Donna Alexander had a vision of a safe space where people could release anger and stress as a way to curb the violence in her native Chicago.
Instead, it was the 36-year-old peace advocate who met a violent end, with police saying Alexander’s ex-boyfriend killed her in a fit of rage. As MSN reported, Alexander opened something called the “Anger Room” in Dallas a decade ago, a place where patrons could smash household objects in an effort get out all of their stress. As the report noted, she even got a bit of national attention when the Anger Room was featured on Real Housewives of Dallas.
Police say Alexander was murdered by 34-year-old Nathaniel Mitchell, her on-again off-again boyfriend, who had taken her to the hospital in September with serious injuries. Doctors said his story about how she was injured after falling in the shower didn’t sound right, noting that it appeared she suffered blunt force trauma. He was charged with murder when Donna died a few days later.
Family members mourning Alexander’s death said the murder was particularly tragic given her life’s mission to help people find safe and creative ways to let out their anger so they wouldn’t hurt others.
“Donna’s thing was, instead of people hurting people, why not let it out on objects so a life isn’t lost, to keep people out of jail?” her sister, Lauren Armour, told the Chicago Tribune. “A therapeutic way to get the anger from inside of them and help to relieve stress.”
As the report noted, Donna Alexander came up with the idea for the Anger Room when she was a young adult living in the Dallas area, letting her friends break household items in her garage for $5. She saw it as a safe outlet to release anger so that people could steer away from violence.
Alexander was able to bring a traveling version of the Anger Room back to her native Chicago in 2015, and spoke about the therapeutic effect and importance of finding a safe outlet for people who have past traumas.
“You may have people coming in for relationship issues or family issues — we’ve had tragic issues,” Alexander told CBS Chicago at the time.
Alexander’s death has attracted national headlines, especially as it coincided with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Donna Alexander, a Dallas entrepreneur and domestic violence advocate, was beaten to death by her on-again-off-again boyfriend Nathaniel Mitchell. https://t.co/Uo0kdjSwSN
— MadameNoire (@MadameNoire) October 2, 2018
Donna Alexander had plans to open another Anger Room in Kentucky at the time she was murdered, MSN reported.