Framing Apeldoorn

200,000 people in The Netherlands experience domestic violence each year. And 16,000 women will end up in a shelter, trying to start over.

Lately there has been an increasing focus on work as part of women’s new lives. Policy emphasizes participation and social activation. The assumption is that work will enable women to be independent. But is independence the goal? Or is interdependence? Or some other outcome?

Over 3 months, we’re working with about 20 women living in a shelter in Apeldoorn to understand everyday life, redefine outcomes, and develop a set of concrete scenarios for what could be different. Across all areas of the women’s lives. From their mental & physical health, to their housing, to their interactions with immigration and the tax office.

We have not gone into the project focussed on one particular problem, or service, or policy system. This gives us the openness to look, listen, and learn from the women – and really develop bottom-up ideas.

We’re now looking for partners to help us make the scenarios real.