Dr. Phil: An Episode Worth Watching

by Darlene Barriere - Webmaster
(Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada)



Most abuse victims fantasize a confrontation with their abusers. Few have the opportunity to have the world's most famous PhD mediate such a confrontation.

I urge all my visitors to either tune in to or tape tomorrow's (Wednesday, February 13, 2008) Dr. Phil show, titled Behind Closed Doors, a show that deals with sexual child abuse, and a mother who witnessed the abuse and did nothing.

The now-adult Heidi confronts her mother, Susan, over why, after walking in on an attack when Heidi was 9 years old, she did nothing to stop it, and instead stayed with the man who continued to sexually molest his stepdaughter.

Watch as Dr. Phil forces Susan to answer for her lack of action. Then watch as Dr. Phil confronts Heidi's stepfather, John, Heidi's abuser.

The episode highlights the disturbing subject matter of a mother who turned a blind eye, and showcases all too well what typically happens when victims confront their abusers. I hope you will tune in tomorrow, and then offer your comments through this page.

Email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses AND website/blog URLs in visitor comments are strictly prohibited.

Comments for Dr. Phil: An Episode Worth Watching

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Feb 14, 2008
The truth will set you free
by: Ashleigh Whaley

Hello, my mom went to the Dr. Phil Show with Heidi to support her as a friend. I know the real names of "John" and "Susan." Most importantly, what should I do with John's real name and location???I don't want him to hurt anyone anymore.

Feb 14, 2008
To Ashleigh:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

I certainly appreciate your concerns, Ashleigh. Legally, there is very little you CAN do, unless you know or suspect that he is abusing a specific child now. If you DO believe this to be the case, then report what you know or suspect to the authorities.

The fact that he has abused children in the distant past is not enough for the authorities to do much, unless there is no statute of limitations on reporting child abuse in the country or state in which it occurred. And it would be up to the abuse victim to report. This falls under the category of historical child abuse. I answered a question on this topic some time ago. Read my reply at Am I obliged to report? But since I'm not a lawyer, if you need more legal details, I suggest contacting an attorney.

I would personally love to publicly expose who this child molester really is in name AND face on this website. No disrespect, Ashleigh, but if I took the word of a stranger, without real knowledge of who the man is, without absolute proof that the name being shared is indeed who he is, doing so would not only be irresponsible on my part, it would risk the future of this website AND my ability to validate and address the child abuse victims I feel privileged to help every day.

You really are a caring person for asking this question, Ashleigh. I hope you'll come back and share your thoughts about what happened on the Dr. Phil show yesterday. I'm interested in what you have to say about the confrontation between Heidi and her mother, as well as the disturbing statements made by "John," Heidi's molester.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Dec 03, 2008
Please Help
by: Anonymous

Darlene, I am Heidi and even though Ashleigh's mom told me that Ashleigh wrote this to you; it was not until this very moment that I became aware that there are people who really want to make things right. You are welcome to contact me and I would love to provide any information that will help.

Note from Darlene: Heidi, I'm so very sorry for what happened to you. No child deserves to grow up the way you grew up.

The purpose behind my above announcement was to encourage my visitors to watch that particular Dr. Phil episode so that they could learn what can happen when survivors of abuse confront their abusers and the enablers of that abuse. The episode clearly showed how such confrontations are rife with denials and minimizations, and worst of all, how it is that adults often point the finger of blame on the child who was abused, which in turn has the effect of re-victimization. My intent was never to oust or in some way identify the offender; that isn't the purpose of my site.

If it would help you to write about your personal experience and how going on the Dr. Phil show did or did not help you, then by all means, write such a story or article. I will consider it for posting here on my site.

As I recall, Dr. Phil offered to provide resources. I strongly recommend that you utilize those offered resources.

Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Aug 19, 2011
fed up and tired
by: brandie

i wish i could have copies of this episode so i could show my mother why i have an attitude or chip as u say whats worse is my mother knew before she married my stepfather at age 8 and then when i left at 12 because of the abuse my sisters whole life was destroyed he then started with her and even when my mother walked in it took her eight more years to devorce him for a long time my mother had me believing it was my fault until counceling only made me hate her but now i just wish she would stop going arround using that against me or trying to destroy my relationships because she holds some grudge against me for breaking up her happy family she is the only one in the family including his children that see it that way i am now almost 30 and have small children of my own and she is trying to destroye my life in court i wish i could show her that on ur show was exactly why she needs to get help for herself before i can allow her in my life again because any time she doesnt like my attitude she lies and minipulates people in my life and then they realize that she is a horable person but by then my friendships my jobs my relationships and last my children have already suffered or been put through so much damage and it becomes impossible to fix them and then she hurt my children the one time i allowed her to have a chance almost like it was out of spite but again she feels its my fault because i said something she doesnt like gave her rules for my children that she didnt like so she ignored my wishes and then abused them and the worst part was i was in a hospital bed and could do nothing for them like the nightmare of of being alone at night when the lights went out

Oct 11, 2012
Need some direction!
by: Anonymous

Hello, I am the mother of an adult child that I think was sexually abused as a child and now shows many of the characteristics of an abused child. My daughter has never confessed this to me but has dropped hints at times. She is also now borderline anorexic. She lives on her own, has pushed family away and cut me out of her life completely. Can you recommend any books for me to understand, gain knowledge and to help my daughter?

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