Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] A Human Rights Issue-Custodial Justice.
Video from the The Sixth Annual Battered Mothers Custody
Conference: Albany New York 2009
(the DC sniper- Wife and Family Survives)
Courageous Kids Carly Singer FL - and Selene Muhammad
About Mildred Muhammad
Mildred Muhammad is a domestic violence survivor with a story to tell the world.
Many know her first and foremost by her former husband, John Allen Muhammad – the convicted DC sniper who terrorized the Washington DC metro region in late 2002. However, many are not aware that the reasons for the horrific attacks on innocent women, children and men in the DC Metro area, originated from John Allen Muhammad’s stalking and the control tactics he used on Mildred, his former wife, whom he sought to find and kill before, during and after the divorce.
After almost five years of silence, Mildred speaks openly about her day-to-day experiences as a survivor of domestic violence and how it affected her three children.
It is not just "a" story – it is "one of the many" stories built on the experiences of domestic violence and the depths of its terror. After her children were kidnapped and having to face her daily reality of living without them, she began the silent struggle of looking for them, knowing that if she exposed herself, John Allen Muhammad would locate her and kill her. She was determined in her struggle to get through those 18 months of not knowing where her children were by filing the necessary legal documents "pro se" and being prepared for the time she would gain full custody of them. She never gave up hope! After they were found and the judge awarded the children to her, she fled from her former husband and moved to Maryland with her children. She was terrified during the horrific sniper shootings while looking for John and the sniper! After finding out that John and the sniper were the same person, she was subpoenaed to be present at court proceedings during the trials, and last but not least, began re-gaining her strength to start a non-profit organization.
Keeping her promise within herself to help other survivors and with her own personal funds, Mildred began After The Trauma, Inc., as the Founder/Executive Director. She is striving to enlighten more people that you don’t have to have physical scars to be a victim/survivor of domestic violence while working with victims/survivors that come to the organization for assistance. She speaks publicly as a means to get the information out to the public on ways to help survivors after their domestic violence experiences. She is not only speaking to survivors directly, but helps them through their individual situations. She is always available for those who need her most, because she understands, first hand what it feels like to be a victim and a survivor fo domestic violence. She publishes and archives a monthly newsletter on the organization’s website and sends it to those on the organization’s mailing list.
"Sometimes it is just not enough to hear the words that someone truly understands the situation and is asking you to “hold” or “wait” – this is the powerful difference in knowing first hand what needs to be offered to domestic violence survivor from a domestic violence survivor,” says Mildred Muhammad.
After The Trauma, non-profit's mission is to provide assistance to domestic violence survivors. Through nine programs from mentoring and education to transportation - After The Trauma creates a way to help survivors face their next day, and an even greater need to rebuild their lives.
"Our primary objective is creating a place to house their growing needs. I believe we can make a difference to these women and their children. It starts one day at a time …the tragic stories would alarm anyone … but I understand, because I’ve lived through it… and I want to help the survivors through it,” says Muhammad.
Most importantly, she has three teenagers that remind her everyday that the promises of God are true!
Carolyn Washington, Executive Director of Sisters 4 Sisters, Inc., awarded her with the 2008 Circle of Grace Honors Award for her work in domestic violence
Cindy Dyer, Director, Office on Violence Against Women honored her with a Special Commendation for her extraordinary contribution to the prevention of domestic violence and in appreciation for her committment to the mission of the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice
Roslyn Bacon, Executive Director of Jonah Village, Inc, in Brooklyn, NY, honored her with the 2008 Shirley Chisholm Woman of Courage Award
Chuck Paris of No Jurisdictional Boundaries honored her and After The Trauma, Inc, with the Leadership Courage Award
She was interviewed on Good Morning America with Charlie Gibson, appeared on BET and other TV interviews. She has also been interviewed by interent blog radio, various newspapers, internet blogs and magazines, to include the Washington Post and Newsweek. She has spoken on various syndicated radio shows. CNN has aired the documentary titled, “The Minds of the Sniper”. She was interviewed by Soledad O’Brien for the documentary. TruTV has aired the documentary “The DC Sniper’s Wife” by award winning film producer Barbara Kopple’. Both documentaries re-air in different locations at different times of the year.
She is a consultant with the Office for Victims of Crime and is a board member of different domestic violence organizations. She has become a "National Spokesperson" for domestic violence and has been honored as being the keynote speaker, telling her story for several conferences regarding domestic violence. She shares her 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.
She is currently writing her book, ‘Scared Silent’, which will be released October 2009 by Simon and Schuster. She has also written a working journal, ‘A Survivor’s Journal’ specifically for victims and survivors to help with those anxieties that others may not understand which is available on the organization’s website. The responses from those who have ordered the journal have been overwhelming.