Janette says her husband, Clint, has a frightening temper and has become mentally, verbally and physically abusive with her and their three kids. Clint admits he has anger issues and gets physical with his wife, but says she nags and provokes him until he snaps. Dr. Phil makes it clear what’s at stake in this family dynamic — will Clint take his wake-up call to heart? Plus, a domestic violence survivor shares an important message. This program contains graphic images. Viewer discretion advised.
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A Wife's Fears
Janette says in the past year, her husband, Clint, has become mentally, verbally and physically abusive with her and their three children, and she's afraid his behavior could turn deadly. Recently, Janette says one of their arguments escalated and ended with Clint choking her unconscious, while their 11-year-old son tried to pull his father off of her. "If Cole hadn't stopped Clint, I could have died," she says.
The couple's 14-year-old daughter, Hailey, recalls, "I heard [Cole] say, "Get off my mom, right now!' Then, about five seconds later, I heard, 'Thud, thud, thud.' It just terrified me."
Cole says, "My dad pinned her down and was, like, choking her. I was so angry that I pounded on him a couple of times with my fist."
Janette says that Clint "transforms like the Hulk" when he's angry. "His skin gets blotchy, his fists are clenched, his veins will bulge out. He gets a look in his eyes that’s emotionless," she says. Janette claims Clint has called her "every name in the book" and has also headbutted her, thrown her to the ground, kicked her in the ribs and hit her in the nose so hard that it was gushing blood. "When Clint loses that much control over his anger, I don't know what will stop him," she says. "Eventually, somebody is going to die."
Clint doesn’t deny getting physical with his wife, but says Janette nags him and pushes his buttons until he can't take it anymore and snaps. "She'll call me a fat, lazy piece of crap, " he says. "She'll threaten to take the kids. She's trying to get a reaction out of me. That's her victory." Clint adds, "Janette should
be afraid of me when I get that angry. She has a lack of respect for me as a man — as the head of the household."
Dr. Phil reviews Clint's reasons for getting physical with Janette. "What do you think, as you see it all compiled together?"
Children in Danger?
Janette says their three children are also the victims of Clint's violent rages. "He grabbed Cole by the throat and slammed him against the headboard," she says. "Hailey told him, 'Dad, stop!' He turned around and cocked his fist back. That was the first time she actually feared her father." Janette continues, "He's called my oldest daughter a whore ... If they talk back to him, he'll tell them, 'I'm going to freaking kill you.' He gets right in their face and screams, and his face turns red, and spit comes out."
Clint recalls that, once, he got angry at his oldest daughter and threw her to the ground, leaving her with a knot on her head. He says she had run away and, while he and Janette were trying to bring her back home, she pushed her mother. "I grabbed her and went to put her to the ground," Clint says. "I didn't mean to hit her head."
"So, she was getting up in her mother’s face? I wonder where she learned that," Dr. Phil says.
"She probably learned it from me," Clint concedes.
"Both of you are modeling this behavior for your children," Dr. Phil says. "You're modeling to get up in the face, yell, scream, kick, punch ... Children learn what they live. This is what you're modeling for those children."
"This has to stop." Dr. Phil looks at Janette and Clint's behavior as a couple, versus their state's definition of child abuse.
Dr. Phil introduces Dr. Charles Sophy, Medical Director for the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services. "Dr. Sophy, grade their paper," he says.
"Flunk," Dr. Sophy says. "You’re not protecting your kids. You’re abusing your kids physically, emotionally and psychologically. They shouldn’t be around either one of you until you get it together."
Dr. Phil tells the parents that he is a mandated reporter of child abuse. He turns to Clint and warns, "What's in your future is prison. If she decided to file charges on everything you've already done, that's aggravated assault on multiple occasions. I don't want that to happen to you, Clint."
Hear from two of the couple's children. Plus, Clint grows emotional: "I guess I'm a horrible father."
Dr. Phil offers Clint a lifeline. Plus, learn more about Robin McGraw's Aspire Initiative, a free domestic violence education curriculum.
Dr. Phil says to Clint, "[Janette] says she can tell when you're getting angry, and if she can see it, then you can see it. That first physical sign can either be a cue for coping or a cue for meltdown."
Clint nods in agreement.
"You have a choice to make," Dr. Phil continues. You come to a fork in the road: Abuse or cope. I have to give you a coping road. If I do that, you're going to embrace it, aren't you?"
"I will," Clint says, tearfully.
Lindsey says she spent every day petrified of a boyfriend she says left bruises on her on a daily, and sometimes weekly, basis. She says his behavior continued even when she became pregnant with her first daughter. "He didn't care, pregnant or not," she says. "He started to hit me, push me, shove me, call me names. Any way he could hurt me, he would ... After he would do it, he was say he was sorry and beg for forgiveness."
After her daughter was born, Lindsey says she began fighting back, and the abuse worsened. "He hit me, kicked me. I got a black eye, a busted lip. I had bruises all down my legs and on my back. He told me he would throw my body in a wood chipper and nobody would ever find me."
Lindsey says when she finally got the courage to tell her boyfriend "enough is enough," her life changed forever. She recalls waking up to him dousing her with a pot of hot oil. "I was like, ‘You burned me! What are you doing?’" she says. "He was like, ‘That’s what you get, bitch.’” Lindsey suffered second- and third-degree burns to 65 percent of her body. She spent 136 days in the ICU and had 26 surgeries.
Robin joins Dr. Phil onstage to talk about the Aspire News App
, which she created in conjunction with the Aspire Initiative to help women and teens in crisis. The free smartphone app has a special feature called the "Go Button," that, when activated, sends a pre-typed message to selected friends or family, to let them know you're in trouble. The app also starts recording everything happening in the room.
Dr. Phil announces that this fall, Verizon is partnering with Robin's foundation, When Georgia Smiled
, to host a follow-up to its 2013 summit on domestic violence prevention, "A Day to Connect, Inspire and Heal."
Hear more about the upcoming summit from Robin and Verizon's Jay Jaffin.
To celebrate the launch of her new skincare line, Robin McGraw Revelation
, Robin has also created a lip gloss line called AveryLasting Love
, named after their granddaughter. One hundred percent of the net profits are being donated to When Georgia Smiled, which will directly help victims of domestic violence.
If you or someone you love is being abused, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233). Or you can call the National Dating Abuse Helpline at (866) 331-9474.