“My biggest fear is that I will be put back into an institution” – ETR

“My biggest fear is that I will be put back into an institution”

Click on a word which is in bold to read what it means.

Easy-to-read logo
Violence against women

Women with intellectual disabilities
tell their stories about violence in institutions

It is very hard to talk about
violence against women.
It is hard because the women think
that no one will believe them.

It is even harder for women
with intellectual disabilities
who live in institutions.

In institutions it is hard to find
people you can talk to.

European Parliament logo

Inclusion Europe wrote a report on this topic.
We talked about it
at the European Parliament.

This report is about the stories
of women with intellectual disabilities
who experienced violence in institutions.

In this report the women
tell their own stories
in their own words.


At the European Parliament
two important politicians listened
to the women’s stories.

One important thing written in the report
is sometime no one sees violence happening.

Shut up

Mirjam is a self-advocate.
Mirjam gave examples
of violence that is hard to see:

  • When you need to take pills
    even if you do not want them,
  • When you are told to shut up,
  • When you do not have the chance
    to make decisions for yourself.

This type of violence does not leave marks on your body.
So it is hard to explain what happened
and get help.
So people just try to help themselves.

  • People try to help themselves in different ways.
    For example:They do not do things that can hurt them.
  • They do not tell anyone how they feel.
  • They get angry all the time.
  • They sleep all the time.
Mirjam Picture

All these things are signs
that they are not happy
and need help.

Even when women have left the institutions,
they cannot forget the bad things
that happened to them.

Mirjam says that her biggest fear
is to go back to an institution.
Sometimes Mirjam feels good about something.
But then she is afraid that someone will come
and take that good feeling away from her.

The report also talks about
how to make the situation better
for women with intellectual disabilities.

Independent living

For example:

Cover ETR report

Many people with intellectual disabilities
still live in institutions.

This is why the institutions also need a plan

to fight against violence.
People with intellectual disabilities
should say if the plan works.

If you want to read the report in easy-to-read,
click here.

Juultje Picture

Julia is a woman who left an institution

and is now happy.
If you want to read her story,
click here.

Juultje wrote the report
on violence against women
with intellectual disabilities.
If you want to read an interview with Juultie,
click here.

Elisabeta-Moldovan picture

Elisabeta is a self-advocate
who once lived in an institution.
If you want to read an interview with Elisabeta,
click here.

If you want to read Elisabeta’s story
about violence in institutions,
click here.

Cátia picture

Catia spoke about violence
against women with disabilities
in the European Parliament.
If you want to read an interview with Catia,
click here.