CEPAMA petitions for plan to protect autistic people in Spain

Following the murder of an 18-year-old autistic singer in Madrid last July, the Spanish organisation CEPAMA (Comité para la Promocion y apoyo de las Niñas y Mujeres Autistas) launched a petition, calling for the Ministry of Health and public authorities to make a plan to promote the recognition and visibility of autistic people. CEPAMA listed several recent acts of harassment and violent crime targeting autistic people, illustrating their vulnerable position in Spanish society. In just one month, the petition was signed over 85,000 times.

EUCAP requests support for the petition from autistic people’s organisations in other countries. Please contact us if your organisation is interested in adding its name to a public letter of endorsement addressed to the Spanish Minister of Health.

Link to the petition (in Spanish)

Translation below

No More Aggression against Autists

The Committee for Support and Advancement of Autistic Girls and Women started this Petition addressed to Carolina Darias, Minister of Health of Spain.

On July 14, Isaac was murdered from behind while walking down a street in Madrid, that same day, in Pontedeume, a minor was abused on a public street, beaten and recorded exposing the abuse on social networks, in January of this year In Barcelona, a group of assailants beat a 16-year-old boy who they robbed, also recording the attack to broadcast it on social media. In May, Jimmy had to watch how his mother was attacked for defending him in an amusement park in Madrid; Since then he cannot sleep, and he suffers from nightmares and panic attacks. Víctor does not want to return to the beach of Torrevieja since the 16th of July when a group of people harassed him for being accompanied by his assistance dog.

What do Isaac, Jimmy, Víctor, and the two minors from Pontedeume and Barcelona have in common? They are all autistic. All of them were harassed, persecuted and attacked for being different from the majority. Isaac paid with his life, but hundreds of autistic people of all ages suffer from bullying, abuse and violence throughout their lives. We cannot look the other way.

We need public authorities to act and ensure the free exercise of fundamental rights for all their citizens, whatever their condition. We ask you to promote a Comprehensive Plan for the Recognition and Visibility of the autism spectrum in which autistic people shall play a leading role so that they can train and inform all social groups about their capabilities and the value of their diversity. Starting from classrooms, in the workplace, in health care agencies, in areas of protection and citizen security, as well as in courts, it is necessary that all professionals know the autistic condition and know how to attend to, protect and support this large minority that in our country is made up of more than 500 thousand people of all ages. Please sign and share the petition.