting. This also shows that these abusive or violent acts are deliberate.
Much attention is focused on trying to understand the reasons people use violence. It has been suggested that perhaps people are abusive because they themselves were abused as children, or they have mental health challenges. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to excusing the person from responsibility for their behavior. It is our experience that in most cases, the person is in control of their actions, and that they make deliberate choices about their abusive behavior. Often when people have been abused as children, they have made very different, more positive choices when they raise their own children. We believe any person can, at any point in time, choose to change and to behave respectfully towards others.