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

  1. Patricia Kerigan says:

    This is to Kate,who posted on October 21,2010.Kate,as a mother of three girls,and a survivor of domestic abuse,you ARE in an abusive relationship!It doesn’t matter how often abuse happens,or even what kind of abuse it was at the time,it matters that it happened at all.If you have a question about the state of your relationship possibly being abusive,then it IS abusive.If the relationship were completely normal,why would you even be asking this question?Healthy relationships produce questions such as,”Where are we going on our date?,or,”When do I let him meet my parents?”.As I used to tell my daughters,love means wanting to nurture and be nurtured.It grows and develops for both individuals to derive and benefit. Dating is for developing best lifestyle as a result of being with, and associating with the other person.I told the girls that dating was when the best behavior was being displayed,and if they thought that they were not being treated respectfully,or they had a problem being respectful to the other person,then it would only get worse after the wedding ceremony.One last note,when I was dating,my mother told me,”Never take your good china to a picnic.”The only time I had a problem with an abusive spouse was when I disregarded that advice.Kate,you are in an abusive relationship.Get out of it,and then get yourself into counseling to determine why you chose this person in the first place.

  2. Alison says:

    I have started a blog describing my experience with domestic violence. I have found sharing the tale to be liberating more than I could have imagined.

    http://www.crazylifeofalison.wordpress.com

  3. CC says:

    My End…A 9 year on/off toxic relationship which included verbal abuse (in which I became just as verbally abusive and I am not an abusive person..yet reacting to the abuse I became just like him verbally, yelling so loud.. like why…can u not hear me…clearly knowing one hears nothing when being yelled at derrrr)….and physical abuse (which starts exactly as we learn with minor incidences..in the beginning and escilates)… I was not physically abusive at all…unlike the verbal. It came to the night my drunk boyfriend was holding a knive to my throat saying her would slit my juggler….if I didnt shut up..because we had been verbally abusing each other… and the next day he did not remember and said he would NEVER do that and felt embarrassed…and all the usual excuses…..I responded you do not control the slip of the knive so dont say it would NEVER happen..I thought how embarassed I was to allow myself to be in this situation for sooo long….especially when I know better… allowing myself to react in a way that made me just as bad verbally….that night something happened…it changed me deep inside, the fact that he could actually hold a knife to my throat …yet thinking how abuse only get worst….what did I expect? Now seeing the worst….thinking other incidents were the wooorst…this was the 1 that did it for me….”lightbulb” ON !!!….the person who was suppose to love me…hmmm…I am happy to say (keeping a 9 yr long story short)…I am away from him….and will do my best to stay away….he is an alcoholic, he has chose not to stop drinking or becoming better…over me….I tried helpin him..support thru detox…meetings….because knowing the person he is when he did not drink was why I would try to work on the relationship…..Hey, I am not perfect….I am ME. And I like me, so now I choose not to try and mend the relationship any longer. Finally release myself from the misery. I believe I am strong enough.. so as I ask all of you that have been abused in anyway..woman or man….I say lets pray to retain our strength and disengage from our abusers!! Peace be upon all of you. PS. I love you Dr. Phil have learned so so much from you….and the most touching thing is when Robin and yourself walk off the stage at the end of you shows!! It gives me hope!

  4. Lauri Schunk says:

    my husband is sitting in jail right now as I try my best to deal with the GRAND JURY, D.A. and oh yes lets not forget my attorneys x2. One for divorce and one for a civil suite as he damaged my face when he kicked in my eye and cheek bone and split open the bridge of my nose with the cow boy boots he was wearing. we have only been married a year and a half and I woke at 1:30 am to find him standing over top of me with arms folded. I jumped up and he walked to what I thought was out side the front door so I went to the kitchen and he surprised me behind the door and grabbed my neck and strangled me with both hands till I passed out and then he kicked me in the face and all over my body till my son heard me screaming and came running to find me bleeding all over my floor.Now let me be clear … my husband knows that I suffer from a brain anurysm, a plate in my back and the doctors are getting ready to plate ny neck in 3 places. I dont know what posses people to become or behave in such a manner but I pray for all you women, men, and children to get FREE of your abuser NOW.

  5. justine says:

    I was a domestic violence individual. I am a survivior. Thanks Dr. Phil for starting up this profound but needed mission. I was beat so bad with a two by four that I was off my feet for days. I was using drugs amd alcohol but that;s no excuse to beat me. I was beat for almost 20 years. I now have a bachelors and Masters degree in Mental Health Therapy. I want nothing more than to help others ..the best way I can. I am a different woman Dr, Phill!! I love myself and my new life. I come from the SES of Chicago projects. I have come a long way.

  6. Julia Houston says:

    I am so glad to see something being done about domestic violence. I was involved in a situation many years ago and their was no help. My husband beat me so bad that I loss my front teeth, top and bottom. I have 8 stab wounds in my head. My husband was arrested and charged with nothing subtanial. He got 2 years on a farm working and taking others prisoners to doctor appointments. I was in Louisiana and it was considered a black on black crime. Nobody cared that I almost died and one of my children was a witness to this crime and she has since written a book with some of the details of what she remembers. I did not know she remembered this attack until she wrote the book. I have started a Purse Ministry here in Arizona to bring some joy to the women that Had to leave everyhing behind. It is called HandBags with Love, from our hearts to yours. We put lotion, toothpaste, shampoo, and other small items that women would be able to use on a day to day basis. I have been doing this for about 2 months and will take them to two of the local shelters here in Mesa AZ. Thank you so much for what you are doing. God Bless. I pray that I will be able to do more in the future.

  7. Blade says:

    What was the statements of an abuser?? Does anyone remember???
    Thank you

  8. Rose Lee says:

    I applaud you for your campaign to end domestic violence. It is such a problem in our society and something needs to change. I am watching today and wondering do all these guys learn from the same book? This guy doesn’t take any responsibility for anything he does and places the blame on the victim! My heart goes out to this woman because I know what it is like. I am crying with her because the pain never goes away. I was a victim of domestic violence 11 years ago. My ex-husband was the same way. It began with intimidation, control and name calling. It progressed to attemped murder and rape. Like the woman on the t.v. says, it just becomes normal. You really don’t realize how bad it actually is because you go into survival mode. My ex-husband served 4 years in prison for everything he did to me (it could have been 10), as a result of a plea bargain. I have to say that in my experience, and the experience of others, these guys do not change. My ex treats his current wife in exactly the same way he treated me. This is after many courses in anger management, prison, and marriage counseling. I would love to just take all these women and help them to see that but it is something they need to see for themselves. I will pray for them and for your mission, Dr. Phil.

  9. Joanne says:

    Hello,

    My name is Joanne And I am 28yrs old I have not been in a phisically abusive situation but I do have an older sister that has been in and out of abusive relationships since she was 13yrs old and is not 35… She is currently “trying to get out of her abusive relationship she has been in for like 11 years” But Dr.Phil I dont think she can do it on her own… she just keeps going back… I need your help because if she doesnt get out I am afraid he will kill her one of these days!!!

    Help me Please

  10. Kay Beaudry says:

    I am a 46 year old woman who has been through a relationship twice with domestic violence. The first time it happehed, I left, went to the hospital to seek treatment and the violence was so terrible that he was charged with ASSAULT TO COMMIT BODILY HARM, LESS THAN MURDER. Apparently he had a pattern of this because this was his “second offense”, not both on me though. He plea bargained from a 10 year felony to 1 year in the county jail. I don’t need to put up with that, neither does any other woman! As time went on, another couple years down the road, I began to date again. This time I married the new man I was dating, who, at first was Prince Charming, any man a woman could ever want…until the month after we got married, the abuse started out gradual, then the verbal abuse started, but my vows of marraige took over and I thought I could “fix” him, WRONG. I suffered through 8 years of horrible abuse in every form, I finally got up enough courage to leave. That was a few years ago and I’m recovering slowly, but I still suffer more physical pain now than emotional due to the fact that I’m getting older. I have been beaten to the point of unconscienceness, had my head slammed in a trunk, had my nose broken, been suffocated, humiliated, called names, beaten with a handle to the oven, too many things to mention, and they will always say that the woman is crazy, or they down play their actions. To all the woman out there, get out because no matter what you think, you will be alot more happier and you will find someone who will respect you, support you and give you the love that you so long for, I speak from experience first hand. You don’t need the abuse!

  11. Barbara Larson says:

    My name is Barbara and I went through domestic violence about 6 years ago. I am watching this show today and she needs to get out. I went through all the things that she is going through. I had him arrested 3 times and when all was said and done he pretty much got nothing more than a slap on the hand. After his little stint in jail he got out and 1 1/2 months later he raped and beat another woman in a plowed field for 7 hours. Needless to say he was finally convicted and sent to prison for almost 5 years. He was just released August 18, 2009. I heard people say to me after the fact that they didn’t feel it was their place to say anything or non of their business. You need to make it your business and step in or this will never stop. To this day there is not a day that goes by that I do not think about what happened to me. I will NEVER forget.

  12. Jennie says:

    I was married at the age of 17 and was abused for 19 years, I had 5 children, and was terrified to leave. Like Dr Phil told the young woman today that she was in danger if she stayed and danger if she left. I know exactly what that is like. My husband had a truck accident in 1986, and I was finally freed, from the violence. But before he died, he looked at me the same way that man looks at that young mother. I felt and believed that my husband was going to try to find a way to kill me. But I was spared by god. I have no doubts of that. She is desperate danger and this story touched me in a way I havent been touched in a long time…I pray that someone helps her to escape from him.

  13. Carla says:

    Reading Charles and Renee’s story is like looking at actors of myself and my husband. My mother told me they had my story on Dr. Phil today. I was curious and came online to see if I could watch the show. I read the story and watched clips that were posted.

    Renee, this is to you. You CAN be free of him. My husband head-butted, choked and hit me with his fist in the head on June 26, 2010. Because I mentioned a book he didn’t like. I don’t know if he knocked me out, if I blacked out, or my mind just has mercifully forgotten parts of that night, but I do know there are time gaps in the timeline of that night. I filed a police report, got an order of protection, moved into a SAFE House and went to a lawyer. We have two children, and because of that, I still have to deal with him. Luckily, only written communication is allowed and only as it pertains to the children.

    I’m not divorced yet, legal maneuvering takes time. I am in a different state, with my family and friends nearby. However, he is asking a judge to force me to return to the same county as him. If that happens, I think he will kill me. I’m not sure he won’t kill me here, but it would take a little more effort, and thankfully, he is lazy. I was physically abused; June 26 was not the first occasion, that happened nearly 12 years ago, shortly after our marriage. I was controlled, isolated, the blame placed on me for everything he did. Charles sounds just like my husband. It’s never his fault, right? You provoked him. You goaded him. Anything to deflect responsibility off himself. I know your story, Renee. It echoes mine so completely. Please leave. Take your children and yourself away from this toxic man. I can tell such a huge difference in my children with just four months out of that situation. My son is nine and my daughter is eleven. Both are flourishing in a loving home (we reside with my parents currently, due to finances being what they are). Both are excelling at school. And, odd as it sounds, their relationship with their dad is so much better now. And well, me…they have a mom now, not a silent shell of a woman who had given up on life. That’s the best gift I can give them. Finding yourself again is the best gift you can give your children as well.

    Please, take care, Renee. You can survive and THRIVE away from this man. I have lived a shadow of your life, and I am now thriving away from my husband. If I can do, I know you can as well.

    Sending compassion and courage your way,
    Carla

  14. Cindy Land says:

    Thank you, Dr. Phil, for your efforts to bring this topic out from the shadows into the light. I have watched almost all of your shows on domestic violence, but today, when Renee was sitting there in that seat, I cried like a baby because that girl was me 30 years ago. My ex had been my high school sweetheart and we got married a year after we graduated, but nobody ever told me I should be leary of a boy who came from an abusive background! (because nobody talked about these things back then!!) His dad was an alcoholic who took it out on his mother and on him. All he ever told me was he was never going to be like his dad….well, THAT didn’t happen!! It started with the little nit-picky things, then the controlling attitude, then the isolation began. He even moved me into the next state and away from my family and by this time, we had three children. Still, he had never physically been abusive to me, so I didn’t think the way he acted was abuse! When he drank, of course, it was horrifying. He always called me demeaning, filthy, awful names. Today when Renee said she didn’t even yell back anymore, that really got me, because something inside of you just dies a little bit every day when you are told you are worthless, ugly, no good, and nobody would ever want you around. I know exactly how she was feeling ’cause I felt like that too! You just feel like giving up and that is the way they want you!! One night, he came home in the middle of the night & started yelling at me & I looked up & saw my oldest daughter standing in our bedroom door with tears sliding down her cheeks. I realized right then and there that I had never been awakened in the middle of the night by my parents screaming at each other & I was not going to allow that to happen to my kids either!! Well, before I could get myself and my children out of there (I had no vehicle, no money, no job…) he came home in a drunken stupor and put a gun to my head and raped me. The next morning he acted like nothing ever happened. I never told anyone about that night until 5 years ago. I just couldn’t. By the time I got the only true friend he hadn’t chased away and my sister to help me get to a lawyer, he told me he was going to take my kids to see his mother. I knew he was going to do something but I didn’t want to upset the kids so I let them go with him. He left the state with them and I didn’t get them back for 6 weeks! This was all before ‘Amber’s law’ and the lawyer and police said since he was their father & we didn’t have an effective custody agreement yet, he had as much right to them as I did. I had never been away from them at all! My oldest was 5, my middle daughter was 3, and my baby boy was 15 months! He told me he knew that was the only way he could hurt me!! But, everything he ever did was my fault any way! He dragged the divorce out for over a year, and I finally moved over 100 miles away from him. He never saw the kids, even though I even offered to take them to him. I believe he is on his 4th wife now. I raised the kids alone and worked hard to do so. I always told my girls, if a boy says he loves you and then starts trying to change you…walk away; if he lies to you…walk away; if he blames you for ANYTHING…walk away; if you see him treating his parents with disrespect (especially his mother)…walk away; and if a boy says he loves you…and doesn’t treat you like you hung the moon…walk away!! I am happy to report that both of my daughters have been married for 13 years each to good men, and I have 4 grandchildren. My son hasn’t gotten married, but he hasn’t been ready as he had a lot of things to work through not having a father around, and that’s ok. I have a good relationship with my children and grandchildren and my ex is a bitter and lonely old man. Who actually won?? Renee, please get out while the getting is good!! You can’t imagine how much better you will feel!! No one can love you more than you can love yourself and your children will thank you one day and tell you how glad they are that you stood up for yourself and them too!! Thanks again, Dr. Phil. Keep up the good work!!

  15. Alicia says:

    I missed the shows on this topic but here is my story on a nutshell. I have been married almost 8 years. I have an almost 11 year old daughter and 6 year old son with my husband. He adopted my daughter about 3 years ago. I have been called every name in the book and get into huge fights all the time. Everything is my fault and we spent over 3000 on counselor where I said he was at a girls apartment who worked for him, he has grabbed my neck but lately he hurts my kids verbally really bad. The counselor never touched on his anger and I have no money because he has bank account and he is rich. Owning stores here. I am
    A nobody I don’t argue back anymore either o don’t fight in front of the kids I just do my own thing. If I text or call him he screams at me? Help me find it inside myself to let go

  16. Daphne Fitzgerald says:

    I grew up with domestic violence, an alcoholic, violent father and a mother that did not know what to do about it other than fight it out or run from it, leaving us kids to pray that Dad would not start in on us. There were eleven kids living in the house and we all handled it differently. From the oldest brother feeling the need to protect and the fright in the youngest ones faces. We all moved out as soon as possible, but not always to better situations. I cannot speak for my brothers and sisters but I still see the effects it had on me. Please listen to Dr. Phil when he says it changes who you are. I am now 53 years old and still fight with insecurity issues and self esteem problems. I cannot thank Dr. Phil enough for getting this out in the open and hopefully changing the shame and fear involved with this.

  17. Mimi says:

    Can you put the excuses abusers tell their victims on the website?

  18. Tori says:

    Hi Dr. Phil,

    I have not been able to catch your episodes on Domestic Violence, but I wanted to thank you for bringing this to light. You always think, “That won’t happen to me” until you are in it. I know I didn’t.

    I consider myself one of the lucky ones, since I got out and got away so quickly. I started dating my ex when I was 19 and we got married when we were 23. His father was abusive to him and his mother, and they are also divorced. She told me many times that her ex-husband (my ex-husband’s father) changed dramatically after they got married. I never believed her until I married her son.

    I think the abuse was subtle to begin with so I didn’t really notice till after we were married because that was when it got really bad. To make a long story a little shorter, he quit his job about a month before our wedding and never held a steady job after that. H didn’t even start looking for jobs till we had been married a year and I had been the only one working. He then found a really great job, was there for a month, and quit because “the ladies he worked with were mean to him.” Maybe they saw something I didn’t. I would beg and plead with him to get a job and he would tell me I was selfish and worthless and ugly and fat. None of these I am. I got up and went to work all day, smiling for the kids I teach, and would come home to him still asleep because he had stayed up till 5AM playing video games and then would sleep all day. He turned into his father.

    Then he started to physically abuse me. I didn’t think of it as abuse until I was out of the situation and realized that it was. He used to pull the hairs out of my head that were out of place. I stopped wearing shorts in the summer because when were in the car, he would slap my thighs as hard as he could and then laugh about it when I screamed in surprise. He would wrestle me down onto the couch so that he could bite the backs of my arms. And there was always unwanted sex…It was horrible.

    The mentally and emotional abuse was the worst though. Constantly being told how stupid I was. Or fat. Or ugly. I wasn’t allowed to buy new clothes. When I did, I was yelled at. If I let any light out of the bathroom in the morning and it woke him up, he would scream at me. I went to work in un-matching clothes because I couldnt really see what I was putting on in the morning. His father did the same things to his mother. He had turned into his father.

    I was also totally isolated from my parents and pretty much all my friends. It was horrible being isolated from parents because I am an only child and was really close to them before he came into our lives. Lucky for me they are awesome people and were there for me in my time of need.

    In the fall and winter of 2007 things were getting really bad. I finally opened up to my mom when we went on a walk one day while my ex was taking a nap. I started to talk and cry and she said whatever I decided, she and dad would support me. When I got back from our walk, my ex asked me “What are you doing with HER?” After that we started counseling, but only after I begged him to go. He was convinced there wasn’t anything wrong with us. We got through one counseling session where he verbally beat me up in front of the counselor and continued to do so after we left. Then 3 days before Christmas, he threw me out of the house. He says I left, I say I got thrown out and didn’t come back. We had gotten in the car to go out for food (he was always eating and was overweight, which was also my fault) and he asked if I loved him. I said, and I quote, “You are very difficult to love”. He flipped. He turned the car around, pulled in the driveway screaming at me, walked up to the front door, took my house key off my key chain, threw my car keys in my face and told me to leave as he tried to shut the door. I pushed the door open, begging him to stop. That’s when he grabbed my by the shoulders and pushed me up against the front door and tried to slide me out. I grabbed the door handle and held on telling him that if he let go of me and let me get my things, I would leave. He said that nothing in the house belonged to me, that it was all his and I had to leave with nothing. I again said I would leave when I got my things. He finally let me go, I grabbed some clothes while he followed me around and screamed at me. He then grabbed my clothes and said, “here let me help you” and threw them all over the front yard. When I tried to take my dog, he grabbed her from me and pushed me again. After that I got out of the house and he locked me out. I went to my parent’s house and never looked back.

    He stalked me for awhile after that. We went to a few more counseling sessions, only because I felt like I had to, and the counselor finally told him he was abusing me and that was that. After much stalking and phone calls and harassment of both my parents and I, he gave up when he got my property settlement agreement. I got away with my car and my beloved dog and a few other belongings, but since he closed the bank account on me, I had to start from scratch. I lived with my parents for a year and eventually got an apartment after I got enough money saved up. I am doing great now and have come so far in 3 years. I thank God that I got out alive and relatively unscathed and have been able to bounce back really well. It definitely made me stronger. I also started running, since this was an activity I had always wanted to do and he told me I would never be able to. Now I run half marathons and will eventually run a full. My dream is to start a 5K or some sort of race that will raise money for women’s shelters in my hometown since there aren’t very many. I want to pay it forward and help others by sharing what I learned from my experience.

    Most of the details are foggy in my mind now, since I have an amazing fiance I come home to each day who loves me for who I am and has made my dreams come true. But I still have some details come back to mind when I need them too and I try to help friends whenever I hear rumblings about their relationships. We can’t be silent about this, so thank you for bringing it to the spotlight.

    Tori

  19. Dr. Phil, words cannot even express the thanks to you for taking a concern on domestic violence. I just signed the pledge on your website. I am so looking forward to more info and shows with regards to this. I will be turning 55 in a few weeks and have been married to the same man for 35 yrs of which the first 11 years were physical and mentally abusive and although there hasn’t been any physical abuse, I am still dealing with the emotional abuse. I am actually for once in my life trying to seek legal advice. I am disabled due to the chronic fibromyalgia/arthritis/and mental depression that I suffer every day. I have attempted suicide three times and am now seeing a psychiatrist. I truly hope with all my heart that you would not put this under but take this matter all the way as it is so important and women as myself really need to be educated about this issue. Thanks again for exposing this issue and giving women some hope for a better life…..

  20. Kathy says:

    I too was in an abusive marriage, I was married to a Police Officer. It was a terribly hopeless feeling. I am well educated, had a decent job, and a good income, this situation happens without any knowing social boundaries. I am now permanently disabled, living in a house that should be condemned, my seventeen year old daughter and I share a bedroom. It’s a horrible existence, I am in a massive depression, we need to move to better circumstances, but I feel my “get up and go” got up and went. My bootstraps have broken from pulling them up so many times. I found the perfect house for my daughter, my disabled sister and I, but it is sixty thousand dollars. I can’t get a mortgage because my credit became a mess when the gasoline prices began to rise. That’s how tight the budget has been.
    What bothers me most (secondly to my daughter being in this situation), is – I used to be someone. I am a War Veteran of the first Gulf War, I was a Marine, I was intelligent, I was motivated, I was… . Now I am incapable of anything positive. I feel like my husband was right. Maybe he was telling me the truth, and I was too blind to see it. I wish I was myself again. Abusive relationships are painful for a long time after you get away.
    My dream is to open a shelter where victims of domestic violence can come, recuperate, regroup, get a decent secondary education, help each other, and live in peaceful surroundings in a self sustaining community until they are ready to get back out there, and try again. The irony is, my Masters degree is in Mental Health Counseling. How’s that for irony? With the depression, I can’t figure out how to get it started. With the physical disability since the Gulf War, I can’t get out of bed some days. It sucks.
    Please! If you are being abused, get out now.

  21. Wes says:

    I am the abuser,,reformed,,,no excuse,,,life is tough,big deal,so is everyones,,,there is no excuse for treating the ones you are to protect and love that way.if you cant control yourself or even think raising a hand.please.please. walk away.get help.dont let pride get in the way.not a single soul on the planet is perfect. we all have baggage.you will be the better for it and it will come back to you.do not blame anyone else.you can only change you.take responsebility for yourself.you dont want those actions etched on your soul,,much worse,,those of your children or spouse,,,you can never take it back.

  22. amy says:

    What can friends and family do to end abuse in the relationship of a family member? My sister is going through the cycle: leaving, going back, etc… What can I do to help her?

  23. ELOUISE says:

    I AM WRITING BECAUSE I AM HELPLESS AND DON’T KNOW WHERE ELSE TO TURN. I HAVE A DAUGHTER WHO IS TURNING 19 AND HER SON TURNED 4 TODAY. THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS TO HOW SHE GOT PREGNANT IS THE ISSUE BUT IT’S NOT AT THE SAME TIME . BECAUSE, MY GRANDSON I FEAR SOMETHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN. HE IS ALREADY TORTURING ANIMALS AND I NEED HELP FOR MY DAUGHTER .WE HAVE PRETTY MUCH RAISED MY GRANDSON.NOW THEY LIVE IN NORTH CAROLINA AND I CAN’T BE THERE FOR HIM. HE IS RAISING HIS SELF BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER SLEEPS ALL THE TIME. TO THE POINT HE SAYS HE’S BEING BAD BECAUSE HE WANTS TO COME HOME(MY HOME). SHE IS PREGNANT WITH TWINS AND I FEAR HE WILL EITHER HURT THE BABIES BECAUSE OF THE ATTENTION OR HE WILL HURT THEM TRYING TO TAKE CARE OF THEM BECAUSE MOMMY IS SLEEPING. PLEASE DR. PHIL PLEASE I AM BEGGING YOU TO HELP ME.

  24. Kimberly says:

    Im a victim of domestic violence and i am with you Dr. Phil to put an end to it. I was married to an abuser, who emotionally, verbally and yes physically abused me. It was my 2nd marriage and i truly fell in love and thought he was the man of my dreams, but low and behold many of those true colors did not come out until after we were married. He for starters was diagnosed with a bipolar disorder and would have many highs and lows. He was placed on antidepressants and would not always take them or seek therapy also, and whenever his mood was off i was the target for it.

    Of course he would isolate me from my friends, some of my family and my children never saw the abuse i hid it well. I did blame myself in the beginning for Im an RN and truly thought i could fix this man, but know i could not. I hid the physical aspect of my abuse from my friends, coworkers and family and they never knew until after we were divorced that any of this happened. i covered up many of my bruises with makeup and no one ever could tell.

    I can see my last physical beating was in 2006 and that was the last straw when my exhusband got so enraged and literally thru up against the wall and then slammed me on the floor and kept repeatedly kicking me with his steel-toed boots and it was at this time that my life flashed before my eyes and realized i did not want my children to be motherless for i feared for my life.

    So i do say this to any victim of domestic violence there is help out there and if anything seek the counseling, therapy and if you need to get out of the relationship for your safety and children’s please do so, for no child should have to endure losing a mother/parent over domestic violence.

  25. cheryl kohn says:

    I am a female ..i do alot of reading ..i did read this website. the stories. i feel it was a group of women who have a voice. i luv. my comment ; and question is why do talk shows ; Usually talk about Only verbal , and physical. Leaving out the Main one. sexual abuse. it is more serious. on a higher level. cheryl

  26. cheryl kohn says:

    I am a female .. i read your website.. the stories.. about verbal and physical abuse.. my comment and question on most talk shows ., why are 90 percent on verbal and physical abuse …. why not talk about sexual abuse where it is on a higher level of abuse. such as stockholm syndrome.

  27. Shari says:

    Thank you Dr Phil for doing this! Awareness is so important – too often, abusers tell their young victims that everyone else is suffering at home at least as much as they are so the victims grow up thinking abuse is NORMAL.

    It’s time for the silent suffering to end. It’s also past time to end the tyranny of all the abusive therapists, lawyers, judges, teachers, clergy, etc.

    We have a lot of housecleaning to do in this country…

  28. Sherry Branch says:

    I am one who did speak up when my child and I were being abused by my then husband, and the system miserably failed us! What does one do when the system gives the abuser more rights than the ones being abused???

  29. Sherry Branch says:

    Let’s talk about “After-the-Fact-Justice”, as is all that South Carolina law has to offer. I pleaded with a judge to help my child and myself, to protect us against my abusive husband, and the judge told me that the written law ties his hands. He also agreed with me that an order of protection isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. I had several police officers make the same comment about the written law preventing them from protecting us at a time when I feared for the life of my child and myself. I even presented our lawmakers and other politicians in our state with a petition signed by thousands trying to get some laws reconsidered in our state and absolutely nothing was done. Even the sex offender registry law in our state, an existing law, has been referred to by a local state legislator as “THE LAW WITH NO TEETH” because it is not enforced as it should be, so what recourse do we really have when we do speak up about abuse?

  30. Sherry Branch says:

    My former husband, the father of my child, is a REGISTERED CHILD SEX OFFENDER in South Carolina and he has been granted custody of our minor child. I want to know what other states have to say about such CHILD ENDANGERMENT.

  31. Martine says:

    I have seen the show and read many of the comments. It is always hard to remember and I still have that bad habit of comparing my past abusive relationship to the others. The fact remains. Abuse is abuse. It doesn’t matter what form or shape it takes. One is not worse than the other. ALL scares and has a hard time healing. It is easy to tell someone to leave, to get out. It is also easy to critisize the victim for going back. NO ONE seems to understand that your own thinking is not your own anymore. It took me at least a year to figure that out. I did manage to get out, but after a God awfull price. My child. You may be able to concince yourself that you will throw yourself in between, but please don’t fool yourself. You’ll NEVER change him. He doesn’t want to be changed. His pretty words are all part of the act, the control. One of my twins was shaken when he was two weeks old by my ex, because the poor little tyke was crying. God, let me keep him. I was ready to sacrifice whatever I had to keep him. Today, when you look at him, you don’t see the brain damage, but it’s there. I changed. I turned into something my ex had never seen before. When I went to court, I didn’t hold anything back. I was ready to bare everything. I wasn’t affraid anymore and he knew it. But, while my son has to live with brain damage for the rest of his life, my ex only served one year and two months. I am angry at this, but I live with it, because I didn’t get out in time. Any women out there comparing your relashionship to others and thinking “Oh no! That’s not what’s happenning to me! He doesn’t do that!” It is an indication that your own small voice, your own self that he is muffling is trying to reach you. Hold on to it, don’t let go and think of your children …Even when he sweares he will NEVER hurt the kids! It is not true. My story is the proof of that and this little blip does not tell you what He did to ME…..

  32. Laura says:

    Wow. Where to start? Yes, abuse comes in many different forms and to many different degrees. Put downs by others, sarcastic remarks, a little push or shove, blame being placed constantly, formerly tender touches become a bit rough, coersion into unwanted sex…All of it is abuse and all of it DOES escalate. Sometimes the escalation happens over weeks or months, sometimes over years…Either way, IT IS ABUSE AND IT IS WRONG! My daughter is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I am the mother of a survivor. Suffice it to say our legal system sucks and in many ways is worthless. The minute my daughter disclosed to me what had happened, I called the police for help. The detective assigned to the case (a man) went on vacation shortly after and it ended up being a month before the monster was even arrested. Also plenty of time to take care of getting rid of computer and other evidence. After he was arrested and charged with Class A Child Molestation (same class as murder) and spent a measly $5,000 to bail out, the court date was set. However, his wonderful high dollar slimey lawyer made sure to file one continuance after the other in hopes it would drag out so long that we would give up. If we had filed for even half that many continuances, the case would have been dropped. Long story shorter, 4 YEARS LATER he finally pled guilty to a lesser charge and an argued sentence. Ten years, 4 suspended, with an argued sentence. He ended up being behind bars for a few months, then with his parents’ money and slime ball attorney he got sentence modification and was out. Through all that I learned some things, one of which is that you can never undo what has been done, but you can find healing, move forward and become a survivor.
    Though I was not the one abused, I later learned that what I went through was actually PTSD. I was there every step of the way with my daughter from the time she told me what had been happening, and as she had to be interviewed over and over, examined by a forensics nurse…It was like she was being abused all over again by the system. Later on I learned about a non-profit agency in our area called “S-O-S”, Sex Offense Services. They are the rape crisis/domestic violence center for our county. Earlier in 2010 they moved in with another, newer, agency, The Family Justice Center. Together they work hard to provide many free services for victims of domestic violence/sexual violence and their families. It’s a safe place to go, they can even help with protective orders and other legal issues. They have many forms of support, and even work directly with the prosecutors office. Because they are non-profit, their number of staff is small, but the things they do to help are amazing. There are Family Justice Centers around the country, but not nearly enough. Since I found out about S-O-S, I went through their program and became a Volunteer Advocate. It is the absolutely most rewarding thing you can imagine. It feels good to be able to use some of what my daughter and I went through to be able to help others become survivors.
    If you are in an abusive relationship, get help while you still can. Do not choose to stay “because of the kids”. Do you really want your kids to grow up to be treated like that or to treat others that way? Do not stay because of lack of income, there are agencies who are ready to help you if only you ask. If you wait to leave, you might wait too long. YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR ABUSER, AND YOU ARE NOT THE CAUSE OF THEIR ABUSE. ABUSERS CAN ONLY CHANGE IF THEY DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES THAT THEY WANT TO CHANGE. VICTIMS CAN ONLY CHANGE IF THEY DECIDE FOR THEMSELVES THAT THEY WANT TO CHANGE. YOU CAN STOP BEING A VICTIM AND BECOME A SURVIVOR, BUT THE FIRST STEP IS UP TO YOU. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
    Dr. Phil, you are doing some amazing things for others and I am thankful that you are using the gift that God has obviously given you. Thank you for all that you do, and all the healing you promote. You and Robin are in my prayers.

    Laura

  33. DeeDee Galliher says:

    I have been in an abusive relationship my entire life. I was in the process of prosecuting my family five years ago when I found out that I was pregnant and the Commonwealth Attorney was concerned that the stress of the trials would be hard on my baby, so we put it on hold. The Attorney said that my family was the second worst abusers in the state of Virginia. I unfortunately went from this abusive family to a spouse that was abusive. He wasn’t that bad in the beginning but he got continually worse each year. I stayed with him 17-years and the last three years, he had told me almost daily that he could kill me if he chose to do so. He put his hands around my throat, he shot arrows at my head. He had adult protection services called on him while I was pregnant because he kicked me in the stomach. He had child services called on him when our baby was two months old because he was hitting me and shoving me while I was holding our baby; I left several times but would always go back. The deciding factor was when we were expecting our second child, I was around 8-weeks pregnant and he abused me so much that I lost my baby. This was right before the new law passed that a baby in the womb could be counted as an alive person, otherwise he would have gone to jail for murder, which is what he did. Seven weeks later, me and my daughter had found a program that helped people who was homeless due to domestic violence, and we moved into our own apartment. I am now in school full-time and will graduate in 14-months with my bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, K-6 Education. I was always told by my family and then my husband that I was not smart enough to go to a four-year school. They were all wrong. I have become a much stronger person and I hope that I am a role model for my daughter, to show her how to be strong and we are in a wonderful church with a wonderful church family.

  34. susan heltsley says:

    Hello Dr. Phil,
    My name is Susan and I am a survivor of Domestic Violence as well as my children. I was married to a man for 18yrs. He didn’t seem all that bad at first. Then I had my first child. He got more aggressive and cruel after my second child. By then I was in too deep, or so I thought. I’ve always heard , ” If you made your bed then you have to lie in it.” So that’s what I did. I stayed married to him no matter what he did or what he would say to me. Then things began to get much worse, he would get mad then go for the children. Sometimes I couldn’t stop him from beating them. I look back now and feel ashamed for staying with him so long. It has effected my children sometimes to the point that I do not think that my youngest daughter will ever trust any man. My oldest daughter is married now. I think all I want to say is that I would like to let other women know they are not alone. It has happened to the best of all of us. It’s not our faults for making the wrong choices. But it is our faults for staying too long.

    I also know that if the woman does not make the choice to leave, then no one can help. That is the biggest step…. to walk out. To choose to not live in abuse. I chose to leave after 18yrs. of marriage only because I was afraid that one day my children and I would never wake up. I thought that someday his anger would get the best of him….then he would have killed us all.

    I just hope this will help someone. I know it’s hard to make that first step. And it is not easy. But I am very glad that I did. My children and I have to work at alot of things everyday. But we have made it this far. God has helped us all the way…along with my mother.

  35. Christine says:

    I just want to say to these women get out.. My cousin 43 yrs old was just brutally murdered by her “ex” a little more than 24 hrs ago.. they had a violent 5 yr relationship.. After he beat her to death he shot her in the head and then called her teenage daughter to tell her he “killed her mother”.. Please get out..

  36. Christine says:

    Please get out ladies.. my cousin was brutally murdered a little more than 24 hrs ago.. he beat her to death and then shot her in the head.. They were in a 5 year abusive relationship .. she waited too longer.. please get out..

  37. Evelyn Darr says:

    Just this past week, my 44 year old niece, mother of 2, grandmother of 3 was murdered by her ex-boyfriend who could not deal with the break up. After he did the deed, he then called her 14 year old daughter and informed her of what had just happened. She has called the police several times upon finding damage to her car, in one instance he left a bullet on her hood. The police told her that unless they caught him in the act, there was nothing they could do. I don’t know if she had a restraining order against him as I am being told bits and pieces at a time. Neighbors interviewed on t.v. have said he seemed like a nice guy and was always pleasant to them. The above scenario is probably like so many we hear of and thing this can’t happen to this family. Believe me people, as I am finding out it does!! So don’t ignore the situation, if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck it probably is. Get out and get out quick.

  38. Judy says:

    Just watched the show on domestic violence. I was lucky enough to remove myself from an abusive relationship.

    Dr. Phil, let’s start nationwide a 5K or 10 K or both for domestic violence. These races have a lot of exposure and are a great way to fund raise.

    I will be more than willing to do anything to STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.

    Great show

  39. Lindsay Waller says:

    I want Dr Phil to know that this episode really hit me. Even though I left my abuser over a year ago, the wounds are still there. To this day there is no resolution and we are still in court. I am proud and happy to say that I have custody of my wonderful daughter, but as yet it seems as though the court overly favors my abuser. I continue to put my daughter’s needs first and is not easy. He ignores her, belittles me infront of her, insults me. When she came back from a court mandated 7 week summer visit with him in 2010, she came back stressed, extremely insecure, filthy and would panic if I left her sight.

    As hard as things are now, I am fully aware now the situation I was in and the impact it still has on me. I live each day with what happened, and in ways I am stronger (though now without the help of family) and in some ways I continually feel inferior. I never thought I would be in this situation, I thought I was too smart. I realize how wrong I was. I now know I want to do all I can to help others in my situation. No one should have to go through this alone.

    Sincerely,
    Lindsay Waller

  40. Kellie says:

    You have it wrong Dr. Phill….
    I am a child of domestic violance… I watched my father stab my mother with a fork in the arm at the dinner table… I watched my father slap my mother around…. I have been beaten by my father.. I say i was his punching bag… I was verbally and mentally abused almost every day….. I was molested by a baby sitter, and uncle and two family friends.
    I am not much to look at or was a pritty child… I was told daily how ugly i was. I was told i would be nothing when i grew up… Children have dream of being something when they grow up… I did not have a dream i was just trying to stay alive each day. I am 44 and back then no one cared… not the courts… you did not have anyone help… I vowed I would not marrie anyone like this… I grew up and i went to college and i had a good job. I became pregnant. I did not marrie this man but moved in with him… i was mentally abused …verbally abused… and beaten…. I finelly left…… THIS IS WHERE YOU HAVE IT WRONG DR. PHILL.. I am not a jerry springer show…. I did not call the police because he would have killed me … He went over the edge and stayed there….. His job took him away from home every 2 to 3 months then i moved… I used my IRA to for a lawyer. I ran out of money and he left… I used every thing i had… The father of my child left his high paying job so he did not have to pay me… it worked… he pays me very little… I was a stay at home mother… I am fighting a Name… Meaning everyone knows of him and his family… I live in VT… I tried every agency for help. The courts don’t care about the child…I have proof on that… I have called them a lot to see if there was help… NO HELP TO BE HAD… We have more shelters for animals, drug addicts…woman & men… we have 3 yes only 3 homes that they call transition homes for woman… I do receive food stamps and i found another job so i have two and because i have two jobs part time. They took $100.00 away from me in food stamps… The estra money was for toilet paper, cold med for my daughter, ect.. clothes for my daughter….ect… all for my daughter… times are hard I fall so far behind the poverty line … I have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our back… and a lot of love…. that is what my daughter and i have… I see why woman stay… there is no help out there… No one in your coner… YOU are telling these women to leave…. they will not get any help… If you don’t have the money you will not get any place… I live in a town of 350 people and in winter 5,000. it is a ski town… there is no jobs… I have tired so hard to get help… there is none… so you need to provide help… Not just give legal advice… get them a lawyer so they can get a fair trial… don’t spend the money on a campaign spend money on homes where woman can get help and stay for at least a year.. spend money on the woman… not a campaign… you can put a shirt on but inless there is help for woman they might as well just stay… For a year i have been representing myself… His lawyer and the judge has walked all over me… I don’t know what to hell i am doing…. My frineds Father died a few months ago and received some of his inhertance and he is letting me borrow $5,000.00 for a lawyer… So I owe 19,000.00 Some to my old lawyer who walked out on me… I don’t want pity…. I want change… I cried and still am the next day after seeing your show dec.29. Something needs to change… we can’t tell woman to leave they have to have some kind of help… I have another day of trial which is not set yet… I may loose to a man who had nothing to do with his child when we lived there and someone who beat me just for being there… I fear for my daughters safty… just because i did not have the help and no where to go for it…. that is not fair…

  41. Peyton says:

    Dr. Phil my name is Peyton I am a 23 year old woman who has been abused for the past 4 years, starting out with name calling to pulling of hair until I was punched in the face and stomped on like dirt. NO woman deserves to be mentally or physically abused. To all the women out there, so many men are GOOD people and will treat you like a princess, it just takes enough courage and drive in order to finally say “enough is enough.” Every episode on Ending the silence has truly changed my life and encouraged me and successfully become a better woman, left my abuser cut all ties and have started my new and more happy life. Thank you so much Dr. Phil for all the helpful resources to help with hard times.

    With love,
    Peyton

  42. Janelle says:

    Dr. Phil and others,
    Thankyou is the best thing I can say. I want to tell my story because to often women like me are ashamed and don’t speak out. I am a 42year old stay at home mother of three. I graduated top in my class from a prestigious college where I met my husband. He put me on a pedestal (warning sign) was smart,handsome, successful and asked me to marry him 4 months after dating him. 20 years later, all the things he put me on the pedestal for are all the things I now never live up to. He belittles me, criticizes me, finincially controls me, and verbally/emotionally abuses me in front of our children daily. Nothing is ever good enough no matter what I do. On the outside we live in a beautiful 500,000 home in the Chicago suburbs, and my husband makes over $250,000. I have a supportive family and know this is abuse but I am still afraid to leave. It is a combination of “the devil you know and the devil you don’t” (fear) and the thought that if I finally figure out how to “change” him it will be better (hope). Although there has been a very incidences of minor physical abuse (pushing, grabbing, etc) it is the long lasting emotional and verbal abuse that leaves the scars–I just read this “it is not the breaking of the eggs, but the continual walking on eggshells that does the damage”. Just yesterday I contacted an attorney and made an appointment for next week. I pray that I keep the resolve to go. Remember, even abusers have shades of gray, that is why we still love them–it is the glimpses of the man we loved all those years ago. It is just time to make that not “good enough” to live in a way that destroys your spirit and most importantly your children who are the ones with the front row seat to it all. Good luck to you all and I hope my story helps show that this can affect women of all aspects and types of life.

  43. Robin says:

    Hello Dr. Phil,

    I endured 4 years of abuse ~ verbal, mental, emotional, and physical ~ all nearly in silence ~ except for one relative, one friend, and numerous domestic violence advocates who helped me.

    It has been 5 1/2 years of freedom for me, and I started a writing blog which contains stories of my experience of domestic violence along with other themes such as cancer.

    Here is a story I had the courage to post today. I share it with your viewers with the hope that they may relate to my experience, and if they are currently in a domestic violence relationship that they will see hope for their future. Getting free can take months ~ even years ~ but it is possible. I do not remember having any hope back then, and I am lucky to have survived.

    Thank you, Dr. Phil,

    Robin

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Death Row

    You ask me why I never left. I recently told my domestic violence advocate that it was safer to remain on death row. Despite the abuse, I could at least see my family. I could still take care of my diabetic cat. I chose to remain on death row until he finally broke up with me. He needs to feel in control, and every time I spoke of leaving or began to make plans to rent a new place, he got angrier and angrier. His anger scared me. His death threats scared me. Death row prolonged the abuse, but it also prolonged the possibility of death. At any moment, my number could be called. My time could be up. His anger could escalate, and the final blow to my head would be fatal. There were days when I would think, “I wonder if this will be the day I will die.”

    August 22, 2003: He bashed my head into the wall causing a closed head injury. I called 911, and he only spent 4 hours in jail. He then made me pay him back $5000 for the lawyer and bail money over the next year. I even wrote a check directly to his lawyer. I chose not to go to the hospital but recovered at a motel in Watsonville. I could not turn my head for over three days.

    Since then, he has grabbed my ponytail, dragged me down the hall, and banged my head on the wall.

    He has spit on me, thrown water on me, and spent hours chasing me through the house pouring lotion all over my hair and clothes.

    He has choked me, causing me to fall back on the dryer and bang my head on the pantry shelf.

    He has punched his closed fist onto my head multiple times..

    He has socked me in the arm several times while driving.

    He has socked me several times on my left shoulder blade while giving me a massage.

    He has banged my head with a light bulb multiple times.

    He threatened to bash my head in with a rock and throw me over a cliff, making it look like a suicide. He later denied making the actual threat; instead, he explained that he made the statement since he thought I was suicidal, and he wanted to help me commit suicide.

    He later asked, “What am I going to do with you—put you in a hole?” He later told me to choose what I wanted to have written on my headstone.

    He has broken my cell phone (to keep me from calling 911 again), the coffee table, my flashlight, and many other items. He took a knife to an Easter bunny and tore all of the stuffing out. He has threatened to hurt my cat.

    He has now confessed to having sex behind my back with many of his women friends. He says that his promiscuity is perfectly O.K. because he was “done” with me two years ago.

    He claims he has chosen you over me because you do not provoke him to anger. But I have been abused for moving the car seat forward, moving a kitchen magnet to a different spot on the refrigerator, removing a price tag from a dog toy, removing a fan from a shelf, gaining 20 lbs on the anti-anxiety drug Paxil, for asking any kind of question, for speaking or for not speaking, and for bringing home Kentucky Fried Chicken (even when I was verbally abused the previous month for not bringing home chicken).

    He hated me and everything about me.

  44. Kathy says:

    Kate knows all too well. I’m 49 years young. I have grown up around physical and mental violence on my mother my brother and myself. My father was controlling of my mother. There was alcohol involved alot of the tome no excuse. My brother and I were both put down by my father most of our lives and physically abused untill mid teens when Iran away. So my life began with insecurities feeling worthless. No trust for men. My parents seperated when I was 10. My mothers next boyfriend nice when not drinking but alcohol was a way of lofe. He beat my mother up so many times over a 10 year period can’t count the times. I ended up in a vey physical vey mental and verey controlled relationship at the age of 21. Just thinking about this my stomach is fluttering. I was in this for 9 years. I did not choose this person this person chose me. I was so scared I did what I was told from day one. I can’t even say all that I did under his control. No I couldn’t talk to my parents for years my brother. When he let me I took a beaten after every call. Never left the premasis without him. Not allowed to talk on phone at one point moved to the rural and had no phone. Lived ina 9×10 room for 8mos. Didnt eat for a month at a time my nerves were so bad I was so scared when the door handle turned; he’s back. Ihave awoke to being strangled I have been knocked out so so many times I didn’t even know what happened. His family knew he was doimg this to me but they were too scared to say anything to him, including his own mother.My Id was taken. He has drove me along roads I didn’t know where we were and with loaded GUN on seat facing me, telling me I’m going in a grave and no one will ever know where I am. Most of my beatings were concealled, as people (his mother might ask questions). Broken ribs My face a few black eyes fat lips cut lips loss pigmentation in part of my lips from deep cuts. Guns to my head often so often.. If Icall police or run this will happen and that will happen. I believed him. I didn’t believe the police would protect me. He had people everywhere they will find me and THEN…I was punched and slapped in the car right beside people waitind at a stop light hopeing praying someone would take our plate number and report. never once happened. Lived in an apartment building I know people had of heard me screaming never one person called police. He controlled everything even my MIND… He would not let me go to doctors when he finally did I had to find a women doctor as no man was going to look at me . When people (men) lookee at me I got slapped and sometimes beat He would accuse me of knowing them, never seen them in my life. He has dragged me across a street to an apartment building acissing me of knowing these people that sell drugs and I supposedly was there buying drugs. I don’t smoke drink or do drugs, these people said a blond girl was ther that day. This was a very SICK Boy. I had to figure why he treats me this way. I ended up pregnant (not good) Did not want to bring a child into this world of mine. Even before meeting this out of control person.But I thought maybe I won’t get beat anymore. And then he will have something to own maybe he will lay off me. Sooooo…. His last hitting was when I was 6months pregnant my head split open with a TV converter. From then on mainly threats and mentally abusive. Long story this is just the third year. Anyway the mental abuse is so much worse than the physical. I still feared my life everyday for the next 6 years. The last 2 years Oh ya he had hand guns silencers etc. I was almost ready to commit suicide as I couldn’t take this life anymore so tired. I have now been livind in stress for most of mylife and I started to think I’d rather be dead. But I had 2 children now. How could I do this to them. I had a terrible up bringing but I had a mom and a dad. So the other optioned was kill the father and hope I get off when all my family and friends that had already gone to police years earlier about getting me out. Hope that I don’t go to jail. Dreamer I was. So I found myself in a closet with a loaded hand gun with my two children in teir crib and bed ready to take my life. And I found myself with a loaded gun at the end of the bed with him sleeping ready to take his life BUT>>> My kids will have no mom and no dad. One dead one in jail. So I knew one day I have to run away. I have to make a plan a good plan and if he kills me fine cause I’m going to kill me if I stay. Took me Another year but I did it took my two kids went to a shlter houe drive away. Took a taxi. Not that simple but I told my children we were going to a park, not knowing when we pulled into the shelter there was a playground. My kids were 2 and 5. They are now 24 and 20. I talk to the Father alot he knows he is a sick person never got help but he’s alot better he says thanks to my councelling. lol I forgive hiom I will never ever forget the terror of those years still affects me. Itry really hard to let it go so it doesn’t stay in my m,ind long. I to this day will not shake that mans hand he makes me kringe. MAKE A PLAN If I did it you can too. I promise. Pray pray pray.

  45. Mrs. Darrick Harris says:

    Thank you for creating a blog. I want to tell my story because to often military spouses like me are ashamed and don’t speak out. Fear of reporting their husband because they are always told they will ruin their career or they will be kicked out of the military. I am married to a Senior Chief (E-8, ITCS)in the Navy, stationed in Norfolk, Va, whom been in for 19 years. He is a alcoholic and abusive. I work for the Navy as a federal employee for more than 22 years where I met my husband. He said I was the best woman that ever married him. I didn’t understand this until I did my research and learned he had been married 6+ times and marriages lasting a year or less. He is considered a bigamist in the State of Texas in 2008 and is still considered married when he married me 7 months ago. He belittles me for speaking to the command about his alcohol problems, criticizes me, finincially controls me, and verbally/emotionally abuses me in front of his friends that are too in the military. He got so drunk and passed out in front of his good friend whom is a Master Chief in the Navy that looked on and did nothing to help him. He left him with me only for me to get abused later on that evening by my husband. My husband assaulted me and injured my ribs. The Master Chief discouraged me to report the abuse because he did not want to see my husband get in trouble. My husband recently punched in my chest causing a bruise to appear on my chest. I have had enough and I reported it to NCIS, Norfolk police and the MCPON office. My husband was issued a Military Protective Order but was not confined to the base. Really the military does nothing about the abuse. You can have all the medical documentations and police reports they will still allow the military person to continue with their lives as nothing ever happened or no abuse ever occurred. My husband made it clear as he waived his 9ML gun that he would kill me or have a relative of his to kill me. My husband even recorded himself saying his last good byes to his children as he stated he love me and ask me to take care of the children. He then grabbed the 9ML. I ran out the house screaming for help. I am tired of his dramma and the abuse. The police taken the 9ML gun with them. The Master Chief which is his friend that was investigated last year himself for adultery charges told me he is bias and asked me why did I report it and not deal with it between my husband and I. It’s a shame that military spouses report the abuse and the command try to make it as if it’s our fault because we reported a Senior Enlisted person such as my husband. I have a supportive family and know this is abuse but is in the process of trying to get a divorce or annulment for concealed marriage. My husband had a horrific childhood and his escape is the alcohol. The Navy have protected him and his illness for all of these years. I am concern for him and the safety of our country because he handles classified information. I watch him every weekend get drunk on a Friday and Saturday and he passes out. I have to play the quiet game by not saying anything to him when he get drunk to avoid him hitting me. I have to agree with all the crazy things that come out of his mouth when he is drunk. The Master Chief wife even accussed him of touching her body part but of course her husband did nothing about it. My husband threaten to kill my ex-husband (Army Veteran) and his wife (school teacher) leaving a very disturbing message on their voice mail. His command only referred him to speak with the Chaplain whom reminded him that alcohol was not the way. My husband self referral to Fleet Family Support Center for Anger Management. Later the command got involved and referred him to SARP. My husband was investigated for fraternization, adultery and sexual harassment. All of his charges/complaints are always swept under the rug because he is a Senior Chief in the Navy. I am taking a stand for all the military spouses that are afraid to speak up against their spouses that are in senior leadership. I refuse to remain silence and not report it. Secretary Robert Gates must do more about miltary spouse abuse. Congress must put a stop to the abuse that military spouses endures daily. It should be a 0 Tolerance on abuse on military spouses. Yes I too am walking on eggshells and the emotional scars are now embedded. Yes I love my husband but can not do the “better or for worse” I am a Queen and not a Punching Bag. I’ve had enough of his abuse! The Captain in his command told him where there is smoke there is fire. Now I am living with a piece of paper call Protective Order.

  46. my chest causing a bruise to appear on my chest. I have had enough and I reported it to NCIS, Norfolk police and the MCPON office. My husband was issued a Military Protective Order but was not confined to the base. Really the military does nothing about the abuse. You can have all the medical documentations and police reports they will still allow the military person to continue with their lives as nothing ever happened or no abuse ever occurred. My husband made it clear as he waived his 9ML gun that he would kill me or have a relative of his to kill me. My husband even recorded himself saying his last good byes to his children as he stated he love me and ask me to take care of the children. He then grabbed the 9ML. I ran out the house screaming for help. I am tired of his dramma and the abuse. The police taken the 9ML gun with them.

  47. Mrs. Darrick Harris says:

    Yes, my husband punched me in my chest. It’s been a week now and the bruise is still on my chest. I am fed up with my husband assaulting me with his hands. He assaulted me in November and drove me to the local hospital emergency room back in November, after he injured my ribs. He threaten to kill me and he threaten to kill himself. The doctor wanted to have him arrested but I refused to file any charges if he contacted the police. I begged the doctor not to have him arrested because he have always told me if I report it to the Navy or the Navy finds out he will kill me. This last assault I am refusing to keep silence. I filed charges with the local police. I am living in fear with a Protective Order, it’s just a piece of paper and I do not think the Navy can keep him away from me.

  48. Tabatha says:

    question; there is a 17 year old girl that starts dating a 22 year old guy. from the beginning of their relationship, it turns very abusive & controlling. when she was 19 & he was 24, they had a little boy. the boyfriend is still very abusive. physically & mentally. the girl would of left, if she just knew where she could of gone. she… didn’t know there was options. when the baby boy was just a couple months old, he acted sick. the mother took him to the hospital & found out he had several & serious medical problems that were non-accidental. the father tried saying it was a fall while the mother is at work. the mother, by herself, takes the baby to the hospital and stayed awake for 48 hours straight with her son while the father stayed home. long story short, cps & dhs got in the picture. the baby boy was temp. taken away & the parents worked to get the baby back. still, no one has admitted what happened to the baby. the mother stays with the father 6 months after the baby is taken away. finally one night she left him due to a serious act of domestic violence. the father was arrested & pled guilty to domestic violence causing body/harm & mental/injury. …the mother is now doing very well. she’s back on her feet, financially & mentally. she also has a restraining order on the father. so by this point, the juvinile case has requested termination of parental rights on both the mother & father. even though the mother went to all the counceling & supervised visitation & the father did none of that. so the mother tried to appeal the term. of/parental rights. the appeal courts went with the termination. so the mother has lost her son, although she was a victim, along with her son, to serious acts of domestic violence & no one helped her with that. now the criminal case has started for the baby boy. the mother has taken a polygraph test, & has passed. the father refuses to take one. also, the appeal court has founded the father caused the injuries, on purpose, the the infant son. so the mother has passed the polygraph & it is prooved that the mother did no such harm to her child.
    now here’s the major question; with the help of Dr. Phil, does the mother have a chance of getting her son back in her custody. we think the state has not done what they were supposed to & mother was treated unfairly. please, i am begging you, to please help us with this. i have tried emailing your show, regretfully, with no response. so please, advise Dr. Phil. Please?!?!?!?!

  49. Dear Dr. Phil,
    My name is Brandy and,
    I remember asking you earlier if you were going to shed light on Domestic Violence. I am proud of you for telling the absolute painful truth about this topic. I would like to share my whole story.
    When I was a child I was bullied by some boys in my neighborhood. They obviously felt threatened somehow because I was a younger little girl at the time.As I got older, the bullying became more frequent and intensified throughout the whole neighborhood where I had few friends. It was hard. By the time I was in Jr. High I started experimenting with alcohol. Honestly, I liked it. Because of the pain from bullying my self-esteem was horrible. I stumbled upon cutting my wrists and began to do it on occasion. Some things I experienced was being chained to the fence and left there in the rain, another was being urinated on and even another incident was being called a beach whale and many other names that I prefer to forget. Growing up was painful and my family felt powerless. I had manifested so much anger that I had a terrible mouth full of cussing to my family and disobedience. Then, I stumbled straight into an addiction with crystal meth. This drug I thought was the answer to my prayers, or so I believed. I became a full-time drug addict. It was blinding me from the truth about my addiction and where my life was heading. I got my first real boyfriend at 17 years old. He began beating me after we moved away from my family up in Phelan area. The first time was in front of our friends. I was so confused as to why no-one helped me. I soon realized that they did not want to get involved. My life was drugs and domestic violence and cutting at times. I left him and got another boyfriend who beat me worse than the first one, and the same thing happened again drugs and domestic violence but, I increased the cutting. I had several relationships like this and I could not break the cycle. At the end of my addiction I cried out to God. I went home to visit my mom and received Jesus Christ in my heart. I had finally hit rock bottom and I was ready for help. I felt a chain break in my heart and all things broke off me there in the alter room. It was awesome. Today, I go to Assembly of God Church in Covina CA. on a regular basis. I share my story to many people telling women they too can be free like me. My story has become my voice and I even have shared it to over thousands of people across this nation with a non-profit organization called “Camfel Productions”. It is fun to face high school students and tell them the truth which opens their eyes, especially the coralation with drugs and domestic violence. My hope is to save many from making the same mistakes that I did. It was horrible. I am now live a life full of hope, mercy, and integrity. I am now going to school to get my B.A. in Social Work so that I can continue to help women and children to get away from the bad. Dr. Phil this scripture is for you.
    ( 2nd Timothy 3:1-9 ) My quote. ” If I save just one than I have done my job. If I save many than it was never my job to begin with, the calling come from Christ Jesus whom chose me.”
    if you ever need another woman to share encouraging news of a change in life, than contact me.It is my mission to help as many women as possible. I will not stop for we have the victory!!! From: Brandy Wilson

  50. Marie says:

    Unfortunately I was a victim of domestic violence. It became the darkest time in my life. I was only in the relationship for a few months but it left a lifetime of scars. It was someone I knew for a very long time. When I saw him after 7 year we started to date and shortly after we moved in together. I noticed there were some problems with his behavior that concerned me, but I had know idea what was to come. First I noticed drugs and alcohol were being abused, then came the mental abuse until one day I decided to stand up for myself and everything I believed in. That’s when I was confronted with the physical beating.
    You ask what I did… of coarse I went to the hospital escorted by the police and crime victims. They took my report and released me. The female officer wanted me to go to the station with her to talk to a detective because said abuser had guns. Yes guns, 3 of them. My cousin let me stay with her until I could get on me feet. The next thing I knew his house was raided by the swat unit and he was arrested and sentenced to 3 years.
    I still of coarse had rebuild my life, I lost 2 jobs during this short period. One of witch I had for 5 years. I needed a place to call my own and move forward with my life.
    A few months down the line I met my now most wonderful husband and I continued to take back and rebuild my life.
    This was 6 years ago. After a very hard start we have a great home and my dream to be a mother came true and I’m a happy mother to a healthy 1 1/2 year old. My past will not be a reality for her future.
    To anyone going through domestic violence….The grass is greener on the other side. I hope you can get out. I put my abuser where he belonged. I hope you can do the same.

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