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February 2014



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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.