NEW REPORT: Loneliness and Cruelty
Loneliness and Cruelty: people with learning disabilities and their experiences of harassment, abuse and related crime in the community
"I welcome Lemos&Crane’s report Loneliness and Cruelty. It is a lucid, jargon-free account of ordinary lives disrupted by heartless exploitation and cruelty. It reminds us of the importance of ensuring that people with learning disabilities have informal as well as professional support within neighbourhoods and communities – and how important friends, families and neighbours are in keeping people safe. We shall certainly reflect the report’s findings in our approach to CQC’s inspections going forward.”
Dame Jo Williams, Chair of the Care Quality Commission
Lemos&Crane’s report Loneliness and Cruelty is a groundbreaking study based on in-depth interviews by frontline practitioners across the country. The report shows that people with learning disabilities living independently in the community experience a disturbing range of harassment, abuse and related crime with alarming frequency. The perpetrators in the main are local people, neighbours, often young people and schoolchildren. Incidents happen when people are out and about in the community, but also in and around their homes. Above all, these incidents are straightforward cruelty. The loneliness of some people with learning disabilities – one in four people interviewed for the research said they didn’t have any friends – is putting them at particular risk, leaving them with little choice but to visit hostile public spaces and spend time with exploitative and cruel people.
The report was researched and published by Lemos&Crane working with the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities and with support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
Organisations involved in the research include Cheshire Constabulary, Chesterfield Law Centre, Choice Support, Community Integrated Care, Essex Police, Grapevine Coventry and Warwickshire, KeyRing, Lincolnshire Learning Disability Partnership Board, Liverpool Mutual Homes, Metropolitan Support Trust, Michael Batt Foundation, Norfolk County Council, Outward, Salvation Army, Southampton City Council, Southern Housing Group and Waverley Borough Council. A reference group including people with learning disabilities also played a major part in the research.