Annual Disability Day of Mourning

Quoted from the Advocacy Monitor:

"March 1 will serve as the Annual Day of Mourning for the disability community. This annual tradition is a day set aside for our community and our allies to honor the memories of those who have been murdered at the hands of the people closest to us – family members and caregivers. This Saturday, March 1, we will gather in cities across the nation in order to seek justice for these crimes and prevent them from occurring again.

In the past five years, over forty people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents. In the year since our last vigil, our community has lost at least ten more victims. In January of this year alone, two more people with disabilities were lost in murder-suicides at the hands of their parents: Damien Veraghen, age nine, and Vincent Phan, age twenty four.

In a horrifying trend, parents and caregivers, those whom one should be able to trust most, are committing murder against people with disabilities in their care. In the media, these murders are being labeled justifiable due to the “burden” of the person’s care. The murderers are then given sympathy, and the victims are unfairly disregarded. The disability community is coming together to mourn those losses and bring awareness to these tragedies."

In addition to a virtual vigil that is available for anyone to participate in, numerous organizations, including the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and various disability rights organizations are hosting events for this day as well. A list of participating sites can be found on the ASAN website.