Domestic Violence Awareness Month event scheduled
October 25, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- "Don't turn your back on Domestic Violence!" is this year's theme for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The Family Advocacy Program will host its annual domestic violence awareness event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Friday at the Solomon Center.
The guest speaker is Mildred Muhammad, former wife of the D.C. Sniper, John Allen Muhammad, and author of the book, "Scared Silent." Muhammad will talk about her experiences with domestic abuse. Her former husband was executed for killing 10 people in the Washington area in 2002. The sniper attacks were an attempt to make a planned subsequent killing of her appear like a random act of violence.
"We will be giving out copies of her book, pamphlets and (will be) wearing purple to raise awareness," said Shenitha Shiver, FAP victim advocate.
FAP victim advocates assist abuse victims in numerous ways, including finding emergency shelters and helping with legal protection.
"Our top priority is the safety of the victim; and the victim can be a spouse or Soldier," said Kamala Henley, FAP victim advocate.
Shiver said abuse can be prevented by thinking outside the box and looking past the textbook profile of the typical abuser.
"The D.C. Sniper had the profile of a serial killer and not the profile of an abuser," Shiver said. "He committed those crimes to get to (Mildred) and this is not usually heard of in the domestic violence realm. Normally, if (abusers) do harm to someone it's those people who are in direct contact with the victim, such as family members so I want to bring light to the fact that there is no typical abuser."
According to a recent study by the Violence Policy Center in Washington, South Carolina ranked second in the nation in 2010 for the number of women murdered by men.
"Victims of domestic violence have a right to live violence free," Henley said.
Henley said victims should not feel as though the abuse is their fault.
"There is hope. There are people like us who can help," she said.