Members of the Rochester disability community are joining with people in over 30 cities across the country in the Fifth Annual National Day of Mourning to acknowledge and mourn the growing numbers of murders of people with disabilities by family caregivers.
The 2017 Day of Mourning Memorial will be held on March 1 at 1:00 p.m. at the Center for Disability Rights on 497 State Street in Rochester.
Fortunately, we are not aware of any such homicides in Rochester. We are inviting you to be proactive, get out ahead of this issue, and to help us educate our community by attending this event and encouraging people you know to attend.
In the year since our 2016 vigil, our community has lost at least a hundred more victims.
These acts are horrific enough on their own. However, 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 victim 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 four years, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, ADAPT, Not Dead Yet, National Council on Independent Living, Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, and other national disability rights organizations have come together to mourn those losses, bring awareness to these tragedies, and call for equal protection under the law for all people with disabilities.
Public is encouraged and welcome to attend!
You can view a PDF version of the flyer here: Day of Mourning, March 1, 2017.