WASHINGTON - Mildred Muhammad is an award winning speaker and author who is also the ex-wife of convicted, and now executed, D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad.
Since the 2002 killing spree that left ten dead at the hands of Muhammad, and his teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo, Mildred has written several books sharing her story of domestic violence and abuse at his hands.
"Document, document, document," Mildred said when speaking with FOX 5's Allison Seymour. She said you don't have to have physical scars to build a case against your abuser. She says it's important to note dates and times of when incidents happened and to get statements from witnesses when possible.
She said after Muhammad's killing spree she worked with her children so that they could come to terms with what their father had done. "It was trying to get them to understand and accept what their dad had done to destroy other families," she said. It was also important for them to accept how they were feeling.
Even after the abuse stops, Mildred says cutting the tie to the abuse is what allows the victim to move on. "It isn't until they sever that tie that they're able to focus more on what they needed to instead of how the abuser looks at them or feels about what they're doing."
Mildred said she suffered from victim blaming after the sniper-style killings. "If I would have stayed with him he just would have killed me," she said she was told by others. "If I would have stayed on the west coast the people on the east coast would still be alive," she said she was told. She was also told that she was not a victim since she was not hurt or killed in the attacks. She said her friends disappeared and that parents been refusing to let their children play with her children.
Today, Mildred says she has completely healed from the pain her ex-husband caused. Among other things she has become a spokesperson on issues of domestic violence and a domestic abuse and violence awareness advocate.
Her book, I'm Still Standing: D.C. Sniper's Ex-Wife and Her Courageous Struggle for Community, was published this year.
Find out more about her and her work online: http://www.mildredmuhammad.com/