There has been plenty of research regarding the unfavourable effects of institutionalisaiton on individuals and the necessity of deinistitutionalisation. But, the discourse seems to stop once women with intellectual disabilities live in the community. It seems as if it is considered to be enough just to relocate people from institutions or institution-like settings in which they were subject to different forms of violence for long periods of time, into the community. However, for many of them, this is only where another struggle starts.
In the first phases, this research will be carried out in the Netherlands which has an extensive legal and policy framework related to people with disabilities that clearly establishes an approach intended to foster active, independent living for this population, and to ensure its inclusion in the social fabric of the country. However, the experience of this group of people often does not live up to the promise of these policies. The specific situation of people with intellectual disabilities needs to be a focus for continued Government concern. People with intellectual disabilities continue to be placed in institutional care facilities, and the number of such placements is actually increasing, albeit more slowly than previously. In addition, given that the Netherlands only ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in January 2016, it will be important to explore if this will be of any influence to the development of policies for persons with intellectual disabilities.
The immediate outcome of this research will be an analysis of the causes and consequences of violence in this specific situation, giving voice to these women, telling their stories and giving recommendations which will be practicable and will hopefully map out the road for policy makers to improve their situation. Inclusion Europe will continue to report about the progress of this project in its media and also establish a website of the project at www.life-after-violence.eu