Fear IS NOT Love. Take a minute and let that sink in. This powerful message is the new face of Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. The domestic violence resources and services provider officially announced the evolution of its name and brand to FearIsNotLove last month.

This change was largely driven by the fact that the former name wasn’t an accurate representation of what the organization is or does.

Photo via FearIsNotLove

“FearIsNotLove more fully represents the importance and impact of the true work that we do. It draws a clear line in the sand, that we hope will help many more people identify domestic violence and abuse and reach out for help,” says Kim Ruse, CEO, FearIsNotLove. “Our new name, will help us to continue to grow as an organization, reach and help more Calgarians who need our services, and work towards a world where domestic violence no longer exists,”  she adds. 

In addition to the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, the organization has a long list of core offerings. This includes Connect Domestic Violence and Abuse Helpline, Men’s Helpline, Community Services Counselling Program, Child, Youth & Family Program, Healthy Relationships Program, Men’s Counselling Service, Court Program and Take A Stand Initiative.

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And our recent chat with the FearIsNotLove folks revealed that we have a lot to learn about their cause. For starters, they busted five of the most popular myths about domestic abuse. And the reality is heart-wrenching.

Take a look—

Myth #1

Abuse doesn’t happen in nice neighbourhoods.


As much as we’d love to believe that we live in a nice neighbourhood where domestic abuse does not exist, it isn’t true. Abuse can happen anywhere, in any neighbourhood. And sadly enough, it can happen to anyone– across all cultures, income levels, educational backgrounds, and ages.

Myth #2

Abuse only happens in male-female relationships.


As was pointed out to us earlier, abuse can happen to anyone. It is not limited to a male-female relationship. Instead, it can happen in all kinds of intimate relationships, including LGBTQ+ relationships.

Myth #3

Men are the perpetrators.


Since abuse can happen in more than just male-female relationships, it’s obvious that men are not always the perpetrators. Sure, most perpetrators of violence and abuse are male and most victims are female, but people of any gender can be victims or perpetrators.


If they haven’t hit you, it can’t be that bad.


We often look for physical signs of abuse. But there are many forms of abuse in addition to physical violence. This includes emotional, verbal, financial, spiritual, cultural and sexual abuse. And as is anybody’s guess, each form of abuse leads to suffering and harm.

Myth #5

Victims of abuse should just leave.


That might seem like the obvious solution for someone in a safe and healthy environment. But leaving an abusive relationship can be very difficult. And in many cases, even dangerous. People who use abuse can also continue to try to control their partners with threats and intimidation.

While these were the most common myths, there is a lot more to learn. And FearIsNotLove is putting in exceptional efforts to raise that awareness.

“No matter a person’s age, relationship status, gender, or any other identifier, we encourage everyone to respond to FearIsNotLove’s invitation. Join our movement for change and help us change the conversation about domestic violence and abuse,” concludes Ruse.

Check out their website to learn more about the organization and to join the movement!