Disability Community Day of Mourning

In the past five years, over 550 people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents.

Every year on March 1st, the disability community gathers 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.

Since 2012, ASAN 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.

Click here to sign up to be a 2023 Day of Mourning Vigil Site Coordinator.

Anti-Filicide Toolkit
Do not hold an in-person vigil unless it is safe to do so. In this year’s toolkit you can find instructions for organizing a virtual vigil as well as an in-person one. If your area has low rates of COVID-19 per capita and high vaccination rates, as well as low community transmission, you may be able to hold an in-person vigil. Given the lower chance of transmission outdoors, you may be able to hold a vigil outside, while observing necessary precautions (masks, six feet apart, etc). Please look at current rates, consult your local government and look at news sources to determine if it is safe. If you are unsure, it is safest to hold a virtual vigil.

You can download our Anti-Filicide Toolkit resource, including a Guidebook for Vigil Site Coordinators here.

We’ve also launched Disability-Memorial.org, a memorial to the people with disabilities who were victims of filicide. Active cataloging of cases started in mid-2014; the site contains cases from 1980 to the present.