Public Awareness

Love Without Fear Week

A BRIEF HERSTORY

Love Without Fear Sunday originated at the Abused Women's Resource Closet in Bismarck (now the Abused Adult Resource Center) in July, 1979. Bonnie Palecek, who was director of the AWRC at that time, came up with the idea in response to many questions about "What women really want" out of relationships in a positive sense, and questions about why women stay in abusive relationships.

Fear is obviously a major weapon of control in unhealthy and violent relationships. The Scripture's answer to what defines a model partnership is: "In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love." I John 4:18.

In 1980, the commemoration was moved to Valentine’s Day. Love Without Fear Sunday evolved into Love Without Fear Week, and activities tend to focus on churches but also include fundraisers, volunteer recognition, and memorial vigils. A number of recipients of a "Love Without Fear" award have been named, and local domestic violence agencies have used the opportunity to give their own awards in their local communities.

The intent of Love Without Fear Week is to keep attention focused not only on the pain and loss inherent in families torn by violence, but also to focus on the ultimate goal of "love without fear" in intimate relationships everywhere.