NRV Disability Resource Center hosts Disability Day of Mourning

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Each year, approximately 130 people with disabilities are murdered by their caregivers in the United States.


According to autisticadvocacy.org, 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.”

On March 1, New River Valley Disability Resource Center (NRV DRC), located at 53 West Main St, Suite A, Christiansburg, will hold a vigil on location to memorialize these disabled individuals who have been murdered by their families and caregivers. Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), headquartered in Washington, D.C., co-hosts the day of mourning, focuses on filicide, the term used to describe the murder of a child or relative by parents or caregivers.

“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,” according to ASAN. “On March 1st, we will come together again.”

The Christiansburg vigil will begin at 1p.m. with a reading of names at 2 p.m. The public can “feel free to stop by and grab literature about how to advocate against filicide and to learn more about NRV DRC’s services,” said Tiffany J. Allison Community Advocate for the NRV Disability Resource Center. “NRV DRC also welcomes families who have been affected by suicide due to a disability, sexual orientation, or hate crime.”

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.

“We see the same pattern repeating over and over again,” reads information from ASAN. “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.”

Anyone who would like to sign up to be a speaker and share his or her story is asked to please email advocate@nrvdrc.org or call 540-266-1435 to schedule a time. Refreshments and snacks will be provided to those in attendance.
NRV DRC serves the New River Valley, which consists of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski counties and the city of Radford. “NRV DRC is focused on helping people with all types of disabilities,” according to its mission statement. For more information on direct services, visit their website at www.nrvdrc.org or call 540-266-1435. Visit autisticadvocacy.org for more information on filicide.