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Archive for February 28th, 2014

candles

 

 

This Saturday, March 1, is the 2014 Day of Mourning – a day when the disability community around the country will gather to mourn and cherish the memories of those we have lost to senselessness violence at the hands of those closest to us, to bring awareness to this ongoing tragedy, and to demand equal rights, protection and justice for all citizens.

 

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 alone, 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. Tomorrow, we will come together again, and we ask you to join us.

 

Current vigil sites and contact information can be found on the ASAN website.

 

Sacramento, CA
Shyanna Mendes, asansacramento@gmail.com

 

San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Brent White, brent@alacosta-acat.com
Rob Gross, rgross@esoftltd.com

 

Fort Myers, FL
Suzanne Fast, sfeaal@yahoo.com

 

Atlanta, GA
R. Larkin Taylor-Parker, larkin92@comcast.net

 

Chicago, IL
Carrie Kaufman, CKaufman@accessliving.org

 

Boston, MA
Andrew De Carlo, ardecarlo@gmail.com

 

Baltimore, MD
Amanda Mills, muchbrighter2@gmail.com

 

Towson, MD
Rhonda Greenhaw, rjgwood@gmail.com

 

Houghton, MI
Caroline Maye, cnmaye@mtu.edu

 

Missoula, MT
Mike Beers, mbeers@summitilc.org

 

Robbinsville, NC
Carol Sutton, mountain_crafter@msn.com

 

Lincoln, NE
Sharon DaVanport, sdavanport@gmail.com

 

Woodbridge, NJ
Evelyn Delgado, joyzee_devil@yahoo.com

 

Reno, NV
Brianna Hammon, csdlibrary@gmail.com

 

New City, NY
Jason Ross, jason_s_ross@yahoo.com

 

New York City, NY
Cara Liebowitz, caraliebowitz@gmail.com

 

Rochester, NY
Diane Coleman, dcoleman@notdeadyet.org

 

Syracuse, NY
Alex Umstead, aumstead@syr.edu

 

Eugene, OR
Amber Perry, asperamber@gmail.com

 

Portland, OR
Theresa Soto, tisoto@gmail.com

 

Pittsburgh, PA
Lauren Stuparitz, lestuparitz@gmail.com

 

Seattle, WA
Matt Young, indigowombat@yahoo.com

 

Washington, DC
Melissa Mooney, mmooney6@masonlive.gmu.edu

 

Halifax, Nova Scotia 
Leah Andrews, landrews@nexicom.net

 

Virtual vigil, for those unable to attend a local vigil.