Best Friends and Neighbors
"I see shadows in my peripheral vision and I turn my head really quickly " Is somebody there?" explains Anne Marie. "I cried a lot. Because boiling it down to what it was, my dear friend was attacked in her bedroom in the middle of the night. That's, sorry, that's really hard to ingest."
"Do you fear for your children?" asks Dr. Phil.
"Of course. Of course," answers Anne Marie. "Every minute. A lot of the neighbors all have their kids sleeping in their master bedroom because they're afraid to not be in the same room with them."
"If anything keeps me up, it's the thought of someone like that getting into a room where my kids are. Bar none, that is my greatest fear," says Billy.
Her face crumples. She speaks through her tears. "I hope so. I hope so. I, you know, I have to believe that they are because this is our home, but I feel scared for them," she says.
"Some days are OK. I think I have good days and bad days," she says. But just the previous day, Estela walked in their back door and frightened Anne Marie so badly, she fell to her knees and began to cry. "I just don't want to live like that."
"What I want you to understand is that you are depleted right now," Dr. Phil tells her. "I mean, your stress is obviously really, really high. I hear it in your voice. I see it in your eyes. I see it in your face. So what we have to do is, first off, get you back to 100 percent of who you are, right? We've got to get you sleeping, we've got to get you eating, we've got to get you to where you're not carrying all this stress all the time."
Dr. Phil tells the couple that a security expert will make sure their home is safe, and they will receive some psychological help as well. "We'll get you some professional help to deal with this situation," he assures them.
The girls smile. "OK," they say.
Dr. Phil stresses the importance of getting to know their neighbors, so when a family is out of town, they know to look for a secure environment when they pass the house.
"Don't underestimate random patrols," Dr. Phil tells them. "Because we've done a lot of research on this. Criminals are lazy and they take the line of least resistance. If they see action, if they see motion, it's just easier to go somewhere else."
For more information on starting a Neighborhood Watch program in your area, visit: www.usaonwatch.org.