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Archive for February 6th, 2014

 

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 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 2014, two more disabled people were lost in murder-suicides at the hands of their parents: Damien Veraghen, age nine, and Vincent Phan, age twenty four.

 

These acts are horrific enough on their own. But they exist in the context of a larger pattern. A parent kills their disabled child. The media portrays these murders as justifiable and inevitable due to the “burden” of having a disabled person in the family. If the parent stands trial, they are given sympathy and  comparatively lighter sentences, if they are sentenced at all. The victims is disregarded, blamed for their own murder at the hands of the person they should have been able to trust the most, and ultimately forgotten. And then the cycle repeats.

 

For the last three years, ASAN, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, the National Council on Independent Living, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and other disability rights organizations have come together to mourn those losses, bring awareness to these tragedies, and demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities. On March 1st, we will come together again, and we ask you to join us. So far, twenty three volunteers have signed up to serve as site coordinators for vigils across the country. 

 

Current vigil sites:

 

Chico, CA
Theresa Beale, theresabbeale1117@yahoo.com

 

San Diego, CA
Andrew Raymond, bolthead@ix.netcom.com

 

San Francisco, CA
Rob Gross, rgross@esoftltd.com

 

Irvine, CA
Yvette Whitmer, yvettewhitmer@gmail.com 

 

Whittier, CA
Vicky Mesa, vickymouse22@hotmail.com

 

Chicago, IL
Carrie Kaufman, CKaufman@accessliving.org

 

Medford, MA
Rachel Silverman, gingi@pobox.com

 

Baltimore, MD
Amanda Mills, muchbrighter2@gmail.com

 

Towson, MD
Rhonda Greenhaw, rgreenhaw@towson.edu

 

Battle Creek, MI
Lewis Harrison, harrison.lewis@rocketmail.com

 

Houghton, MI
Caroline Maye, cnmaye@mtu.edu

 

Lansing, MI
Nathan Brown, victorianoddities@yahoo.com

 

Minneapolis, MN
Claire Sisson, petkeeper1978@msn.com

 

Kansas City, MO
Teigan Hockman, asan.kansascity@gmail.com

 

St. Peters, MO
Emily Malabey, emilyjmalabey@gmail.com

 

Lincoln, NE 
Sharon DaVanport, sdavanport@gmail.com

 

Lindenwold, NJ
Destinee Coleman, your.devine.destinee@gmail.com 

 

Woodbridge, NJ
Evelyn Delgado, joyzee_devil@yahoo.com

 

Phelps, NY
Colleen Peno, checkersmydog@yahoo.com

 

Poughkipsee, NY
Cara Liebowitz, caraliebowitz@gmail.com

 

Rochester, NY
Diane Coleman, dcoleman@notdeadyet.org

 

Seattle, WA
Matt Young, indigowombat@yahoo.com

 

Peterborough, Ontario 
Leah Andrews, landrews@nexicom.net

 

Sign up here to hold a vigil in your local community. ASAN will provide a toolkit and information on how to organize a vigil in your local community to all volunteers.