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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

2016 Day of Mourning Vigils

Source: ASAN

In December of 2015, 71-year-old Antonio Tucci was beaten to death by his nephew. A month earlier, 5-year old Helious Griffith and 6-year old Dustin Hicks were both murdered by their mothers.

In the year since our last vigil, our community has lost at least seventy more victims.

In the past five years, over one hundred and eighty people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents.

ASAN Logo - Autistic Self Advocacy NetworkTuesday, 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.

We see the same pattern repeating over and over again. 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 are 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.

But it doesn’t have to.

Here’s what you can do in your own community to help spread awareness of these tragedies – and help stop more from happening.

  1. Read and share the Anti-Filicide Toolkit

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThis toolkit is intended to provide advocates and allies with concrete tools and resources to use in their own communities, including in response to local incidents. The toolkit includes information about how to understand and respond to filicide, frequently asked questions about filicide, and a guidebook for Day of Mourning vigil site coordinators.

  1. Sign up to be a Day of Mourning vigil site coordinator

For the last five years, ASAN, ADAPT, AAPD, 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 the lives lost to filicide, bring awareness to these tragedies, and demand justice and equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities.

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, ASAN, NCIL, and the wider disability community will be holding vigils to mourn the lives of those we’ve lost and bringing awareness to this horrific trend of violence against our community. NCIL encourages Centers for Independent Living nationwide to participate in this important effort.

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