Mildred Muhmmad is one of my heroes. It takes real courage to continually speak out on these issues when it would be just as easy to retreat into private life. Mildred's ex-husband was JOHN ALLEN MUHAMMAD, better known to the general public as the D.C. Sniper. Notice how this abusive and paranoid man who had threatened to kill her STILL GOT VISITATION with their children, and used that visitation as a means to abduct them. As usual, authorities didn't take violence against women and children seriously until the public at large was threatened by this idiot. Then it's suddenly a REALLY BIG DEAL and action had to be taken.
Not mentioned here, is the continual support that John Muhammad received from fathers rights groups back in 2002, and how he became this FR poster boy for poor, oppressed daddies. For additional information, see these previous posts.
September 9, 2010
Speaker talks about breaking the cycle of violence
By Meghan McCormick
The Norman Transcript The Norman Transcript Thu Sep 09, 2010, 01:54 AM CDT
NORMAN — Domestic violence doesn’t discriminate.
“It can happen to anyone at anytime,” Mildred Muhammad told a crowd Wednesday morning at the Partnership Conference on Domestic/Sexual Violence and Stalking.
Muhammad was the featured speaker at this year’s conference. The forum opened Wednesday at the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. It concludes today.
Muhammad said she suffered years of emotional abuse from her ex-husband John Allen Muhammad. He was later known as the D.C. Sniper, who terrorized the region with random shootings in fall 2002.
John Muhammad was convicted in the attacks and sentenced to death. He was executed in November 2009.
Muhammad said she was married for 12 years. The couple had three children.
At the beginning of the marriage, John was “happy and jovial,” Muhammad said.
“He was the go-to man,” she said.
That all changed when military orders sent him to the Middle East for combat in Desert Storm.
“When he got back, he was the man that sat in the corner,” she said.
The family moved to Tacoma, Wash., and ran an automobile repair service. She said John Muhammad’s personality changed more.
“He began questioning everything and putting me down,” she said.
Muhammad said domestic violence comes in all shapes and sizes. Religion, race, color and creed don’t matter.
She said one day she decided to ask her husband for a divorce. He questioned why she wanted to end their marriage.
“That’s when it started,” she said.
Muhammad said her ex-husband once told her that he saw her as his enemy. He even threatened to kill her.
Muhammad took his threats serious. She filed for a restraining order against him.
She recalled sitting in a lobby waiting to fill out the necessary paperwork for the court order.
“I tried to figure out how did we get here,” Muhammad said.
The judge agreed with Muhammad that her ex-husband was a danger to her safety.
“They gave me a lifetime restraining order,” she said.
She and John Muhammad worked out a visitation schedule for their children to spend time with their father. Then one day, John Muhammad didn’t bring the children home.
“Five o’clock came. There was no John,” she said.
Muhammad said John Muhammad emptied their bank accounts and took off with their kids.
“I had no money,” she said.
After spending nearly two months searching for her children, Muhammad was hospitalized after becoming ill. During her hospital visit, she received a call from her former husband.
“I knew he was going to find a way to kill me,” she said. “ I couldn’t get anyone to believe me.”
Muhammad said when she was discharged from the hospital, she moved into a shelter for domestic abuse victims. She continued to search for her children and find a way to get custody of them.
In September 2001, Muhammad received a call that her children had been found. It had been 18 months since she last saw her kids’ faces. At a hearing on Sept. 4, 2001, a judge granted Muhammad custody of all three children.
About a year later, the shootings began in the Washington D.C. area. Muhammad still feared for her safety.
“Now I have a sniper to worry about,” Muhammad recalled thinking.
On Oct. 23, 2002, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives knocked on Muhammad’s door. They wanted to know the last time she saw her ex-husband.
“My hands began sweating immediately,” she said.
Muhammad told agents she hadn’t seen John Muhammad since the custody hearing held a year earlier. Investigators explained she was the target of the shootings.
Muhammad and her children were placed into protective custody. When word got out that John Muhammad was the D.C. sniper suspect, media swarmed Muhammad’s house.
It’s been almost 10 months since John Muhammad was executed. Muhammad said her two oldest children attend college. Her youngest child lives with her.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson spoke briefly before Muhammad addressed the crowd. Edmondson said domestic violence diminishes society.
“It perpetuates a cycle of violence,” he said.
Edmondson commended the audience for attending the conference. He said violence will grow unless someone takes action.
“We need to break that cycle,” Edmondson said.
The conference is sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office, CASA, the Catholic Archdiocese, the Criminal Justice Resource Center, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Health, the District Attorneys Council, the Oklahoma Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (OCADVSA), the Regional Community Policy Institute and the Oklahoma U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Meghan McCormick 366-3539 firstname.lastname@example.org