In the past five years, over 650 people with disabilities have been murdered by their parents, relatives or caregivers.
On Tuesday, March 1st, the disability community will gather across the nation to remember these 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.
In January 2022, we released our updated Anti-Filicide Toolkit resource. This 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.
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 the toolkit in its entirety here, or download individual sections below.
- Foreword: Killing Words by Zoe Gross
- What is filicide?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Filicide
- How do we talk about this?
- How can we prevent this?
- What do I do if this happens in my community?
- How to Hold a Virtual Vigil: Site Coordinator’s Guidebook
- How to Hold an In-Person Vigil: Site Coordinator’s Guidebook