EUCAP Project on Violence against autistic people in Europe

Project funded by:

This project intends to map autistic people’s experiences of violence throughout Europe. 

This project will develop a survey to gather data on different types of violence against autistic people (to be launched soon), condut a literature review, develop factsheets and a report on the subject. The aim is to organize and make available information on violence against autistic people, in particular on violence against autistic women and girls (see project announcement post).

We hope that the results will provide useful information for autistic people’s organisations and communities, policymakers and legislators, as well as reporting and victim’s support services to prevent and improve support of autistic victims of violence.

We will also open A story beyond violence: collection of writings, so autistic people who wish to write their stories on this subject can reach wider audiences. We have funding to pay ten writers, chosen by the Project Team. We will also accept contributions offered for free. If you are interested in sharing your story, send it to sara.rocha@eucap.eu with the title “A story beyond violence” (until the end of January).

All material sent to us will be handled confidentially, following our data security and privacy policy, and published anonymously unless the author requests otherwise.

EUCAP will use the results to improve the capacity of its members to advocate on the theme, and to increase general awareness of the types of violence being perpetrated against autistic people.

Survey results to be published at a EUCAP webinar on International Women’s Day, 8th of March

Questions or comments?

You can contact the survey team by sending an email to sara.rocha@eucap.eu

Frequently asked questions

You may also find an answer to your question in the FAQ at the end of this page.

See our 16 Days of Activism awareness campaign on violence against autistic people 

Trigger warning for mentions of violence

Sexual and Physical violence 

Domestic Violence

War in Ukraine

Survey

Other languages will be published. You can answer the English version for any country, if you are comfortable with the language.

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Ελληνικά

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can I contact to ask a question about the survey? 

For any matters relating to the survey, please email the EUCAP Project Team on sara.rocha@eucap.eu.

This is a heavy subject and can be triggering to share about it, what if I feel distressed?

The subject that we are asking autistic people to report on is incredibly sensitive and can be triggering in several ways. You are advise to stop if you start feeling stressed or triggered by anything you shared. You can save your progress and answers and get back later when you feel better. We will make it available, at the end of the survey, a list of services by country where you can find support, being on specific types of violence or just emotional support.

Why is the survey only for diagnosed or self-identified autistic people and not for everyone?

A core aim of EUCAP (an umbrella organisation for autistic-led organisations) is to promote the welfare of autistic people in Europe. EUCAP seeks to do this primarily through direct engagement and participation of autistic people in the spirit of “nothing about us, without us”. Therefore, in order to guide future efforts of EUCAP about interventions and supports, we are focussing on understanding the views of autistic people. More about EUCAP can be found at About EUCAP.

This is also a matter of resources. This survey is conducted by autistic people working as unpaid volunteers. While we consider the views of non-autistic family members and professionals important, there are other organisations that have better resources to conduct broader surveys involving these groups.

Is this project only directed to autistic women and girls?

Although this project was developed for the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the full project, including the written stories request and survey, are inclusive of every gender. The results will be disaggregated by gender. You can still participate independently of the gender you identify with.

When will the survey responses be reported on, and what can we expect after the survey has been completed?

The preliminary survey findings will be presented at the EUCAP webinar on International Women’s Day on 8 March.

The survey runs until the end of February, and the responses will then be analysed and reported by the Project Team. We estimate that the final report will be available by the end of April 2023. See also next question.

Some autistic people will put a lot of effort into completing the survey. How do we know that this is not just another survey?

The EUCAP Survey Team acknowledges the emotional labour and toll that completing surveys can take, especially when they are on topics that are controversial or can be triggering.

After the survey closes, the Project Team will record and analyse all responses and report on results. It is hoped that the results as such will provide new and useful information for autistic people’s organisations and communities, policy makers and legislators, as well as educators, therapists, disability service providers and clinicians who work with autistic people.

Nevertheless, we recognise that in some ways this may be ‘just another survey’. We cannot guarantee widespread participation or any specific advocacy result that our work might bring about. The more people who respond, the more likely the survey is to provide useful information for autistic advocates and organisations, and have some real-life impact.

EUCAP commits to summarising the results and providing them to autistic-led organisations in such a form that they can use them in their advocacy.

This survey does not appear to have scientific validity. Do you not know or care about this?

This survey is not intended to be a scientific study. EUCAP does not have resources to do such research. The purpose of the survey is to understand more fully the landscape, the views of our members and other autistic groups and individuals, to the extent possible within the limits of our current resources. This will support our work and that of our member organisations as Non-Governmental Organisations, and hopefully inspire future scientific studies on this topic.

How can this survey be representative, when it excludes autistic people who have higher support needs by excluding the voices of their parents and carers?

There are no limitations on responding with communication support or with the help of supported decision-making, which some autistic people may require to complete their responses. We take it as self-evident that anyone with such needs is welcome to respond.

There are studies that report differences on perspectives of violence between the autistic people and their parents or carers (Hartmann et al.,2019). We want to ensure that we focus on the perspective of autistic people to not create bias reports.

Some autistic people are also parents, carers or family members of autistic people with higher support needs, and we expect to receive some responses from them.

Respondent views will probably not be entirely representative of the various populations participating, and we will acknowledge this limitation when reporting results. We do not claim this to be a scientific study.