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November 1st, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Our Ninth Season: Ending the Silence

silence1Here we are, ready to begin our ninth season, and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this could very well be the most exciting, inspirational, and absolutely most important season we’ve ever undertaken. Seriously, if you were in our offices right now, you would feel the surge of enthusiasm up and down the hallways as we get ready for what’s to come. We are launching two new groundbreaking series that I know you are going to find riveting. And, you’ll get your first look at them this coming week on our debut shows.

First, I want to talk about what you’re going to see on Monday’s show. We’re beginning a powerful and very dramatic season-long campaign against domestic violence. Every 15 seconds, a woman is abused in this country. At some point, one out of four women will fall victim to domestic violence. Those are shameful statistics, and little about the situation seems to be improving. Today, domestic violence remains one of the most under-reported phenomena in American society.

Well, that’s about to change. When we launched the Dr. Phil show, I told you that I wanted to deal with the silent epidemics in America, and I want to go after this particular epidemic in a very big way. In our series, which we are calling “End the Silence on Domestic Violence,” we will introduce you to women who tragically have spent years silently enduring this abuse. You’ll meet other women — mothers, sisters and daughters — who will talk about how they didn’t really understand what danger they were in until it was too late. And, we’ll also introduce you to women who have learned, in a very painful way, that deep, searing abuse isn’t always physical.

For the rest of the year, we’re placing this issue squarely in the center of our daily platform. We’re going to show women of all ages what to look for in an abusive situation, and we’re going to give them the tools to get out safely. We’re going to be working with schools to create curriculums so that young men in America know, without a shadow of a doubt, that domestic abuse is never OK — and that there are ways to resolve conflict without resorting to physical violence. And, we’re organizing a task force with U.S. Congresspersons and with state legislators: men and women who can create legislation that will empower women to stand up for themselves or give them alternatives to living in an abusive situation.

On top of that, we’re creating a special place on DrPhil.com where you can go for updates and information, and where you can sign up to join this campaign. I’m calling those of you who join us the Silence Breakers. There will be times that you will get an e-mail from me where I say, “Silence Breakers, it is time to make some noise.” It may be because a piece of legislation is coming up, or it may be because something is happening in the court system which calls for your response. That’s why I want you watching Monday, so that you will be with us at the very beginning, to help break the silence.

Sign the pledge to end domestic violence.

Print and sign this letter drafted by Congresswoman Gwen Moore and send to your Representative in support of the reauthorization of the Family Violence and Protection Services Act (FVPSA), which keeps domestic shelters open and provides advocacy, counseling and legal services for families in need.

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389 Responses to “Our Ninth Season: Ending the Silence”

  1. Danielle says:

    The really hard part about leaving Hubby who is abusive to me and the kids. I would only have child support to live on-I cant work due to disability, and have been denied for disability. The house and all utilities are in my name. I tried to get him to leave one night when he was very violent. He would not get out of my house. I left, When I came back he was still here. He won’t leave, and I have no where else to go. (Not to mention I would have to break my lease, and don’t have the money to pay it)

    Sad when I have told his family what he does, to me and to the kids, They just say ‘I don’t know what to tell you’-I pray every night when he leaves for work he is killed and never comes back. Even when you do tell people what goes on-no one does any thing about it. I expect to be killed in my sleep one night by him, at my funeral they will say ‘I never seen this coming’ Well I did and I tried to tell you.

    By the way he says he is not really choking you if you can spit out ‘I cant..’ ‘…breath.’

  2. Kendrick colston says:

    The Power of Forgiveness

    “Can we imagine what it would feel like to live without resentment? The anger? The harmful boundaries? Can we imagine how our relationships would respond? Would it dramatically change the nature of our conversations? Our arguments? Can we imagine the life strategy of living know for our future instead of our past? Can we imagine what life would feel like if we were able to be lifted beyond the hurt and pain of resentment”? Un-forgiveness kills (Bill Senyard2010)? I would like to share with you a short story about myself? when I was seventeen my step-farther shot and killed my beautiful mother with six children, I was the oldest child; me and my mother was very close. My mother was my best friend. After my step farther killed my mother I had become very hard and bitter towards him in my heart and soul. I couldn’t understand how someone could take a life that they did not create! My life was a total wreck after this horrific act towards my mother. I hated my step-farther, in the process of hating my step-farther I began to hate myself .I felt as if my life was self destructing right before my eyes. My soul was vexed and confused. I began to have night-mares and severe panic –attacks; my hart would pound and race, the palm of my hands would become hot and sweaty, my mouth would become parched from thirst .my thoughts wondered about if people were out to get me. My flesh was poisoned with disease. I had built up so much resentment in my heart and soul from un-forgiveness that it was making me sick; meanwhile, after being hospitalized I began to read the Holy Bible, God showed me healing threw his precious word! I would like to try to persuade Gods children on how important it is to be- able to forgive threw Gods Holy word. Not being able to forgive hurts us physically, mentally and spiritually. Un-forgiveness enables a person from having a full healthy life.

    First, I would like to talk about how un-forgiveness affected my body from a physical perspective. For years, I would act like nothing was going on with me; I would put up a front to hide my imperfections and emotions. I would always say that I had forgiven my step farther for killing my mother, but on the other hand, my actions would differ from the words that were coming from my mouth. At times, when I would become stressed my left leg would shake my shoulders would become tight from tension. I didn’t understand what was happening to me until one-day my mind and body began to shut down. I was rushed to the emergency room. While lying in the waiting area I began to talk the Lord; I begged the lord to give me insight about my life; what he was asking of me? I asked the lord to show me threw his word. My lord spoke to me with bible verses (Micah7:18, International version). “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy”. I believe that the lord was telling me in order to be free I would have to repent and ask Jesus to soften my heart and allow his love and joy to shine in me; so that I could forgive those who transgressed against me and with time Jesus would give me peace instead of anger love instead of war. Recent studies have shown harboring resent gives a person higher cortisol levels in their blood. Normally cortisol is good for our body but, too much causes harm to our body after extended period of time. Some of the symptoms it causes depression, fatigue, and even more serious problems such as physical break-down. ”Un-forgiveness kills (Bill Senyard2010).I was diagnosed With M.S in 2006.believe me I’m doing better know because I have learned how to forgive
    Linda Adebanjo, 35 Dallas, Texas A mother of six, she argued with her estranged husband outside her home. He killed her with a .38-cal. revolver.
    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,958158,00.html#ixzz1SpvmUutr .Kendrick Colston When is enough is enough when it comes down to domestic voilence in America!We sould’nt forget about the families thats dealing with this growing epidimic across America!!!!!!!

  3. Janie says:

    I want to comment of domestic violence. I was married 15 years to a abusive man. I had five children with him. His abuse was mostly mental. I was his possession. When he was upset he would yell, more like scream at me and the children. He also raped me numerous times. The worst was after I had a baby. He wanted sex and he took what he wanted. It was so painful. I come from a family of 7 children and I am the oldest. We practiced the Catholic religion. I was raised on the belief that when you married it was forever, even if was intolerable. Fortunately, he left me for a married woman. I was devastated, because I did not know what to do. I had 5 children to feed. I decided go go back to school, and also held down a job. I really did not know I was in an abusive relationship. To me it seemed normal. How very wrong I was. I did get into another abusive relationship. This man was even worse. He had a anger problem. So here I was walking on egg shells again. It ended when I finally had to put a restraining order against him. He actually hated my youngest daughter. He threatened to harm her, and that is when I lost it. I had a mental breakdown. I finally got into therapy, and am now realizing that what I thought was normal, was all wrong. I was diagnosed with ptsd and severe depression. I am now on disability and seeing a therapist every week. I have been in therapy for 2 years. It is hard to realize that every thing I believed was wrong. I hate what I put my children through. I apologized to each of them. They are grown now. I am proud of my kids. My oldest son is a RN, I have a daughter who is a teacher, my youngest son just received his masters degree. He works for the state welfare system, my second to the youngest daughter is a cna and my youngest daughter is a stay at home mom, she eventually wants to get a degree in nursing. It is sad that I am 53 years old and just finding out who I really am. I dealt with anger and sadness by suppressing everything. I never let my kids see me cry, when they were young. I survived by pretending I was someone else. I lived a life on neglect and abuse from the time I was a child. My mom had me when she was 14 and my dad was 17, children themselves. They had not idea how to raise a child. Both sides of the family, was completely against their marriage. I actually thought about suicide many times from the time I was 13. I now have 10 grandchildren, that I love with my whole being. They call me the fun grandma. I am also going back to school, training for medical transcription. Life is is better now.

  4. christina says:

    Barbara knight I hope n pray u get sum kind of help… I hope Dr Phil contacts u. I read yer story and just teared up.. Dr Phil plz help this woman.. You do so much good work. Thank-you for doin this on this topic. It’s very important to educate people of violence n abuse. I was in an abusive relationship many yrs ago, he use to beat me over the silliest things like making chicken instead of steak. Cuz he was worth more then chicken. Or he would beat me for taking a shower b4 him. While we dated he wasn’t like this at all. We moved in together. N my family disproved of that. They basically forced us to get married. After we got married the abuse started. He beat me every day. He forced sex every day. He beat my self esteem down so low be always told me no one will ever want me, I’m worthless, the list goes on. I stayed n dealt with it bcuz I started believing him. Well after awhile he stole my best friends checks, stole my dads gmas car n totaled it, he made me n my best friend drive him to this house which was an hour n half away all the time but was never aloud in. I lost my best friend, he stopped letting me see my family cuz I was trying to hint to my mom I was being beat. I’d tell her my back hurts will u look at it?? I had bruises all over my back. But she never did cuz he would always stop it b4 it happened. I finally left after my self esteem got so low I tried to commit suicide. That was my lowest point. After that I left him, called the police, he fled. Come to find out he had 7 diff I’D’s n ss#’s he was accused of sexual assault, he had kids I didn’t know existed, n married to someone else… Talk bout whoa.. I had no clue.. none.. I got back together with my family.. but still had anger n blame for them forcing me to marry cuz they didn’t approve me living with him. Now I am married to a wonderful guy.. been married almost 12 yrs n I have 2 beautiful kids. Good thing my hubby is so understanding.. cuz in the beginning I had so much trust issues, certain things would trigger memories.. n still today I have nightmares once in awhile, n when I see someone that looks like my ex I have instant panic attacks.. I have major anxiety since my ex. I won’t go places alone. It’s hard comin from an abusive relationship.. n I am so happy I left.. n very proud of those that do, it takes a lot of courage n strength. Those that are still in one, get out.. its for the best.. yer definitely not alone.. specially if u have kids involved.. u have to stand up for those kids.. they learn what they see.. remember that.. thank-you for everything u do Dr Phil.. much luv..

  5. Carrie Eppler says:

    My grandmother was in a very abusive relationship, which ended in tragedy 22 years ago. On April 22 1991 my grandfather shot her out of rage. she is a very lucky woman and survived the shooting. she is now 78 years old. but as a result of the shooting it has completly split our family. She has not spoken to her son since. We would all like to find and end to this family problem, but after so many years have gone by it’s so hard to start over. So if your in an abussive relationship not only do you suffer, but so does your family. My family is so torn from this incident. I would just love to be able to help her fully recover before she passes away. We just found out in May that she has stage 4 colon cancer. It’s her last wish to bring our families back together. Please if your being hurt by someone close to you do something about it, before it’s to late….

  6. Shaquana says:

    I grew up in an abusive home. I didn’t know it was abusive. I thought my Dad was just the best and the whole world revolved around him. And it did. It had to. My mother, I figured was just there…unimportant…I hated how she carried herself; how her shoulders drooped and how she would seem so slow to respond at times. I hated listening to them fighting. We used to lie in bed at night and hold the pillow over our heads so that we couldn’t hear them. And then the sound of him storming out and Mum crying quetly. When I was a teenager I would hold her in contempt…partly because she seemed ‘dull’ and lifeless and partly because she allowed him to speak to her in ways that were so hard to hear. “Shut up, no one wants to listen to you.” he’d say, and for a time we’d believe him. Then I got a little older and I just wished -he’d- shut up.

    As a young teenager I was molested and I couldn’t say anything at home. I didn’t want to be a bother; I knew Dad would be so angry, and there was already so much stress. I didn’t want to disappoint him so I kept quiet because my perpetrator was a teacher and my Dad seemed proud of my good grades. Then, I went to University and I learned some things.

    I learned that not everyone had a 14 year memory block…that people didn’t just habitually forget things almost as soon as they happened. I learned that not everyone had been force-fed as a child. I learned that not everyone had a mother who worked and handed their paycheck straight over to their husband…and then had to ’steal’ money to buy wool to make their children Christmas presents…or anything else for themselves no matter how small. I watched my mother die a slow death…from the inside out…from the spirt to the body…and not everyone had something inside their heads that cried out to their father the things they wanted to say but couldn’t.

    The men I picked to love, were as cold and controlling to me as my father had been to my mother. And I tried so hard to get them to love me…never understanding until too late that I was simply repeating the cycle. I played the ‘perfect’ wife/mother and was slow to understand that first I needed to love and respect myself before I could recognize, accept and truly give love in return.

    I was broken and it took many, many years of therapy to keep going. I’ve been on my own now for so long…raised 6 children on my own…every so many years trying again and ultimately failing…just got quicker at recognizing I’d made the same mistake and pulling back. This helped me to understand my mother a bit more…and to have far more compassion towards her than I ever did as a child. I learned to respect her a lot more too.

    The cycle of abuse is so painful; so debilitating for all concerned, and it robs us of so much. I’ve been on my own now, solidly for 6 years. I am too afraid to date again because abuse is all I’ve ever known and even though I realize there are ‘nice’ guys out there, I seem to be attracted to like…and ‘like’ in my case..means someone like my father was to my mother. I would sooner live alone so that my children have half a chance, than stay in an abusive relationship and condone such behavior.

    Domestic Abuse started to rob me from the cradle…then into my teens…and adulthood. It taught me a lot of coping skills that worked to keep me safe back then…but do everything to hold me back today. I have trust issues, self-esteem issues…and I’m working on those by myself.

    It is easy just to look at one set of numbers and say “this only affects so many, so lets put our finances to somewhere else, rather than a true and committed plan to end domestic violence. I mean, the woman ‘must like it/deserve it/want it…I mean she stays with him right?

    Domestic Abuse and poverty go hand in hand. Although not everyone who abuses has financial issues and not every victimn has financial issues…but those pay a huge part into it. And it is the children who are hurt. It is the children who can’t focus at school, can’t remember where they put their homework, can’t eat properly because their tummy hurts, or worry about their parents. It is the children who grow up and think this is ‘normal’ and even ‘good’ or ‘right’ or, sometimes, even acknowledge that it isn’t..yet still have trouble changing this. It is the children who grow up with issues that stem from family violence, but which also affect their performance in school….

    The ‘problem’ affects men too…males that grow up and exhibit learned behaviors…that can’t ‘connect’ to women who have a healthy sense of self…who have trouble holding down relationships because of repeating learned behavior. Family Violence…affects a lot of people; women, children, men… finances…earning capacity…welfare rates… so, so, SO much…and still a blind eye is turned. Reports are made, he’s carted off to jail..and then released the next day. Mothers afraid to leave because of the very real financial cost and the chance that -he- might get the kids; that they will be alone forever and ever.

    The cost of ignoring this issue is too, too high…far more expensive than dealing with it.

  7. Vicktoria says:

    Howdy ladies! I am one of your fellow domestic abuse victims. My situation is, I met a man when I had started a new and by the why I was so intensely and swiftly attracted to him, you’d think he was a magnet! We started hanging out almost everyday pretty much from day one, although I see it crystal clearly now, back then, I was totally clueless, he was so smooth about being able to mask his sinister melevolent sadism and make it look like harmless ignorant heckling and innocent impersonal venting. This criminal was a seasoned pro and he had his MO down pat! Once he knew he had this sucker hooked, he very slowly and gradually manipulated tmy thoughts and opions and how I viewed him. The first thing his plan called for was to get a picture painted in my mind of him that portrade him as a tough, but practical, genuine but firm manly man on the outside with a traumatized timid kind heart on the inside that had been cruley stepped on by an ex. Once he was playing my heart strings like a fiddle, her started morphing into an aloof, indiffernt hard ball, to act like he was pushing me away. That maniac me think he was pulling away, when actually, he was just trying to tight his control on me. His practices and procedures involved mental, emotional, sexual, and physical abouse. His sexual abuse method was to deny me sex, all the while demanding, and forcing occassionally, oral sex from me and then would go on for hours giving details about his ex girlfriends perfect breast, long sexy legs, perfectly tight vagina ect. and end it with how aweful all my stuff was. That is nothing less than evil hatred for his fellow man. But the main thing I wanted to mention and get some feed back on hopefully is this, I read many many of the postings on here and I was able to empathize with almost all stories, but there’s one thing I didn’t see at all, but it was a major factor in my past situation. My family, like some of you others, would say ‘why don’t you just leave him!! Just try to watch and make a plan and leave when he is gone?!!!” There was a very practical and legit reason I, at the time, felt I had, but noone else knew. He would say, while holding a confirmed loaded .44 mag SuperHawk 6 shot revolver to my head that if I ever left he would track me down, kill my siblings and thier kids, my parents, then he would make me watch as he brutally anally raped my 14 yr daughter and then kill her than bludgeon me and my youngest two daughters to death with a hammer to our heads. Have any of you stayed because you would be killed either way but atleast the rest of your family would be safe?

  8. Bob Hope III says:

    Hi Vicktoria,

    Your fears are real. Part of how you respond has to do with how helpful the police and DA’s office are in your area. Unfortunately, unless he has a long criminal record, many courts are still not in a place (position) where they are going to help you (put him in jail for the rest of his life). It is almost a though we need a special victims unit that can set up a sting for guys like this. Many courts throw up their hands and do nothing in situations where it is “He said, She said”. Do you have a way to document the threats? Recorders, video, …

    Try to find support. If it can be your family, great! But don’t let yourself become isolated. Try to come up with a safety plan. What are you going to do to keep yourself and family safe if he pulls a weapon out again?

  9. Jennifer Donatella says:

    Abusive childhood: neglected, abused, abandoned, molested
    Teenage years: Anger, ADHD, Bi-Polar, learning Disability, 10th grade education
    Adult: Ged, Jr in college for Business Administration, Autism Advocate, Bi-polar, ADHD, Learning Disability;
    Re: Disowned entire biological family, Advocate for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders for any family that seeks support free of charge, went through Cognitive Therapy to understand and gain perspect of own identity, to separate myself from abusers, and to become a functional/successful adult and mother.

    Dr. Phil,
    Sir, I have messaged the two Dr. Phil facebook groups, applied to become a member on Dr.Phil.com, and joined the Dr. Phil Bi-Polar group on your web page. On the web page, I filled out my profile and attempted to communicate on it, but, no one responds. I have messaged the show to be on the show even. I don’t know if the links that I have are factual, or if they are schemes that someone else created, because I have gotten not even a return message stating that there is neither nothing that the show can do to help nor that your interested in my story.

    My story is compelling in that I survived a horrific childhood. I refused to see myself as a victim and/or feel sorry for myself and wallow in pity. My biological mom and her Husband who was not my biological father abused us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Because of their adversive neglect, I was raped at the age of six on two separate occasions by two different boys in our neighborhood. Serveral occasions growing up, I was forced to be subjected to many different guys who would fondal, molest, and/or attemp to engage in sexual acts. Growing up, their were no parents. They were off doing drugs, playing bingo, and drinking. We were often times left to starve, fend for ourselves, or gather food to eat in the neighboring farmers fields, berries along the railroad tracks, or fish in the stream that ran behind our house. The river not only was a source of food, but also where we were forced to bath in during the summer because we never had heat or propane for hot water. Because our well being wasn’t considered, growing up, I would scrape my teeth with a steak nife because we were not important enough to have toothpaste or toothbrushes. All through my twenties, I have had my teeth filled in every year. However, since 2008, I have been on Disability from Bi-Polar being out of control. I had no extra money to have caps put on my teeth and now they are all broke off at the gums and rotting away because Medicaid will not pay to have them fixed and I cant get healthy to work to pay for them to get fixed on my own. Social Services were at our house repeadedly, my biological mothers husband was arrested for domestic abuse serveral times, and the school system and several others can and would validate the life that we were forced to endure as a child was nothing more then a nightmare that was a living hell rampaged by terror, threats of being murdered, and torement.

    I have strived and worked my rear off for every step I’ve made as an adult. I have never asked anyone for help, pitty, sorrow, or for an excuse. Sir, Im asking for your help because I no longer have the means to help myself. I believe with all my heart that I have a purpose, passion, and reason for being here. I nearly got through an entire college education on my own. I have whole heartedly listened and learned from every role model put in my path and afforded every ounce of effort and determiniation to become a better individual.
    I over came my past, humbly and humiliatingly forged forward to make a career in autism, and almost made it through colledge with no more then a tenth grade education, but, cant finish my degree because I capped out on financial aid and cant finish. My current delemia is that I have made so much progress, but, Bi-Polar had completely stopped me in my tracks. I have three special needs sons who are ages 12, 10, 8 and diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have been prescribed several medications, seen every available Dr. in my area who takes the medicaid card, and been to the clinics. Dr. Phil, I have Zero access to a specialists in Bi-Polar and its tearing apart every single thing that I worked tirelessly to achieve. And to have help fixing my teeth so that I can proudly and openly speak to families who have children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, attend the public tri county agency meetings, and once again be a grounded voice in my community for childrens rights, health, and Autism Awareness. I want to smile at my sons again, laugh because life is fun, and no longer be ashamed of myself because my appearance is not at all whats in my heart, mind, and ambition. Im intelligent, loving, hard working, abititious, talented at writing and public speaking, and a respected voice in the Local Autism Community. Sir, I would love to tell my story on your show. And, I am not asking for anyone to pay for the rest of my college. What I need is access to a team of specialist in the field of Bi-polar who can get me healthy and teach me how to stay healthy. I there after can pay my balance at Youngstown State because then I could work, and from that qualify to get a grant to finish my Business degree. Sir, my health has utterly disabled me from my career and from being a great mother to my sons.
    I’m hurt and ashamed, but recently, I lost their medicaid insurance, Social Security disability checks, and respite hours that my mother in law does. Since then, I have regained all three of these things, but, the last thing that I ever imagined was not being a mother to my children. I have no excuses either. My children are so important to me that our entire living arrangements soon are going to be changed. My sons and their father are going to move in with my mother in law. She has been a steady support to my children, financial help, and healthy structure that they need. I will be moving into an apartment, Im giving my finances over to my, “Mother not biological” and allowing for her to essentially become the authority over all my affairs. I will have my boys on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. For which all the visits and time spent will be overseen by my Mother who will help me keep the time spent structured, healthy, and in the best interests of my little boys. Dr. Phil, it tears my heart out that I have all the training, and education, and years of therapy, yet, I can’t be the mother that I need to be to my sons because my health and not knowing how to help myself has invaded any sense of living that I had. I deserve to be on your show because I care: I have a great attitude, Im willing to work for everything, and in every past opportunity of success, I succeeded. Im worth helping because I have worked tirelessly to help myself and I value and appreciate every single person who has gotten me to this point. Sir, I need intervention before I completely destroy every answered prayer, every ounce of love and time spent from my rolemodels, angels, and Mother. I promise that if you help me, I will not question you once and I will succeed! Im begging you Dr. Phil to take a chance at becoming another Angel in my life and answered prayer.

    Thank You Sir,

    Jennifer Donatella

  10. Jan Lunsford says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,
    For over 7 years now I have been trying to get help for my granddaughter. She is being abused and I believe a lot of it is because my son’s wife is abusing him and forcing him to abuse his daughter. I am very familiar with domestic abuse as I was a victim for years, my ex husband almost killed me several times until I had the courage to stand up to him or die. I prayed and prayed and met him at the door with a butcher knife. It was still a long struggle after I made him leave, there were many nights of terror. So bad that I actually had police officers spend the night in my home so that I could sleep and in hopes that they would catch him. My nightmare now is that my granddaughter is being abused and CPS, the sheriff’s office, no one will help me get help for her. She is now 10 years old and has a step father who sexually abuses her and a step mother who physically and emotionally abuses her and orders my son to beat her and he does. I am now a CASA volunteer and I can help other children but not my own granddaughter. I will write you a full letter explaining more, but I really do need some good answers. I will do whatever it takes to help this child. Thank you Dr. Phil for turning me on to CASA, it is my only outlet for my emotions toward child abuse. Jan Lunsford

  11. Mil S says:

    Dr. Phil, I would appreciate seeing a show which depicts how this kind of lifestyle effects children. As a child I lived with 5 siblings, an alcoholic father and a mother that in my eyes took the abuse and became a contributing factor through arguing for hours on end. There were times when she left, times when she was forced out by my father, and times when she took us with her. My father would drink anything, and he would more likely than not become a mad man and to make matters worst his brother would drink with him and add to the mix. The violence frightened us terribly. Being 55 years of age, it took most of my adult life to find someone to help heal my broken spirit and feelings of being unloveable. This followed the breakup of a 20 year marriage that made my life so sad and lonely I became a victim of my husband who has absolutley no feelings of love or affection for me. I reached out to a support worker who recognized I needed help desperately to continue living. I believe our childhood affected us kids in a negative way which manifested in our own alcoholic abuse, and personal struggles of being an adult capable of making wise life decisions. It sounds so simple, but the emotion and pain inside was a broken child inside of me.
    I have felt my mother’s sting from the beginning, as I cried out at night begging them to stop fighting. Now my mother and I are estranged, and she has underminded me with my siblings where three of them refuse to speak to me even though I was there for them, my home and heart were always open to them as well.

    I hope you include the effects of living with violence has on children.

  12. Dawn Horner says:

    Dr. Phil
    I want to be sure people understand there is more than physical abuse. As an adult survivor of severe childhood abuse I won’t allow physical abuse. With that being said I have been in mental and emotionally abusive situations. It isn’t something that comes on immediately but slowly. I have been in two relationships with men who have Borderline personality disorder. One lasting ten years who I have children with and the other lasted roughly three years. I just recently learned of BPD and when I asked he last boyfriend if had ever been diagnosed with any thing he told me he had Borderline personality disorder.
    So many of these abusers have serious mentally health issues, as well as the people in a relationship with them. It is something that needs to be addressed for the abuser as well as the victim(s). That includes the children.
    My abuser has moved on which is normal for his disorder, he now has a new victim who has only known him for a month and a half, she is moving several hundred miles to be with him. I feel sorry for her but she has been warned by several people already.
    Mental health issues are the one thing that seems to be ignored in these relationships.

  13. R. Burt says:

    Dr. Phil
    Please advocate to have the rules changed at human shelters to ensure that people may bring their pets too.
    Too many people stay in abusive relationships because they cannot leave their pets alone with an abuser.
    Even in Hurricane Katrina an artlice about Hurricane Gustov mentions that 44% of those who stayed in their homes during Hurricane Katrina stayed because of their pets.
    The evacuators would not evacuate the pets with their families and shelters would not receive the pets with their families. It was such an embarassing mess, that the world watched the USA go through that one year later President George Bush signed the Pet Evacuation Transportation Standards Act (PETS ACT).
    Apparently the shelters have not learned from the mistakes of the USA like the President did and most of the shelters remain “NO PETS ALLOWED”.
    This, I understand is due to people maybe being allegic to pets living there.
    Therefore the well people and pets are made to take the “pill” for the ill people instead of the ill people taking a “pill” in order to relieve them of their symptoms. This causes extreme problems to families and abused people, not only women, and their pets. Please do research on this process.
    I was asked to leave a shelter with my cat at night in a snow storm knowing only one person in the new town I had moved to. I could have died. Yet no one at the shelter was sick because I had a cat with me.
    It was because of “policy”!
    Again, please look into this.
    This has got to change!!
    Please help us pet lovers who may need sheltering, for whatever reason.

  14. Alison says:

    Dr Phil,
    Thank you so much for all of those you help in your work. I have learned a lot watching your show and believe that you are a godsend for many. I’ve always said that if there’s one thing, I hope, people can say about me after I’m gone, I hope they say, “Just knowing her enriched my life in some or way or another.” Dr Phil, I believe that any life you touch is enriched. You are a very educated and wise man and the world is a greater place because you are in it. Again, Thank you.
    We all have a story (or many) to tell. We all have a past and things in our lives that make us who we are today. I believe a lot of us are predisposed to fall victim to abusive men for one reason or another. I am probably no exception. I am a 38 yr old mother of three who’s been divorced for over 10 years. Most recently, I dated a 42 yr old man I met at a campground during summer vacation with my children. I had no idea when we met that I was about to embark on the most traumatic and life changing event of my life. For the next year and a half I was verbally, mentally, and physically abused by this man. It began slowly and escalated to the point that I jumped out of a car on the highway to get away alive. I cannot explain why I stayed with him all of that time. It was like I was sucked into a vicious cycle that I could not escape. I endured his rages and mental abuse, his spitting on me, for months before the physical abuse started, but once he started getting physically violent it escalated very fast. The abuse part of my story is probably like so many others we all hear about, in that I am no different than a lot of other women who’ve been in a domestic situation. I was forced to do sexual acts, I was beaten, I was isolated and made to feel helpless and worthless. I was held 300 miles from home against my will. I had no friends, no close family to turn to. I felt totally trapped. It took me almost losing my life and a bit of strategic forethought to get out of this situation. Today I am physically safe. He is in Jail for at least a yr because of the last abuse incident and there are still pending charges for aggravated violence + against me. I travel 600 miles round trip a couple times a month to sit in court all day to testify if needed. 4 trips so far and as court cases go, it’s continued over and over. I am a policemans daughter and thanks to the support of my dad I’ve had his help with transportation and support for court. Unfortunately, I find support in little else right now either. I find that unless I need shelter or help getting out safely there aren’t any other avenues for me to turn to. What do I do about this emotional place I find myself in? I don’t know where to turn. I still feel alone and trapped by the events of the last couple years. I am scared to death that when he gets out of jail, he will seek me out. I have a 3 yr restraining order but that isn’t going to mean much to him, I don’t believe. I am afraid that next time he may kill me. I am afraid to say this at the hearings because I feel he is very unstable mentally and I don’t want to put the idea in his head so it festers the whole time he’s in jail. I know i need some kind of counseling to get myself to a healthy place in mind and body. But I don’t know exactly where to turn. I am afraid to use certain avenues because I feel that he has manipulated the system to his advantage to hurt me in the past. I am afraid I’ll never be able to feel love again. Or a lot of other emotions. I cry a lot… I sleep a LOT… I have terrible nightmares and don’t get a lot of sleep anymore. My anxieties are through the roof and I haven’t left the house other than to the grocery store a couple times in the last few months. I am afraid I won’t be able to give any man a fair chance anymore. I’m only 38 but I feel like my life is at a standstill and I don’t know how to get back from this place that he led me. I am a mother, and a woman… How do I regan my confidence and my life….

    Please point me in the right direction Dr Phil…..

  15. tracy says:

    For the most part, Brian leaves me alone now because he got what he wanted all along- a son. He has robbed me of my treasure, my beloved Gabriel. I miss him so much it hurts. People ask me how he is doing and its all i can do not to cry. I mourn him as if he were dead but hes not; hes very much alive.
    5 years ago Brian took him from me. This was not the first time. I was so stupid this last time that it happened. I made another huge error in judgement. After divorcing Brian and winning full custody of Gabriel, I remarried. The marriage soured quickly, very quickly. I asked my husband, Luke, if we could move half- way between SilverPoint and Chattanooga because I missed my job and Chattanooga itself.( dummy here had agreed to move to his hometown) He said “” sure you have 30 days to get the hell out”. It was after all his place. I had no place to go and no choice but to sleep in the car. I did not want our son to go through that. We had been homeless enough( hats off to the one who wouldnt work and took the money I earned when I was actually able to keep a job). I felt as If I had no choice. My family was in SouthCarolina. I had no money to get there nor did I have anywhere to stay once I did arrive. There are so many other things I should have done or could have done. In a crunch, I asked Brian if he could take care of Gabriel for a week or two until I secured another residence. STUPID ugh!!! I got my old job back and was doing double shifts to get the needed money. Brian evaded me, etc etc- Next thing I know, he’s telling me that they were in SouthCarolina living with Mark. I saved up money and followed suit. Brian only allowed me to see Gabriel on his terms. His rules- as if that were anything new. He would not even so much allow me to be alone with our son for a few minutes. There was no such thing as a one on one conversation. The good part was I did get to see Gabriel every chance I got- minus the days Brian started in on me and I had to leave quickly or when he was just PO at the world (not an usual symptom for someone who is such a complete jerk). I learned to cope with the visits that I was given. Things changed dramatically last year.
    Gabriel had told his school counselor about the things he was seeing and experiencing at home and she immediately called Social Services. I was called up to the school. The SS worker would not let Gabriel go with my because Brian claimed that I had Multiple Personality Disorder and I was bipolar. SS agreed to let Gabriel stay with my brother. I was ordered to do a PSYCH EVAL and I volunteered myself for counseling and whatever else they wanted me to do. We are allowed Supervised Visits through my Brother. The next thing I know, Im getting a call from my brother saying that Brian went to the school and picked Gabriel up. SS said they could nothing about it! What is the purpose of a safety plan if you cant enforce it? HELLOOO?? 2 weeks later I recieve a letter from Brian’s attorney. Brian was suing me for custody. Brian had physical custody but I was the one that had LEGAL custody. In court I did get visitation 1 week on 1 week off until it could be determined who would get custody. Gabriel was under so much emotional stress that I backed off. Throughout all of this Gabriel will not talk to me, let me hug him-etc. He wants nothing to do with me. Gabriel’s counselor says that Gabriel is showing loyalty to his dad. If Gabriel connects with me then he is betraying his dad and not to mention will be constantly grilled by his father. 2 counselors have used the word BRAINWASHED.
    Its been MONTHS since I have seen Gabriel for more than a few minutes at a time. When I can, I go up to the school to have lunch with Gabriel. I know that he feels SAFE at school. He will let me sit beside him. Once he said ” I love you too mom” Music to my ears- I was on cloud 9 for the rest of the week. I no longer go to the school because no Brian knows about it and he will question Gabriel. I am currently fighting for at least visitation.
    When I was asked ” WHy didnt I just go pick Gabriel up when I moved back to southcarolina” my answer was BEcause I am afraid!!! I knew if he really wanted to hurt me, he could.
    Remember when I told you what Brian all along was a son? 3 days after I delivered our Baby, Brian said to me ” I have what I want, you can leave now”
    I miss my little boy so much!!!!!!!! It kills me to know that he has been hurt. I couldnt read the whole DSS report- which of coarse Gabriel denies saying any of it. I dont know how any of this is going to turn out. I miss my son and want to love him and protect him.
    Thank you for “listening”.

  16. Anne Brett says:

    When I watched the Dr Phil Show about the wife who was abusing her husband a solder who had served 2 tour’s of duty I was just so shocked to hear Dr Phil him.”you have your whole life to divorce her…give me 45 days to fix her”.I think it was so wrong I have great respect for Dr Phil, but if it were the other way around as I have watched Dr Phil on other tell other women who were in a situation like this but the husband had not hit the children which this poor mans wife has also done and even her mother in law has been hit by her. He told them to leave . Why not this man why should he and his children have to put up with any more abuse from her. This women I think is potentally capable of killing her husband or her children and she had an excuse for everything blame her past. The woman herself admited to being capable of killing someone in a rage yet he wants this man to stay with her and “protect the kids” the best protection the children can get is for their father to divorce their mother and have full custody of them ad get the hell out of there. Dr Phil I believe this is double standard I know how you stand up for people in demostic volience but this time I think you got it wrong. This women could turn on the tears when it suited her, even when you and the auddience thanked him for his service to your country she did’t even clap for him. It was all poor me she has no remorse and for her to say to him she hoped he would die an hour before he was due to go to war is just appauling. She sould be on her nees begging him to and her children to forgive her but no she say’s she want help, but when she was sent to anger managment by the courts she had excuses about why she could’t attend the classes even on your show she tried to justify why she missed the classes. If this women wanted help she would have attended every one of the classes. I think the only reason she went on the show was because she knows she is she is faceing a year in jail if she hits him again. For her to say to him he is not a man how wrong she is if women any where in the world had a husband likd this man they would count themselves so lucky . When and I believe this women will lash out again at either the children or her husban is the Dr Phil Show going to pay the medical bills for the next family member that ends up in hospital or worse still will it be a funeral abuse. Dr Phil the very least that you should have said today was for the children and her husband to be removed from the house or that she be removed from the home. Those children and her husband do not deserve to have to live one hour or a day in a situation with her not knowing when or if she is going to lash out. I know you say because she believe she had a hard life she has learned some of the behaviour well she is an adult now not a child. And another thing why did’t she show sign’s of the behaviour before she was married so it shows she is able to control her anger but she did’t want to she got off on hitting knowing he was too much of a man to hit back as he was raised well. She just loved the control of abusing him and her daughter’s . If one of her friends did’t say something she liked I bet she did’t hit them. I don’t think she will ever change she just want to play the victim .

  17. Ruth says:

    I am a long term domestic violence victim. Looking back, I believe I did the right thing by being silent and risking death on a daily basis. I homeschooled my daughter into Berkeley. Since I got my permanent restraining order, I have lost everything. Judges give us the orders and then give everything else to our husbands. This is why so many women are silent and why so many die after getting the order. My mother is now dead. Three of my dogs are dead. In granting my order, the judge crossed off my mom’s name, and my husband squatted in her house, starving her. Her back was destroyed by the time the police rescued her. My husband got to stay in her home until she got a restraining order throwing him out. When she died, we found evidence of the Internet bank thefts from my mom’s account, winding up in my husband’s private account. My mother died penniless and I had to beg for funds to bury her, though she had saved so much that was taken. Though the police recommended prosecution, the matter involving one of his beatings of me was dropped by the D.A.’s office. You see, three public officials have lost their jobs in OC (CA) as a result of what happened in my case and one of them was the D.A.’s fiance. So he won’t prosecute my husband. Instead, he fired a deputy D.A. whom he was afraid had discovered the public corruption. My husband was also in politics, having run for Congress. Some people are above the law. In Orange County, the real problem is a family law court system gone insane. That’s why I’m planning a rally in front of the courthouse. The worst part is that I’ve talked to other women who have had similar experiences. It seems my case is a little too close to the norm. Check out the recording my daughter made of a typical reaction from my husband to my requesting a co-pay to see a doctor. When I play this for other women, it reminds them of their own situation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZobHXLL4mLk

  18. Melissa says:

    Dear Doctor Phil

    I first want to say thank you for the support to end domestic violence. I am hoping that this message reaches you because I need your help. I lost my best friend Amanda in 2009 to domestic violence. We have continued to honor Amanda by forming a committee and raising money to help others who are in Amanda’s situation as well as helping educate young men and women to prevent this violence from occuring. I would really like to explore how to start working on the legal system that is in place currently for domestic violence and what I can do to get involved to increase the maximum penalties for domestical violence. The man who murdered Amanda received 27 years and just recently in my state another man was convicted of a domestic violence murder and received 25 years. You can never put a number on the loss of a life, however, I beleive each state should raise the bar and set the tone that there will be maximum punshiments for the abusers. Please contact me if you can help lead me in the right direction.

  19. LYNN C says:

    HI lets try this again. i am a huge fan!! thank you for your word regarding domestic abuse, i have lived in this situation most of my life, first my parents, then marrying into it. i was with a man for 33 years before i said enough.
    the fallout though has been the hard part. i get no spousal support, so i was thrown into homelessness, because i have no place else to go. from may of 2010-2011 i was at the goodwill inn here in traverse city mi because there are no goodwill inns in the detroit area, but, now i am no longer at the inn, and i now have my own apartment now, which isn’t easy because i only get about $690 a month from ssi assistance, i continue to look for work, nothing yet, but soon i think, and i am going to school so this will all pay off someday, but, i feel like i am starting to go deep into a depression, i need help i can’t go into too much here but if you could help me i would appreciate anything you can do, you are my last chance, to get over this hump in my life. i have written you before, and i realize you get lots of mail, if you could spare me some time, i would be grateful, i do not drink or do drugs, thank you for reading this letter. sincerely lynn c ps i would love to be a part of the show on june 25, 2012 i would love to speak to this gal, i see myself in her can you make that happen? thanks again

  20. Dipa says:

    I am 32, involved in a verbally abusive relationship which has escalated to physical pushing, shoving, and grabbing, with objects being broken. I grew up being severely abused by my father.

    I have been trying for over a year to exit this relationship, alternating between knowing that he will never change, to seeing that he tries occasionally. It always seems that events are twisted to me getting blamed all the time, and it has been a chronic stressor for me.

    I am a successful doctor, I have conquered the world, but I find the trust in community has always been lacking, as I wish someone would have rescued me from the severe and constant verbal and physical abuse I suffered as a child.

    Why is it that I cannot get the message, “He will not change” through my head? It seems like a constant stream of excuses I have, which leave me in the same pattern. I am in therapy but I just dont seem to have the willpower to leave. Of course, I know partly why- my boyfriend reminds me of childhood, and it is hard to give those patterns up. However, him promising to change after I have already left, and then slipping back into his old patterns, shows that change really is unlikely. I pray for myself, and all women going through this horrible challenge. I can’t see the light at the end just yet, but I am praying every day for that light to find me.

  21. cheryl says:

    I understand how domestic violence works, believe me I do. I know the obstacles that occur to. I think one of the biggest is the children. The batterer has the right to see them, and the woman has to let them. It doesn’t matter that he has exposed them to danger or that they are all living in a shelter to get away from him in the courts that’s ok he still has his rights. they wouldn’t be forced back out of fear of losing children to fifty fifty custody which seems so typical today. If the laws were changed to truly protect the woman and children more women would leave. Twenty five years ago I had a judge tell me that just because he batters me does not mean he will hurt the children visitation granted. We haven’t come very far have we?

  22. Jacqueline says:

    Oh how exhausted I am from emotional and spiritual abuse I have had to endure for 8 years. Cannot even articulate into words. Husband won’t even look at me or touch me for last 3 years. Have 3 children. Work for my church, married a man from church – now I’m stuck and confused. No one believes in divorce since he doesn’t sexually assualt me or physically.

    I get so many compliments from good looking men and it makes me feel good and warm inside. Even ladies in my church tell me how beautiful I am but my husband will not compliment me, tells me I’m overweight when I’m not. Always treating me like his child.

    I’m so alone – the only reason I have not committed suicide yet is because I am afraid of going to hell & the only reason I have not left him is because I do not earn enough to support my children…

    Feel lost and broken.

  23. Kendrick Colston says:

    May the 5th 1989, my mother was murdered by her estranged husband. Linda at 35 left behind six Children a mother, brothers, sisters and a host of dear friends. The hurt never leaves we just have found ways to endure from our precious lost. We had to put our trust in God because God is the only one that could fill the void in our lives! Time is coming around again for the passing of my dear mother. I can’t believe that it’s been over 20 years. How time flies I promise as long as I shall live, her home going will never forgotten nor be in vein! Momma on this day I would like to say, thank you mother for giving me life for given me the most precious gift s of all my brothers and sisters! Momma I would also, like to thank you for teaching me how to love and be loved! Momma you were a strong black women whom shared your love with many even until your last breath! Momma thank you for enduring all of the hardships and pain’s of life for your children! Momma thank you for leaving your husband even knowing that it might cost you your life! Momma thank you for standing up for your children and for doing the best you could do with six children and a crazy husband. Momma I know that it wasn’t easy for you I heard your cries when you thought I was a sleep. I cried a many nights with you even without you knowing. I heard and felt your pains while you were dealing with the emotional and physical abuse from your husband! Momma thank you for hanging in there while people talked about you and saying what they would have done if they were in your situation. But you are the only one who knew what you were doing and why you were doing it! Momma thank you for bearing your cross; for your children. I know your cross was heavy but you carried it any way and you never gave up no matter how bad things got momma thank you R.I.P my dear mother! Please stop the violence if a person tell you that they will kill you they will believe me, I heard it for many years. I have learned if a person says it enough it will come to past my mother gave her husband many chances until those chances cost her, her life. If you can find a way out of a hostile environment ladies or men don’t look back no matter how much that man or woman tell you that they love you. They don’t mean it because if they meant it they wouldn’t hurt you! A real man or woman would leave before they would hurt their family. And I know that’s the truth because I had to do the same I left because I became violent with my family! Hurting people hurt the ones they love not knowing how to reach out for help! Domestic violence is like a disease it tries to carry through the bloodline! I had to break those generational curse’s I give God the glory for delivering me! Please stop the violence domestic violence hurts everyone there is no excuse for it! If you truly love them leave them before you scare them for life!Thank you Dr.Phil for having more topics about domestic violence I would like to really like to have the opportunity of asking my step dad why!

  24. Amber says:

    I am in the middle of a divorce that has turned very ugly. He threatened to kill me before I left…we have a lot of money and he is VERY CONNECTED POLITICALLY. I fear I will be another statistic as he is escalating. We were married 28 years, I adopted 4 of his children and we have one together. They have all turned against me. He promised they would. I am scared for my life and no one will take it seriously…I have been told they are afraid of his power to ruin lives… Good luck to everyone out there … It does not matter if you have money or not does it? We are all Gods children…

    I never thought my life would end up like this at 48 years old! What a mess…

  25. Dawn says:

    This is the hardest thing I have ever had to admit to myself. My children and I have been mentally abused by my now ex-husband. My ex had left me for another women,when I was in the hospital fighting cancer. He left our daughter but took our son and just left. He divorced me from another state so I had to sign the papers or I would not see my son (it already was two years). I look back and see now what he had done to our daughter and to me. Now he is doing it to his son. You know what the really hard part is? Still believing in what he tells me. I know this is stupid but, sometimes I wish he would have hit me. That way people would see the abuse. When you are mentally abused people don’t believe you, plus it seems that these scars are never going to go away.

  26. BECKY says:


  27. billie jo says:

    As a survivor of domestic violence this season means a lot. Along with making domestic violence awareness,I would like to also say. My abuse was at the hands of a military serviceman. I think it would be nice for those having to suffer abuse at the hands of a armed forces,firefighter,police officer ,etc ,not be subjected in court to what I feel is preferential treatment by those swore to unhold the law and protect. Even if that means thoses swore to protect or service their country are held to the same standard as all others that break the law.
    ..be strong…Be a survivor!!

  28. Sarah says:

    I commend you Dr. Phil on the anniciative to end Domestic Violence. I am a survivor myself and pray that everything we all do to make people more aware of the realness of this major problem that really is not noticed unless a victim dies. I am a student of Criminal Justice Studies and am planing to become a domestic violence advocate to help those trying to get away from their abusers. watching you show lastnight hit a real nerve for me and brought back alot of very scary memories that i have been trying to bury. I am planning a Discussion at school titled “Break the Silence on Domestic violence” this is to try to educate more people on what exactly domestic abuse is and how to get help if you have any input you would like to share please contact me thank you for your time in reading this and God Bless

  29. lion66 says:

    My daughter has just let me know her husband is abusing her. I wanted her to go to the law but she didn’t want to. Her husband is in the Navy. My daughter went to his command and they did nothing. He drinks and is controlling and mentally and physically abuses her. They have two young children and I’m in fear for my grand children. My daughter will not let me even talk to this beast. I have to do something to protect them. He has moved out because he has a girl friend, but I still not believe he won’t hurt my daughter. If anyone has any advice I’m open for suggestions.

  30. Kathy says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I watch your show whenever I get the chance. I work during the day, but try to watch when they show repeats in the evening. I am a 52 year old wife and mother who was assaulted by my 47 year old brother recently. My mother passed away in 2008 and my brother has been living with my dad for several years even before my mother passed. He has held several jobs, but it never works out. He had a heart attack this year and quit his job. Shortly after, he had a stint put in. This was over 6 months ago. He lives in my father’s house for free and my dad is paying his taxes and car insurance. My father was diagnosed with stomach cancer 3 years ago. He has had part of him stomach and esophagus removed, but 3 months ago the cancer returned. He was immediately put on Chemo. Took 3 sessions and his gall bladder became so infected, we were told to brace for the worst. My brother did take care of my father fairly well, however, I did all the grocery shopping and most of the cooking for my dad. There are only certain things Daddy could eat due to his condition. I was constantly trying looking for new things that we could try. I spent a lot of money and time in the grocery stores. And went to my dad’s at least twice a week. In October I was finally able to work something out with my employer to take Tuesday and Thursday afternoons off to take care of Daddy. But still had to work extra hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The first Thursday I went out to my Dad’s and was assaulted by my brother. I told my Dad to call the police. They arrested my brother, however, he immediately took a warrant out for my arrest claiming I assaulted him. We go to court for my case in December. My brother is upset that my father has set his will up in a trust and made me the executor swearing that I will rip him off of his inheritance when my dad passes. He is constantly throwing this in my face, like my house and my pool and that I have no business owning those things. He’s always right, never apologies for anything and everyone has to walk on egg shells around him. The day the assault I made up my mind then and there no more egg shells. I did not back down from him and called him a narcissist quite a few times. I love my brother, he’s the only sibling I have, but he needs help. When he’s screaming at me, he’s saying things that really apply to him and I told him he needed to be telling this to the guy in the mirror. We haven’t spoken since the assault. I don’t know what to expect in court, so I did hire a lawyer. Any advice you have for me is most appreciated.

  31. Yvonne says:

    Dr. Phil:

    I have been being stalked by a retired Air Force vet for over six years, that is six that he has told me that he has been stalking me for many years even during his military career. I can prove from a newspaper article about this man that 23 years ago he was stalking me using military surveillance technology. The police department admits to me that they know he has been doing this to me, but the Chief won’t let them investigate. When I filed for a Order of Protection my case was dismissed (as I was warned by the domestic violence advocate) because I could not afford an attorney to represent me because he had an attorney. The FCC agrees that he is stalking me, a Federal Investigator told me in a 2 1/2 hr. conversation that this man does not have clearance from the military to do this to me, yet no one will stop him. I was told by a Naval Chaplain that the lack of law enforcement in my situation means that fraternization is going on, that is the former military officers on the police department is covering for this man due to some code of silence. I am tortured by military technology being abused by this man day and night, my lie is threatened, my property is destroyed, my internet privacy is invaded and my loved ones lives are threatened, yet no one will help me. Where does one turn for help when military veterans are such a large part of law enforcement? Why do they bother to tell me that they know this man is hurting me when they won’t make him stop?

  32. Maracel says:

    Dr. Phil,
    Thank you for all the good things you do. I want to address abused women who are younger and urge them to leave sooner rather than later.

    I had an abusive husband and divorced him after 37 years of marriage. Together, we have 2 sons, the oldest is now in his 40’s and is highly successful. The second son is in his 30’s and had his first mental breakdown in his teens. He has been hospitalized several times. He continues to be unstable. After my divorce I split my settlement and bought him a small house where he continues to live. He lives a mile away from me and I check on him periodically. I have been awarded guardianship of his child (my 13 year old grandson), so at 68 I am raising another teenager! My life isn’t perfect. There are things I would change if I could, but I just want to say – it’s never too late!

  33. Jenn says:

    To Robin and Dr PHIL,
    I stand in FULL RESPECT for your passion and efforts in addressing this silent killer. .Finally, someone who has the resources and credentials is standing up and saying IT’s time to get in there and DO something about it! YOU GO!

    I am a survivor of trauma, physical and emotional abuse.(childhood, family and marriage.) I also have experience in the Foster care field…and know the depth of the life altering effects of ALL types of abuse on children and adults. Abuse is A silent, deeply painful, insidious killer of spirit that snuffs out hope. Unfortunately, abuse breeds either more abusers or those who are vulnerable to abusers. An endless cycle if No intervention occurs.

    It ruins lives and hearts. It alters the paths of so many. The sooner we reach those who need help, the better.

    As a woman who has received help from a shelter and counseling, I KNOW the HUGE need for such services and continued services and education for victims and survivors for the adults and the children.I also know the lack of funding for extended services and education and awareness. I see so many areas of NEED.

    WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? It’s been a long painful journey but If I have anything valuable to give that would help…. I AM WILLING to receive any training that will put my experience to good use and fill a NEED.

    I want to be part of THIS most IMPORTANT GOAL.

    For those of you that are suffering, MAKE the call for help and DO not stop asking. SPEAK UP! My prayers are with you and I applaud and support your courage. I understand your pain and fear.

    Please consult those who can guide you out safely.

    SUPPORT those SHELTERS! SUPPORT awareness and education!


  34. Betsy says:

    My daughter was in an abusive relationship for 3 yrs. When she finally had enough, we went to a domestic violence center in our area. When we left she said she never realized that emotional and verbal abuse were really abuse. Even though I had been telling her it was not a healthy relationship, it took them to help her learn the truth.
    My daughter was a teenager at the time. Is there a way that we could educate girls in high school what to look for, the different types of abuse and that their parents may really know what they are talking about?
    Luckily she got out before too much damage was done. We were able to help her son learn correct ways to express himself. She is now in a very healthy relationship and I am very thankful for every day that she is no longer with the manipulative, and abusive #$#%^&& that she was with.

  35. Susan Leatham says:

    Dr. Phil,

    Good for you for fighting against domestic violence! There are men who like you and really listen to you and my husband Chad is one of them. When I first met him he told me that I needed to discipline my son because Dr. Phil says the biological parent should always be the one to discipline and so that’s how we do it. We have been together for two and a half years and Chad has had such a positive impact on my son. He knows what to do and that is partially because of you. I love my husband and am thankful to not be out of an abusive relationship.

    I have to tell you my story because there are a few things you could say to abused women that would help them. I was abused. I grew up in a very chaotic home. My dad was physically abusive, and emotionally abusive. When I was little I can remember my dad hitting me and having welts and I remember my mom telling me to hide it because it would make my dad feel bad if anyone found out. I remember terrible things he did to my older sister and brother. There were no drugs involved, no sexual abuse, and my dad is educated. He worked and supported our family. My parents met a Brigham Young University. My dad served a mission for the LDS church, and he graduated with a degree in Broadcasting and Journalism. He has another degree in technical writing. We grew up in a middle class neighborhood, and my physical needs were met, but I watched and experienced terrible abuse. I have a wonderful mother who did her best, but failed to protect her children. There were seven of us. I grew up to serve a mission for the LDS church myself, and I tried the best I could to please my parents, but don’t really go to church anymore. I married an electrical engineer 13 years my senior, and went to nursing school and became a R.N. I had one son. My husband like my dad was very abusive. He abused me in emotional and even physical ways. He terrorized me and my son. I love my mom, but knew I had to do things differently to protect my precious son. With the support and advice from my mom, I left my husband, and I protected my son. I was required by the courts to turn my son over to my Filipino ex-husband for visitation and he told me he would take my son to the Philippines and I would never see him again. He took $50,000 out of an account we had and came to get him. I refused to let him go, and put him in a private school with a protective male teacher. His teacher saved him and told his dad he couldn’t take him, but for fear of getting in trouble with the law and losing my nursing license I knew I had to eventually let him go. When things calmed down I put him on a passport issuance alert program, and did have to let my son go with his dad. I was horrified and in so much fear for him. My ex husband said he would take my son for a two week visit. He had not even seen my son in 6 months or a year at that time. It was so scary. Long story short he put my son on a plane to Hawaii with his teenage half brother and had my son flown to Kauai and he wouldn’t give him back. My ex husband was on a business trip in another state back east. He had his brother and his brother’s wife take my son. I had never even met this wife and I had only met the brother once or twice and my son was suppose to be in Arizona with his dad and instead he was alone in Hawaii. I lived in Utah where I had fled in fear. Anyway, it was a nightmare. My young son was in Hawaii at the beach around the water and unattended. My lawyer said I couldn’t go get him because my ex-husband’s parents live on Oahu and he said that he could give them his parent time to the grand-parents for grand parent time, but my son wasn’t even on Oahu with his grandparents! It was so scary and so sad. My ex husband had him moved to Oahu but I was allowed daily contact and when my son called crying and saying he was being hit and kicked and they were going to lock him in a dog cage I recorded it and took it to the judge. I got a court order and bought a ticket to go get my son from Hawaii. I bought a ticket for my mom and took her with me. My son was gone for a total of 28 days I think? Anyway, I have been through a total nightmare. It’s all a long story but I called the police and I took all my money and my mom and I flew to Hawaii and I went to rescue my son. Later I was forced by the court to let him go with his dad again and this time he threatened to kill my son and me and himself if I wouldn’t give him all our money and I told him he could have it and I called the police and I flew to Arizona and got my son that time. It was expensive and it was all a nightmare and I went from living in a gated neighborhood to a low income neighborhood but I created a loving and stable nice little house for us and I got my son in skiing lessons, private school, and I tried very hard and I’m so glad I did. I’m so glad I protected my son, and worked hard and I’m so glad I left. It was so hard. My life has been so hard, and I wanted more kids and I felt robbed of my dreams. I felt like I lost my chance for my dream which was really just to have a few kids and be a good mom. I know in some ways I have failed as a parent. My son doesn’t go to bed on time every night. Sometimes I don’t watch what he is seeing on TV or the internet as closely as I should, but you know what? He’s doing pretty well in school, and I’m working on those things very hard and I DID NOT FAIL. I left an abusive relationship and I gave up everything we own and I fought really hard and worked very hard and I won. I look at the girls on your show and want to tell them what to do.

    It’s been seven years since I filed for divorce. I was hurt growing up, and I was hurt when I was married and I won! I was watching the documentary “ABSENT” and it made me cry because I can see myself as feeling alone and wanting a father, but somehow I got past that. Lundy Bancroft helped me a lot. Therapy helped me, and I got a few bad men, but eventually I found a good man. It still amazes me that when my husband and I have a disagreement I can look at him in admiration and love and know it’s safe. He loves himself and us and he is good. Even when we don’t agree, he loves me. He too had issues with his dad, but we are both good people and we both learned. We are happy. I am 40 and my husband is 41. My husband was raised by very young parents, and his dad got involved with drugs and his parents divorced when he was in high school. His mom protected him and left, and his dad went to jail for drugs, and ended up homeless and later reformed. Anyway, my husband understands and has his own pain, but his dad got out of jail and got clean. His dad gives us lots of money and is very kind to us now and has a good job and says he is sorry a lot. I just don’t know how things turned out good like this with so many serious problems. I think it’s because of his mom, and because of what was learned. My husband and I love each other, and when you have lived in chaos you can appreciate stablilty and peace so much more. I’m so so happy. I’m so lucky. I have enough money and a career and a husband who works hard and provides us with a nice little house and we live with him and he is so hard working and organized and stable and he makes good decisions. Now that the financial things with my divorce are finally resolved I have money like my husband does and we are ok. It’s amazing.

    The reason I write this whole story is because of the women on your show. I come from a family of abuse, a marriage of abuse. My grandpa punched my grandma’s front teeth out on one side of the family. On the other side my grandma was burned with an iron by her husband. My mom’s sister’s husband was harsh. I remember from visits, but he could also be kind and loving and I loved him so much, but his daughter suffered from those moments of harshness and she married a very bad man. My uncle suffered guilt and tried to protect his daughter from her husband but she had to lose her family, leave the state and hide to survive. She did successfully hide and survive, but her husband got remarried and killed his second wife and their four month old baby Christian in Ogden, Utah. I remember getting the call at work and thinking maybe he killed my cousin. It was so scary. It’s a long story, but I feel the pain of abuse deeply and I have a few things to say.

    I’m looking at this lady who got shot in the face and still loves the man who shot her on your show. It hurts to see her beautiful face. One thing she needs to be told is that it’s okay with her that he hurts her, but I can guarantee he will hurt her children. One thing about abusers is that they will hurt anyone. I wish I could talk to her and say, “Look, it’s okay with you that he is hurting you and I can understand that because I have sat where you sit, but when he does this CRAP to your kids it’s not gonna be okay with you and he will do it and if you don’t have kids it’s going to be a beloved pet or other innocent vulnerable person in your life. You know what lady? You go ahead and go back and when he is hurting one of your kids or someone you love or some pet you love you are going to remember this conversation and be sorry and I am going to be glad I told you because I’m telling you what is to come. I’m sorry, be he isn’t going to change or be nicer to you or anyone else. Do whatever you want, but mark my words. You are in for terror. He is a lost cause as long as you continue. It’s possible that if you condemn this behavior and look for someone better he COULD learn from it. He COULD possibly see that you can’t treat people like that and get away with it. You MIGHT help him. Probably not, but you are his only hope, and your only hope. I know this because when I had my husband arrested for domestic violence and when I left that helped more than anything and it was shocking that it would HELP. I thought he would kill me, but that is the only shred of regret I ever saw in him, and it didn’t last. Leave for yourself but also leave for him. You want him to go to jail because he kills you? You’re right he needs you. He needs you to leave! Men like him only have a slim possibility of change and it is only if they have consequences for their actions. He probably will just go on and continue to hurt someone else and there are a million people to cower down and let it happen but there are very few strong people who will stand up for what is right and follow the law and systematically implement needed consequences. Severly bad behavior warrants very serious consequences. Do you want those consequences to come from the police or worse…..even his death or life in prison? Let those consequences come from a place of love. If you love you will leave. You are his only hope and slim hope at that. Every person on this earth is a valuable gift from God and should be treated with sacred respect, and when that respect is violated in any way all the hell of consequences should reign to avoid the hell to come. Never let anyone treat you or your children with anything less than sacred respect. It is man’s responsibility to physically care for his children and their mother. It is his job to provide the necessities of life. It is a mother’s job to fight with integrity for love and for peace. I don’t believe a mother should be alone if a father is ABSENT. Believe in love and look for someone else. A mother should work and work hard if she has to and to continue to believe in love and look for love in her life….and dish out in love the consequences needed to make our society a civilized one.

    My husband now loves me and takes care of me. I looked for love and I found it. I worked for what I have. I love my husband, but I can work and fight and I EXPECT the best. I have the best because I expect it. I loved my ex-husband. It was heartbreaking to leave him…..but life and love goes on. We recover from broken hearts and you can recover if you believe in love. You can recover if you look for love. I could write a whole book about what to look for because I figured it out! I feel like I figured something out and I found what I needed. I want all those women to find what they need. When children cry because their parents didn’t protect them I am brought back to my own childhood when my dad hit my sister or my brother and hurt them I would hide and cry. I grew up with terrible fear and horror. He did terrible things, and when the victims all get together and talk about the damage I understand one thing that is never mentioned on the Dr. Phil show. Children are not looking for an apology from parents who have not protected them or themselves. They want to know what their parents would do differently if they could go back in time and do things differently. They want to know what has changed to make this a better world for their kids and really the honest answer most of the time is NOTHING. This is the problem. Children love their victimized parents, but they need them to be a fighter and become a righteous warrior and not be a victim. Children want this for their parents, and it’s almost unforgivable when it doesn’t happen. They didn’t protect them, but even worse they don’t protect themselves. They don’t fight for love.

    Dr Phil you are awesome. I learn things from you that I didn’t learn growing up. I learn things from my husband about how to keep things clean and how to live in peace and love and harmony. I learn from Dr. Phil. My husband learns from Dr. Phil and learned from his mom who did leave and protect him. His mom is one of my best friends. I love her so much. She is a fighter. She understands me in a way no one can. She believes in love. Yesterday she told someone that I’m her daughter. I am like her. Anyway, life can be better. I’m having a baby. My husband has never been married, and never had kids until age 41. He was looking for someone like his mom. I hope I can live up to it. I love her. I love my own mother too who still lives with my dad. It breaks my heart. My dad cheated on my mom and told her he was leaving with his girlfriend on mothers day one year. There is a lot of pain. It hurts to see her continue to deal with his abuse. There is a lot of sadness, but my life is good. My life is not sad. I am a nurse manager, and I’m going to be a mostly stay at home mom soon. I’m 40 and I’m pregnant with my second son. We are so excited. My husband is so excited. My husband likes my son and understands him and is a good step-parent to my son and a good provider and life is good! Can this be real? Is he going to be mean? Well guess what? I’m a fighter and he wouldn’t dare because he knows I am like his mom, and that is why he ended up with me. I think he knows. He always says the worst regret of his life was not having kids. He couldn’t find someone he could see as a mother to his children. Was our chance gone? No! I’m 40 and pregnant. I can feel my baby move right now! I love him already……he’s so cute like my first son. We will have two boys! FUN! Tell those abused girls that life can be FUN! What the HECK are they thinking. Jeesh. Grow some courage and love!

    Susan Leatham

  36. Susan Leatham says:

    I meant I’m thankful TO be out of an abusive relationship.

  37. Uyen says:

    I was watching your show on domestic violence. I was in a relationship that consist of violence and I believe that no matter how hard it is and scary it to leave there is always away, I did even though it took 2years after being chocked, punched, kicked and had teeth broken. And I found away to leave for my son. I just wanted to have that imput because im seriously and strongly a woman that encourages young women to leave, my ex was a drug user of meth and it affected our life now I suffer from anxiety and depression but I have learned to live with it more each day yet it does affect my relationships. I just want to let women know there is hope!

  38. Cindy says:

    I was in a common law relationship with a lawyer from 1997 until 2000- 2001. During our relationship, he was a lawyer working in private practice. He had moved into a home that I owned solely and acted in loco parentis capacity for my minor child for approximately 3 ½ years. He gave her spending money, took her out to movies and restaurants and help to drive her to school on his way to work.My daughter was a gifted child excelling in school, had friends and birthday parties. In all respects life was good. I had my daughter at 18 and worked very hard as a single parent for a long time – working, going back to school and working toward what should have been a decent/comfortable life.

    On or around August, 2000, someone realized that I had a communicable disease (one characterized as a nuisance by Public Health, is not a reportable disease). At the time that I contracted the disease, I followed medical directions and also did so throughout years that followed. Regardless, I did what I knew how to do at the time. What would ensue would be nothing short of horrific and would endanger the life of my minor child and myself.

    I will be forever remorseful and if I am able to move past this, I promise to spend the rest of my life doing good things. I am forever changed and scarred, without a doubt. If I only knew then what I know now…

    My partner was a critical participant in making confidential medical information known to former co-workers, sex partners, friends, neighbours…and what seemed to be everyone in town! The backlash has been nothing short of horrific, excessive, criminal and cruel. I was being terrorized and my partner was instrumental in that. He ran me out of my east coast life running to save my life unable to protect myself and my child.

    He went on to share that information with the police and other community members. I believe in many regards acted on anger that clouded their judgment and legal and moral obligations to another human being. This matter could have been dealt with in many different ways that were more humane and dignified. I should have been afforded Constitutional and other legal protections. The police took what for anyone else is a private matter and made it public I believe knowing that it would put me and my daughter at risk, incite unthinkable cruelty, hate crimes, and criminal harassment. I have continued to relocate but they kept sharing that medical information with their law enforcement partners in every jurisdiction I try to relocate, again without regard to the law and the fact that they damaged (beyond repair) a child. She will never realize her potential.

    The cruel treatment by police has led me to try to end my life three times. The information circulated has made it impossible for me to find and keep work to provide for my family and to even go out in my neighbourhood without enduring horribly cruel threats.

    The attacks that ensued were daily and were done in a way so that I could not feel safe anywhere. In the beginning, if I left the house, I would be followed and another individual would be at my home doing things that would ensure I knew someone had been there. Me and my child were not safe anywhere – but particularly our home – our usual safe house.

    Name calling, harassing phone calls, garbage thrown at my residence, people stopped speaking to me (unless they were attacking me) and stopped returning my calls. I quit my job but could not get another one. My phone calls were intercepted, my movement was being monitored so that what I experienced could be manipulated by law enforcement and community members! What they don’t do themselves, they have others do for them. I have been attacked daily by those who have committed to terrorizing me and my family. Everyday, I am the subject of vicious attacks – even while walking with my baby.

    Over the years, I have had people break into my houses (where I lived), damaged my property, my car was broken into on different occasions and a tire was loosened so that it almost came off during a drive. I went to the police many times (as is evidenced in various police / occurrence reports). The reports were done in the early years until I realized they would do nothing to help me. They did nothing when I reached out. I have come to learn that they were spreading the information and so I had no where to go for help. Circulating information (unprecedented terror invoked on a woman with children) that has put me and my family in harms way is still hard for me to wrap my head around. Imagine not having anyone who can protect you. I have tried many, many ways to resolve this nightmare, begging.

    Please note that for the last 8 years, I have been a federal public servant. During this time, I dedicated myself to excellence on behalf of the Canadian public. What I have experienced inside that workplace as well as that in my communities have been nothing short of horrific. I have also worked in the legal field for the last 16 years. Prior to 2000, I had absolute faith in the protection our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians. My experiences have proven that the following Rights have been violated: the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, the right to protection from cruel and unusual punishment and the right to equality under the law.

    I am willing to take a polygraph exam to support my version of events that follow. There are two sides to every story and mine begs to be told – for me and my child. I should also say that I do not have a criminal record and have never been found by a court to have done what the police say I have done. I must say though that I am so very remorseful and nothing I have ever done was with any intent or malice. I have worked in the legal field for approximately 16 years. I have also set out below a list of some of the corroborating evidence that supports my experiences.

    Imagine being terrorized, stalked and harassed daily. Imagine that you are vulnerable – a woman with a minor child. Imagine going to the police for protection only to find out that they are the abusers and are the “body” that are intentionally and recklessly sharing your confidential medical information with strangers, neighbours and co-workers. Imagine not being able to protect yourself or your children. You are being tracked for the purposes of criminal harassment and the incitement of hatred. The police are supposed to be the one that anyone can go to for help if you are a victim and a target of criminal harassment. They used extreme excessive force which can never be justified and has been criminal in nature. They continue to do so without consequence. I have reached out to the police for protection for me and my family for the first few years and rather than commence an investigation they would consistently ask me why people would do that to me. At the time, I honestly did not think anything could warrant what was done. They spread (and continue to spread information) with their fellow officers in the different jurisdictions where I have lived. A disease, relatively harmless, was spread. Everyone was told I was the source. Imagine now the unthinkable backlash! I have tried hundreds of things and spent countless hours with medical people to deal with what should have been a private issue.

    I have relocated 11 times in approximately 10 years. It does not matter where I go, I am followed and the terror continues. I am called whore, slut and other horrific names on a daily basis – hate spread by the body who are supposed to exemplify higher standards for all of us to follow.

    I have raised to be kind, gentle, God fearing and I try to have God be proud of who I am every day. I will not let this experience define who I am in my soul. I ask for forgiveness every day. There are many other ways that this matter could have been resolved and with God as my witness, if I knew how to end this nightmare, I would have done so hundreds of times over.

    I have spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to relocate for my safety. Imagine being afraid to go to work, get necessities or even going for a walk, without being harassed and abused. That has been my experience for so long that it has led me to attempt to take my life on three occasions. I have no place to heal and to be safe, not even in my own home. I believe this horrific story needs to be told. I cannot believe that something so terrifying could happen to me and my family and that there isn’t any accountability for this.

    My eldest daughter – who is now 24 suffers from PTSD to a large extent because of the terror she witnessed as a minor child. Her decline into the drug world was and is a logical result of being harassed and targeted and not having a safe place to call home. In her 24 years, after age 11, she has tried to call many (likely hundreds) of places home. The damage and abuse suffered as a minor child continues to haunt her. She has been homeless of a number of years, afraid to call any place home.

  39. Hello to everyone who has had an abusive relationship. I have an abusive ex that I left 17 years ago, and I just had to lift a charge against him because I decided to write my story of survival. He found a way to contact me through Facebook even though I had blocked him many times but he keeps opening up a new one. A long story short he has kicked me out because he found out I was planning to leave with my son of 4 yrs old at the time to go to a shelter. I ran out of the house with my purse with 1 bus ticket and 25 cents to make a phone call. I called the police to say what was going on and they went to look in on my son and said he was not in danger go to family court. The very next day my ex called the social services saying I abused my son and I was a prostitute. They did not believe a word of what I said. After a 7 yr battle of what he said she said in court I lost. Now my son is 21 yrs old he will not speak with me and I have no contact with him. It breaks my heart. I wrote a message on my wall on his birthday saying I missed him and wished him well. That is when my ex went ballistic. He commented at least 45 times and very nasty things. I called a lawyer to find out what to do and she said do not give him the power to know that he has gotten to you. He is a sociopath, not diagnosed but I have been reading extensively for years on his behavior, and it fits him to a tee. In January I have decided to start writing a book and decided on my story of survival. I do not mention names and it is my version of the truth. It also includes my relationships after. My husband died of brain cancer at 32 yrs old. Then I met a narcissist, and lost my youngest to foster care because of his abuse. When I finally got the courage to leave and was living in a shelter I had a freak accident and broke both my ankles that needed operating and was in a wheelchair for about 1 yr. I was a chef and can no longer work on my feet anymore. I am writing my story also for anyone else out there, and I want to break the silence. Then recently my first ex saw all my work that I am doing and has sent me again very nasty messages and comments on my wall. He even tried to open a Facebook page saying he wants to end the defamation of ______my name and date of birth. I have reported it and my family as well, and Facebook has taken it down. I have made a police report against him for cyber abuse, threats, and harassment. The police are arresting him today, and I am nervous. Many years prior I had made a complaint against him and then had it retracted. It has hurt me in more ways than I could say. I need your advise. Should I continue writing my story or wait until he calms down. It is not published yet and I am in the process of writing it.

    Thank you for reading this, I hope to get a response. I really need advise.

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