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October 26th, 2010 by Loni Coombs

When Leaving Your Abuser Isn’t Enough

The following is from my good friend Loni Coombs, a legal analyst and regular contributor to the Dr. Phil show and The Doctors. She appeared on the Dr. Phil show “End the Silence on Domestic Violence: Abusive Exes,” weighing in on the legal rights of women who are allegedly threatened by violent former spouses and boyfriends.

Loni_1Could you imagine, after having endured countless verbal or physical attacks from an abusive partner, finally getting up the courage and strength to leave them, only to find out that the nightmare isn’t over? In fact, just the opposite — the violence is increasing and intensifying?

This very real and extremely dangerous phenomenon is called Separation Assault. Abusers, who perceive that their victim is getting away from them, become more determined and more aggressive to make sure that “If I can’t have them, no one will!”

I recently met a very courageous woman who has been struggling to, literally, survive this separation assault cycle. Sandy came to share her story with Dr. Phil in the hope that she could save even one other woman from the hell that she is now enduring. Her allegations of abuse are some of the most harrowing that I have heard in all my years of prosecuting domestic violence. But that isn’t Sandy’s whole story. (more…)

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October 25th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Bullied to Death

cyberBullyIf you think cyber bullying isn’t really that big of a deal, or just kids being kids, let me throw a few facts at you: More than 40 percent of kids in this country say they’ve been bullied on the Internet, and 35 percent say they have received online threats. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyber-bullying victims are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide compared to those who have not endured such bullying. Since 2003, at least a dozen young people between the ages of 11 and 18 have killed themselves after some form of cyber bullying.

The Dr. Phil show has been inundated with letters and calls from kids desperate to escape these keyboard bullies — omnipresent, electronic stalkers who go after them day and night, destroy their reputations, if not their lives, and then log off their computers and disappear. For every sickening cyberbully incident you read about — such as the suicide of Rutgers University college student Tyler Clementi, after he learned a roommate had allegedly videotaped his sexual encounter with another young man and streamed it live online — there are at least a half dozen more that never make headlines.

(more…)

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October 1st, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Are You Raising a Bully?

blog1What would you do if you found out that your child was a menace on the schoolyard?

Since the bullying crisis began to garner national attention a few months ago — with headlines focusing on a series of tragic teenage deaths by suicide — school districts have been frantically putting together anti-bullying policies, while politicians have been proposing one law after another to protect victims. There are new curriculums and self-help programs that teach bullied kids how to deal with their attackers. And I’m so grateful for that. We have gone too long ignoring those kids who have been singled out for torment.

What I want to know is where are the parents of the bullies? It’s their job to know what their child is doing — who they’re talking to online, who their friends are, if they’re ridiculing somebody.

On Tuesday’s show, we’re going to talk about just that. We’re shining a spotlight on one of the most shocking cases of bullying I’ve come across. Zach, a 14-year-old boy, was allegedly held against his will while four older boys from school tattooed a lewd phrase on his buttocks. Blake, the accused ringleader, was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and was recently released from jail. He and his mother, Patti, claim there’s another version of the story that the media aren’t telling. They go so far as to suggest that Blake’s actions have been mischaracterized. I want you to watch on Tuesday and make up your own mind. (more…)

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August 11th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Free Steven Slater? Or Send Him to Jail?

AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

AP Photo/Louis Lanzano

By now, you’ve no doubt heard all about Steven Slater, the JetBlue flight attendant who decided to quit his job after a female passenger allegedly cursed him and conked him over the head with a suitcase.

And boy, did he quit in a big way. First, it was reported that he cursed back over the plane’s public address system at the passenger, dropping several F-bombs. Then, after one last defiant declaration — (he reportedly yelled, “That’s it! I’m done! F*** you all!”) — he allegedly grabbed a cold beer from the galley, released the inflatable emergency exit slide, slid down and disappeared across the tarmac. 

Now, Slater’s the new Internet celebrity. He’s got his own fan page and an online support group that is called “Free Steven Slater.” For a lot of Americans who have long wanted to cry out, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore,” he’s become a genuine folk hero, a dramatic symbol of hope to working stiffs everywhere. (more…)

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July 29th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Elizabeth Warren: Fighting for Consumers

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Lately, you may have been reading or hearing about a highly respected Harvard law professor by the name of Elizabeth Warren. To be sure, she has been all over the press. She is being considered to head a new and innovative consumer bureau, and her strong consumer advocacy has some folks quaking in their boots. As it turns out, Elizabeth is a good friend of mine and of the show, and is a good, down-to-earth Oklahoma native! She has worked with our viewers to help them grasp today’s financial realities and the options available to them. She is smart, hard working and connects in a very real way. I am such a fan, I even wrote the forward for one of her excellent books on financial survival, All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. We are so like-minded! (more…)

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