Never-Ending Abuse?

May 31, 2013
Erin says that when she was 8 years old, her stepfather, "Mr. Dave," began sexually abusing her, and that she also watched him molest her friends. Erin says that despite telling her mother, Lisa, what was happening — a claim her mother denies — the atrocities continued until she confided in a teacher — three years later. Erin’s stepfather was arrested and is currently behind bars, and Lisa was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor for failing to protect her daughter. She served 13 months in jail, and is now permanently on the sex offender registry. Erin, now 22, says she's struggling to let go of the anger and resentment she still feels for her mother. Face to face on Dr. Phil's stage, will Lisa take responsibility for not taking action? And, can Dr. Phil help Erin find forgiveness? Then, find out why Lisa's 14-year-old daughter may now be in need of her mom's protection, and if Lisa is up to the task. This program contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion advised. 








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ErinErin's mother, Lisa Erin says that the mothers of two other victims also confronted Lisa about her stepfather's abuse. What does Lisa say?

Erin's stepfather was convicted of more than 40 counts of child molestation and will be serving more than 40 years in prison.


“Even though I was 8, I knew that was a no-no.” 

Erin says she also watched her stepfather abuse her friends.

Lisa explains why she feels betrayed by her daughter.

Lisa claims that she wants to repair her relationship with her daughter, but says to do that, Erin needs to stop blaming her. She says she has apologized several times to her daughter for not being there for her.

“I’m going to always blame you,” Erin tells her. “I don’t understand how you didn’t sense anything.”

“Maybe signs were there, and I didn’t pay attention,” Lisa says. She grows tearful and tells her daughter, “I’m sorry, OK? I’m very sorry that it happened to you.”

Is Lisa at risk of repeating history with her other daughter?

Dr. Phil drills down. “Did you know it and not respond because you were afraid he would beat you to death?”


Lisa acknowledges that she should have known about what was happening to Erin.

Dr. Phil explains that Erin will never be able to forgive Lisa until she owns her responsibility in what happened. It's not just about Erin being molested; it's also about her mother turning her back on her.

He tells Lisa that he’s now concerned about her 14-year-old daughter, who’s dating an 18-year old. “That’s not OK,” he says. “You might as well go find a pack of wolves and throw her to them, because the difference between a 14-year-old girl and an 18-year-old guy is daylight and dark.”

Lisa says she doesn’t believe they are sexually active. “If she’s having sex with him, I don’t want to know about it, OK?”

Dr. Phil exclaims, “Yes, you do! You do want to know about it, so you can be there for her. You need to run this boy off.”

Dr. Phil offers professional counseling to help Lisa parent her daughters. “There’s a legacy being passed on here, and I also don’t want you to be found negligent again or failing once again to react to protect a child in your charge.”

Dr. Phil tells Erin, "That is absolutely, unequivocally untrue."