MEDIA RELEASE: White Flower Memorial: Remembering People with Disability Who Have Died as a Result of Violence, Abuse or Neglect

On 25 November 2015, the Australian Cross Disability Alliance (ACDA) is acknowledging International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by supporting a White Flower Memorial to remember people with disability who have died as a result of violence, abuse or neglect.

The Memorial specifically recognises that women with disability experience higher levels of all forms of violence than the general population.

People with Disability Australia (PWDA) has been coordinating the month-long White Flower social media campaign which culminates in a procession and memorial service in Sydney on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The White Flower Memorial event remembers women, men and children with disability who have died as a result of violence, abuse and neglect.

Since 1788 an uncounted number of people with disability in Australia have died at the hands of others in institutions, places of confinement and at the hands of families and authorities. They are uncounted but they are not forgotten.

The White Flower Memorial is an initiative of disability rights activists, including Board members of PWDA.

Suzy Keene, Director PWDA said: “We will collectively shine a spotlight on murder, violence, neglect and other practices which devalue the lives of us all. We assert the right to life and dignity of the person and the right to live free from violence and abuse under Articles 10 and 16 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,”

“The White Flower Memorial gives acknowledgment, remembrance and thanks for the lives of people with disability who have died at the hands of others in institutions, places of confinement and at the hands of families and authorities,”

“Some were never given the dignity of a funeral or even their own memorial and countless lie forgotten in the grounds of institutions that have faded from memory. Domestic and institutional violence, neglect and murder devalues the lives of people with disability not only in the past but continues to do so even today. We have the right to life and dignity. We shall remember those who have been erased from history, who remain nameless and unmourned,” said Ms Keene.

The White Flower Procession and Memorial Service will take place on November 25 2015. A procession will leave Circular Quay at 4:30 pm and proceed to the Memorial service at Macquarie Place Park, which begins at 5 pm.

Ms Keene said: “Flowers are poignant reminders of the impermanence of life – their structures are diverse, they are dependent on a suitable environment in which to thrive and show their beauty, and then they are gone. The colour white is a symbol of purity, of mourning, even celebration. It is fitting that we remember those that history would have us forget with white flowers so that their beauty shines as we remember them.”

Memorial Service Event details
5.00pm
Wednesday 25 November 2015
Macquarie Place Park
Crn Bridge and Loftus Streets, Sydney 2000
The procession to Macquarie Place Park will leave Circular Quay at 4.30pm

Google maps link: https://www.google.com.au/maps/place/Macquarie+Place+Park/@-33.8632845,151.2077823,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x6b12ae4208a828d3:0xf017d68f9f1f190

MEDIA CONTACT
People with Disability Australia
pwd@pwd.org.au
+61 (02)9370 3100

Social media
Twitter: https://twitter.com/whiteflowerday
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteFlowerMemorial/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf
#WhiteFlowerMemorial

White Flower Blog
https://whiteflowermemorial.wordpress.com/

Websites
UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women http://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/
PWDA http://www.pwd.org.au
ACDA http://crossdisabilityalliance.org.au