End the Silence on Domestic Violence, Teen Dating Violence: Debbie

A Mother's Heartbreak
"My 20-year-old daughter, Heather, left to go to work, and she never came back," Debbie says. "She was murdered by her boyfriend."

Twenty-four-year-old Joshua Bean reportedly confessed to stabbing, burning and dismembering Heather's body, putting her body parts in garbage bags and tossing them into various dumpsters. He is currently serving a 68-year prison sentence.

[AD]"When I first heard his confession, it was chilling to hear him describe what had happened to Heather, and what he had done to my baby girl," Debbie remembers. "I drive around, and every time I see a dumpster, I wonder if that's where my daughter was. Every day I live is a nightmare; to think about Heather's last moments is a nightmare." She cries. "I never thought I could love anybody as much as I love Heather. I didn't know I had it in me until I lost her, and now I know what emptiness, what true emptiness, is like. I would move mountains if I could stop this from happening to somebody else."

Dr. Phil welcomes Debbie and thanks her for sharing her story.

Debbie tells Mallory, "I would give anything to have Heather sit next to me here today. You have to believe in yourself. You have to know what's good for you. If you get thoughts that you're being abused, it's coming into your head, then you are. You are so young, you have such a great life ahead of you, there is so much you could do with your life, and to get up in the morning and worry about the safety of your child and the safety of yourself is something that shouldn't even be a thought."

She turns to Brett and says, "You need help. You are doing to her what Josh did to my daughter. It just takes that one moment for you to snap, and it's over. Your life is over; her life is over. You need to listen and get help."

"Yes, ma'am," Brett says.

Cindy says it's important for young people to know that there is help available. "In the past 30 years, we have done landmark work to make sure that there is a local shelter and domestic violence program in every community, and they don't just serve adult women; they work with teen survivors. And there's no agenda, there's no pressure. If you call them, they're not going to say you have to break up. You can call and be anonymous. You can make up a fake name. You can be anyone you want and just call and say, ‘I'm worried about what's happening in my relationship. I'm not sure I'm safe.' And there will be no pressure to leave, but if you want to strategize about leaving, you can. It is important to call and safety plan and strategize."

[AD]Teens, visit the Teen Talk message board to share the issues that are important in your life!

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please reach out for help. Call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233). Help is available to callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information and local resources, go to the National Network to End Domestic Violence: NNEDV.org.