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February 2014



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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.

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