Caught In a Web of Victimization

' People don't take the term seriously-- 'I'm going to kill you.' So many victims and survivors believe the man is going to kill them when he says it. Nobody believes he was going to kill me. That was the most frustrating period of my life. '


After the sniper shootings, Mildred acknowledged she was shocked that her ex-husband killed other people while attempting to find her, and she acknowledges, "I was always looking for John." Mildred is aware that, oftentimes, the true meaning of words is not perceived realistically and she says, "People don't take the term seriously-- 'I'm going to kill you.' So many victims and survivors believe the man is going to kill them when he says it. Nobody believes he was going to kill me. That was the most frustrating period of my life. I wholeheartedly believe it was because I didn't have physical marks to prove he could do something of this magnitude."

Mildred wants others to understand that victimization is not merely centered on violence with imprints of physical marks and bodily harm. She says, "The first line of domestic violence is verbal." She understands the trauma that resulted in her life and recognizes how similar situations can affect others. Her goal, Mildred says, is "to have a system in place to enable the survivor to be a viable member of society. Action should be taken before it becomes physical."

Consequently, Mildred has developed a support system for survivors of domestic violence enabling them to reestablish their lives through services that include education, business and employment programs, financial services, clothing, housing, transportation, counseling, substance abuse intervention, and support systems. Her outreach efforts are for individuals who may not meet specific criteria to receive assistance through existing programs.

"My focus is on the survivors because based upon my own experience after the trial and TV cameras going away, I still have to try to make a living out of the ashes of my life. "Just because I walk into a police department with no marks doesn't mean I'm not a victim."

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