By Gary Johnson, Founder/Publisher – Black Men In America.com
Mildred D. Muhammad is the ex-wife of John Allen Muhammad – the convicted and recently executed DC sniper who terrorized the Washington DC metropolitan area in late 2002. After several years of silence, Mildred decided to speak openly about her day-to-day experiences as a survivor of domestic violence and how it affected her three children.
I had seen Mildred’s interviews on CNN and FOX News. Some of the questions appeared to be anything but “fair and balanced” and the interviews were short. There wasn’t enough time for Mildred to adequately address the questions.
I decided to reach out to Mildred to give her an opportunity to tell her story uninterrupted.
Mildred agreed to an unscripted and unrehearsed interview. I assigned this task to Janice Wilson and off we went to tape the interview at Mildred’s office a few weeks ago (December 2009). We divided the interview into six parts. Part One of the interview is listed below.
As you watch and listen to Mildred’s story you will learn that Mildred did not seek the limelight. She was thrust into the spotlight because her former husband was John Allen Muhammad. Mildred new book, “Scared Silent,” details her her day-to-day experiences as a survivor of domestic violence and how it affected her three children. A lot has been said about Mildred and why she wrote this book. Mildred has dedicated her life to helping survivors of domestic violence and abuse. I believe in telling her story, she is doing the work of others. Don’t take my word for it, watch and listen for yourself.
Mildred Muhammad and Janice Wilson
Mildred has agreed to write a monthly column on surviving domestic violence and abuse. You can read her column and buy her book on the main web site at www.blackmeninamerica.com/abuse.htm.
Any thoughts about Mildred and her story? Click on the links below to watch Janice Wilson’s exclusive six part interview with Mildred Muhammad.
I am Mildred Muhammad. I am the Executive Director of After The Trauma. A non-profit organization established, based upon my own experience, to assist survivors of domestic violence.
I am a consultant with the Office for Victims of Crime and a board member of different domestic violence organizations. I have become a national spokesperson for domestic violence and I have been and continue to be honored as being the keynote speaker, telling my story for several conferences, workshops and seminars regarding domestic violence.
I share my expertise on what it’s like being a victim and a survivor of domestic violence without physical scars to victims and survivors of domestic violence, advocates, law enforcements, therapists, counselors, mental health providers, medical health providers, various universities and many others. I have participated in training law enforcements regarding victims of domestic violence without physical scars. I have received many awards, recognitions and certificates regarding my work in assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence. I have written a book titled, “Scared Silent“ which details my emotionally abusive relationship.
You see, my ex husband was the convicted and now executed sniper of the DC metropolitan area, John Allen Muhammad. Although most believe, based on what the media reported, that the random shootings were about two African American men going around shooting innocent people for financial gain and control of this area. That is not the truth.
Unfortunately, the random shootings were a cover to hide my murder. John was to come in as the grieving father to get custody of our children. It was a domestic violence/custody issue. Others outside of the DC area know this to be factual because this case originated in Washington State. Others say that my children and I were not victims. However, we were the first victims and because we weren’t physically injured or killed, we are looked upon as causing the problem and bringing trouble to this side of the country.
Since there are many definitions for domestic violence, it is difficult to know if you are in an abusive relationship. So, let’s start there.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive, controlling behaviors that some individuals use to control their intimate partners. Domestic violence is any type of violence, abuse or threat of violence that one partner in a relationship commits against another. It includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological, stalking, economic and verbal abuse.
Examples are punches, kicks, slaps, hits shoves, forcing partner to perform degrading tasks, using degrading remarks, sexual assault, rape, secretly following you around and other tactics used to establish power and control over a partner. Domestic Violence can occur in any relationship, married or unmarried, homosexual and heterosexual. Now domestic violence is considered an offense if the person who is being abused is dating the ex of a prior relationship.
You see, you either are a victim, a survivor or know someone who is or was either. This is how badly it has become in our society and yet it is only publicize when the victim is physically mutilated, physically abused or death has occurred. No one considers the victim is in danger if NO physical scars are present. Domestic violence does not discriminate. It doesn’t matter what religion, race, gender, financial or educational status, man, woman, child or elderly. Domestic violence affects us all either directly or indirectly.
Statistics say that “every 9 to 15 seconds a woman is abused”. It is unfortunate when we hear or see this, we automatically think a physical assault has occurred. I am striving to shift the thinking of society. When you begin to hear statistics from others, instead of thinking of the number ’9′ or ’15′ and someone being hit…think of ‘number 1′ and what has occurred.
It began as a verbal assault. Someone said a hurtful remark and now emotions are out of control! Soon, yelling begins, name calling, the effort to destroy the others’ character and then…a physical assault. Most times, a physical assault is not the result. However, with such anger, hurtful comments are made that one cannot take back. Once anger subsides, “I’m sorry” is hard to accept because out of anger, the truth was told. We have to learn to talk to each other more effectively when a disappointment or a frustration occurs. Proper communication is one way to alter the path of a domestic dispute.
I want to personally thank Gary Johnson for this opportunity to expand my work in assisting victims and survivors of domestic violence. This monthly article will be published through Black Men In America.com and their effort to heighten awareness regarding domestic abuse/violence. This article will focus on abuse regarding the victim, survivor, abuser, children and the elderly.
I hope you will continue to visit the site and read the articles. It is my hope and prayer that the information provided will assist those who need it and act as a resource to those who know someone in an abusive relationship.
If you find that you need assistance, you may e-mail me directly at Mildred@afterthetrauma.org. I will respond as soon as I receive your message. I will assist you as best I can. Please remember…YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Take good care of yourself,