INDEPENDENT NEWS

No Excusing the Murder of Autistics!

Published: Fri 10 Feb 2017 09:49 AM
NO EXCUSING THE MURDER OF AUTISTICS!
Ruby Knox, a young autistic woman, was murdered last year by Donella Knox, her own mother, and recently her supporters have been asking for Donella’s early release on ‘compassionate’ grounds.
The Autistic Collective however, feel that the central issue being lost sight of here is that a young woman was murdered, and her murder is being justified because she was autistic.
When a disabled person is murdered, much sympathy is all too often expressed for the murderer, while the victim is seen as ‘better off dead’. In no other case of murder is this so.
This sends the message that our lives are somehow worth less than others, and that our deaths are to be regarded as ‘mercy killings’. That we might have difficulties, even severe ones, and yet still find life worth living, never seems to occur to others.
And these killings are, unfortunately, not as uncommon as the judge in this case seems to think – certainly not ‘once in a lifetime’.
We autistics struggle with life, as do those with other disabilities, but we do not ‘make’ our caregivers kill us – they make that choice of their own accord. Crisis is not an excuse for murder.
We in the autistic and disabled communities are however in agreement with Donella Knox’s supporters on one thing – there needs to be more services, and far more and better training for those delivering services to those with disabilities. This is especially true with autistics, as our needs often differ even from other disabled, due to our neurology.
The position of the Autistic Collective is that there should be far more support available, so that we are not forced to stay with family members or other caregivers when the relationship turns toxic, or when they have threatened violence towards us.

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