Disability Day of Mourning Vigil in Toronto: March 1

On March 1, 2018, A4A will be hosting Toronto’s Disability Day of Mourning Vigil.

Date: March 1, 2018
Time: 3:00pm-5:00 pm
Location: Ryerson Campus, Oakham House (1st floor)
63 Gould Street, Toronto

Background: The Disability Day of Mourning is in honour of disabled people who were murdered by their parents or caregivers. It was founded in 2012 by Zoe Gross of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network and now happens in cities and towns across the world. This is the first year a vigil will be held in Toronto.

About the event: Following a brief introduction, members will be reading the names of victims, followed by a moment of silence. Information about the issues and how to get involved will also be available onsite.

Why it’s so important: Our lives have as much value as any other. Yet the murderers of autistic and/or disabled people are routinely given lighter sentences by the criminal justice system. Lighter sentences not only dishonour the dead, they also encourage more abuse and more murders. In fact, research shows that lighter sentences lead to copycat crimes.

Media portrayals of these murders as “mercy killings” or reports that empathize with the murderer or blame autism for their acts create a chilling environment where violence is seen as justified. Parents and other caregivers often justify their abuse by blaming autism or another disability: blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator.

There is only one victim in a filicide: the child. All murderers should be held equally accountable for their actions.

On March 1, we honour the memory of our disabled and autistic family who were murdered. They should be here with us and we mourn them deeply. As we grieve, we also fight for judicial reform, true equality for the disabled and justice, in their name.

If you would like to volunteer at the event or want more information/seek an interview, please contact us. Thanks.