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This Saturday, March 1st, the disability community will gather across the nation to remember disabled victims of filicide–disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers.

 

In recent years, we’ve seen a horrifying trend: parents and caregivers-those we should be able to trust most-are committing murder against disabled people under their power. There have been over forty such murders and murder-suicides that we know of in the last five years alone. The media portrays these murders as justifiable due to the “burden” of having a disabled person in the family. The murderers are then given sympathy and comparatively lighter sentences, and the victims are unfairly disregarded. For the last three years, ASAN, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living and other disability rights organizations are coming together to mourn those losses, bring awareness to these tragedies, and demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities.

 

This past year has been particularly tragic, as several prominent murder cases have occurred in our community. Just last month, on December 15th, the body of eight-year-old Randall Barrow was discovered in Alabama. His mother had drowned him and later killed herself. Only days later in Pennsylvania, 52 year-old Mickey Liposchok was found shot to death by his father in a murder-suicide. In both gruesome cases, the victims had a developmental disability.

 

Join the disability community and ASAN on March 1st to mourn the lives of those we’ve lost and bringing awareness to this horrific trend of violence against our community. If you’re interested in leading a vigil in your area, please e-mail Julia Bascom, Director of Programs at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, at jbascom@autisticadvocacy.org. ASAN will provide a toolkit and information on how to organize a vigil in your local community to all volunteers.



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