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DC Sniper ex-wife offers free, online domestic violence talk

Domestic Violence expert Mildred Muhammed
Domestic Violence expert Mildred Muhammed

When the DC Sniper attacks terrorized that city in 2002, few knew that the shooter was a domestic abuser, looking to kill his ex-wife and get custody of their children. The sniper’s ex-wife, Mildred Muhammed, survived her husband John’s attempts to kill her, and went on to become an expert in domestic violence, an author, and a speaker on the topic. Her mission is to educate people and dash the many misunderstandings that exist about domestic abuse. Especially when the abuse is emotional and verbal but not physical.

"Eighty percent of victims do not have physical scars to prove that they are victims," Muhammed said. "Up to 75 percent of those victims who try to leave an abusive relationship are hurt or killed. Many people believe that it is a woman’s choice to be a victim of domestic violence. Which is why we have ten times more shelters for animals in this country than we do for women who are trying to flee."

Muhammed says if you know someone in an abusive situation, first: believe them. Take them to lunch, ask what you can do to help, and above all, listen to them.

"Victims of domestic violence want to leave an abusive relationship. But they just don’t know how."

If you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotlineat 1-800-799-7233.

Muhammed will speak at a free online event presented by Florida Gulf Coast University and Abuse Counseling and Treatment, Tuesday October 12 at 7 PM.

Register for the event here.

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