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.
Tuesday, 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.
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 at local vigils across the country 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.
You can download our Anti-Filicide Toolkit resource, including a Guidebook for Vigil Site Coordinators here.