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Topic : 08/20 The Dr. Phil House: Saving Grace, Part 2

Number of Replies: 723
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Created on : Friday, April 13, 2007, 03:09:57 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 04/16/07) Dr. Phil continues his work with a family torn apart by a 6-year-old girl’s secret: she was molested by her grandfather, and her grandmother failed to report it. Cat and Todd have cut off all contact with Todd’s parents, Steve and Anne, and haven’t seen them since they learned the horrifying truth from their daughter, Grace, over two years ago. Steve has served time for the assault and is now a registered sex offender with a protective order keeping him away from Grace until she’s 18. After secretly watching Dr. Phil’s interview with Steve and Anne, and learning the details of what really took place, will Todd and Cat ever feel comfortable with letting Grace’s grandmother back in her life? Dr. Phil sits down with both couples as they confront each other for the first time face to face. Then, Dr. Phil addresses Cat and Todd’s marriage, which has started to crumble under the stress. How can they get back on track for the sake of their daughter? Next, Grace wants to ask Dr. Phil some questions. See what this brave little girl wants other kids to know. Plus, Dr. Phil has an update on this family one month later. How are they now? Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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April 14, 2007, 1:45 am CDT

Grace's Horror

Saving Grace definitely took me back to when I was eight "I had the same thing happen".  I wish now I had a Dr. Phil back then.  It was never spoken of and although it shaped my life I realize after watching Saving Grace I need to get some help for myself.  I am so glad Grace WILL be healed with Dr. Phil's help and I realize the impact his show has on many people who are probably going through the same things I am.  I not only feeling empathy for the family I know what Grace is going through and I know the hills she will have to climb.  I was amazed at the emotions the show stirred up in me but hope others watching and suspecting family members will now open up and do something about it.  Again thank y ou

April 14, 2007, 4:40 am CDT

04/16 The Dr. Phil House: Saving Grace, Part 2

i know you are doing what you feel in your heart is the rite thing to do Dr Phil, and if a court has ordered Steve to stay away from grace till shes 18 yrs old he needs to stay the hell away from her, their's a damn good reason this order was imposed, i do feel grandpa and grandma threw away their rites to be grandparents when Steve had his way with a 6yr old child and grandma covered it up as if it was on cause it was only a child, I'm so freaking pissed about people thinking like this and acting like this and raping this worlds children,  THIS MUST STOP NOW. i pray to our lord god to put a end to all this behavior, it seems to me hes the one who can and will stop these people who continue to rape the worlds children in ther name of satan.steve just thought he heard voices before, i pray for him to hear gods voice soon.
April 14, 2007, 6:45 am CDT

I'll be watching on Monday.

All I can say is I'll have to grit my teeth and gird my loins.
April 14, 2007, 7:29 am CDT


Probably one of the most disturbing facts about child sexual abuse and incest, is that in 80% of reported cases, the mother of the victim was aware of the sexual abuse inflicted on the child, yet did little or nothing about it.  Just how responsible is a parent for failing to report or stop the sexual abuse of a child or family member? 


If the sexual assault has occurred within 72 hours of a physical examination, forensic evidence collection should be conducted.  A complete physical examination, including careful documentation of any lacerations (a torn or jagged wounds), ecchymoses (skin discoloration caused by the escape of blood into the tissues from ruptured blood vessels) or petechiae (pinpoint size flat round red dots under the skin surface caused from hemorrage - bleeding into the skin), is critical. Physical examination of the oral cavity includes inspection of the hard and soft palate for bruising or petechiae, and inspection of the frenulum (the membrane that attaches the tongue to the floor of the mouth) for any lacerations that can result from forced oral penetration. 


Rape evidence collection kits are available in the emergency department of most hospitals. Evaluation of acute sexual assault may be conducted in an emergency department setting or, if available, at a children's advocacy center. In nonacute cases, the office of the family physician has the benefit of being a familiar location for the patient.  The physician should maintain a gentle and calm demeanor and be considerate of the apprehensive child. It is helpful to explain the examination beforehand to the patient and caretaker.


Medical problems include anogential (anal) trauma, bleeding, irritation or discharge, dysuria (painful or difficult urination), frequent urinary tract infections, encopresis (repeated passing of feces into places other than the toilet) , enuresis (repeated passing of urine into places other than the toilet), pregnancy, diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and oral trauma


Children may present with somatic (muscles and nerves) complaints such as recurrent agdominal pain or frequent headaches resulting from the psychologic stress.  Sexual acting-out behavior is the most specific indicator of possible sexual abuse.


Child sexual abuse generally refers to sexual acts, sexually motivated behaviors, or sexual exploitation involving children. Child sexual abuse includes a wide range of behaviors, such as: 

  • Oral, anal, or genital penile penetration
  • Anal or genital digital or other penetration
  • Genital contact with no intrusion
  • Fondling of a child's breasts or buttocks
  • Indecent exposure
  • Inadequate or inappropriate supervision of a child's voluntary sexual activities
  • Use of a child in prostitution, pornography, Internet crimes, or other sexually exploitative activities

Sexual abuse includes both touching offenses (fondling or sexual intercourse) and nontouching offenses (exposing a child to pornographic materials) and can involve varying degrees of violence and emotional trauma.  


The most commonly reported cases involve incest, or sexual abuse occurring among family members, including those in biological families, adoptive families, and stepfamilies. Incest most often occurs within a father-daughter relationship.  


Mother-son, father-son, and sibling-sibling incest also occurs. Sexual abuse is also sometimes committed by other relatives or caretakers.  


Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the child

  • Has difficulty walking or sitting
  • Suddenly refuses to change for gym or to participate in physical activities
  • Reports nightmares or bedwetting
  • Experiences a sudden change in appetite
  • Demonstrates bizarre, sophisticated, or unusual sexual knowledge or behavior
  • Becomes pregnant or contracts a venereal disease, particularly if under age 14
  • Runs away
  • Reports sexual abuse by a parent or another adult caregiver

Consider the possibility of sexual abuse when the parent or other adult caregiver

  • Is unduly protective of the child or severely limits the child's contact with other children, especially of the opposite sex
  • Is secretive and isolated
  • Is jealous or controlling with family members 

The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring in a family; however, when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination you should take a closer look at the situation and consider the possibility of child sexual abuse. 





Child sexual abuse (1 in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys) occurs among all groups of the population. It happens to children in both rural and urban areas and in all socioeconomic and educational levels, and across all racial and cultural groups.

There is no rule governing the age range between a victim and a perpetrator. Generally, children are sexually abused by adults who are related to them or known by them or their families.

Sexual abuse is forced, tricked, or coerced sexual behavior between a young person and an older person.

Child sexual abuse may consist of any one of the following acts:

1. Nudity 2. Disrobing 3. Genital exposure 4. Inappropriate kissing or fondling 6. Masturbation 7. Oral-genital contact 8. Child pornography 9. Digital penetration 10. Vaginal or anal intercourse

Acquaintance perpetrators are the most common abusers, constituting approximately 70-90% of all reported perpetrators. In sexual abuse cases committed against females, approximately one third to one-half of all perpetrators were related to the victim. Only about one-tenth of the abusers were related to their male victims. 



Hope it helps!


April 14, 2007, 7:31 am CDT

This is disgusting!

Wow, when I watched this show, it just about blew me away!!  This is so similar to what my sister's family is going thru right now.  When my neice was 4 or 5, her uncle made her have oral sex with him.  She told me a week after this happened, when she was sleeping over at my house.  I told my husband, and we called my sister and her husband.  They blew it off, saying that she exaggerates everything.  We were shocked, a child just doesn't make this stuff up.  I was sexually abused when I was 11 years old, and I never told anyone till I was in my 20's.  We all kind of forgot about this incident, until last year, when it was in the newspaper that he was arrested for abusing a young girl for 5 years.  He started with her when she was 13.  Her brother has now come forward, and also a cousing of this young girl.  Now my sister starts to remember exactly what did her daughter say.  She called me and I said I believed her all along that something wasn't right.  They are now prosecuting him along with these other victims.  His trial is starting some time this month.  My sister's husband's parents are siding with their son-in-law, and they think their granddaughter is not telling the truth!  They no longer have anything to do with that side of the family.  This uncle is still at all holiday functions with other children present.  The other parents of these children, don't even think twice about this.  It's so disgusting to think my neice is no longer this sweet, innocent child and has had to grow up really fast and has alot of emotional problems. 
April 14, 2007, 8:12 am CDT

Saving Grace... (and the rest of us who know...)

Saving Grace…


We all have our stories, here’s mine.  When I was six my mother had an older woman who would baby-sit a couple hours in the afternoons until she got home from work.  There were three of us, myself as the oldest, my sister who was almost four years younger and a brand new baby brother.  I remember on one occasion the woman’s 17 year old son came over.  At first he was just a big kid playing with us.  It was fun that here was this guy who looked like a grown up but played like a kid.  He’d pick me up and tickle me and for a while it was great fun…  That is until during one of those tickling moments he picked me up, put me across his lap, put his hand into my panties and stuck his finger inside me.  I immediately struggled away and ran from him.  He knew what he’d done was wrong and I’m sure that he didn’t pursue because he was worried I was going to go tell his mom but I didn’t.  Even then I knew what he’d done was wrong, invasive to say the least but I didn’t really know the woman who was caring for us so I didn’t feel comfortable telling her.  I hid for an over an hour or so against a wall beside a chair until my mother got home.  Funny how the son left not too long after his offense and I though I remember the sitter wondering where I was that she didn’t look for me.  Maybe I really had disappeared like I’d been sitting there hoping to so he couldn’t come back and find me again.  Even when my mom got home I didn’t tell.  I was ashamed of what had happened and even though I hadn’t done anything I still had to wonder if I’d done something to cause it.  Sure, I know now as an adult that I didn’t but I still remember vividly the experience and the thoughts that I had and that was forty years ago.  So with that in mind I can’t help but think how brave that little girl was to tell her grandmother what had happened.  How trusting she had been that her grandmother would protect her, save her from the horror of what had happened and then to have her choose to protect the molester instead of the child.  So not only had her body been violated along with the trust and care she should have been receiving from one grandparent but now it was being repeated by the other.  How can either justify their actions?  How can a woman take back into her bed, allow him to touch her and not only keep in her life but work to protect someone who could do such a thing to a child, no less their grandchild.  I’m appalled that they try to ease their guilt and soothe their conscience by somehow thinking they are a step above the child molester who one typically envisions lurking on street corners luring children with promises of candy or gifts.  They’re worse.  The unknown predator is self centered and cares only for his own gratification by using the innocent.  What excuse could a family member create that could possibly justify in their own minds to do this to someone that they are sworn by blood to love and protect?  What twisted logic exists in a mind that creates fiction to justify such horrors on a child?  Steve says that he got away from God and that’s why he did it.  No.  He stepped away from humanity.  One doesn’t need God to tell us what is always right and wrong.  We all have our own scale built inside us in which we measure right from wrong, good to bad and the choices we make to one side or the other are solely our responsibly. 


When I was sixteen my mother’s 40+ live in boyfriend tried to initiate an ‘encounter’ with me.  I told him to back off and then locked myself in my room.  It was like I was six years old all over again.  For a long time again I didn’t tell my mother but from that point on I made sure that I stood between him and my sister and brother.  I knew that if he’d try something with me he couldn’t be trusted with them ever.  He was forever yelling at us and often tried to physically battle my little brother but I wouldn’t allow it.  I was in his face and fighting with all that I had to protect them.  At one point the tension got so bad that I’d decided that I either had to run away with my sister and brother to keep them safe while mom had this man in her house or I needed to tell her what was going on and what had happened.  I remember shaking and being scared to death to tell her but I did.  She had been ‘bothered’ but not as upset as I’d wished she would have been.  She did go home and ‘ask him about it.’  I don’t know what he said or what she said to him, she did say that he denied it of course, but he did leave the house although she did give him a car and money to help him out.  Even with him gone the problems didn’t end.  We grew further apart because she then made it a point to remind me how she had chosen me over him, which for me just seemed like it should have been the obvious choice in the first place.  But she really hadn’t and knowing it was what wedged us further apart.  She continued to see him though he never came back to the house but even after their relationship had ended I was forced to pay the price by being reminded often about how much she’d loved him but had still made him leave the house.  Quite the concession wasn’t it for your child…  Yes, that’s bitterness speaking even though my mother is now dead and has been for 10 years.  In all this sharing the point I want to make is that I know what this child feels.  I know how the choices that are being made now and in the future are going to shape her.  She’s got so much she’s going to have to sort through and I’m SO glad she has the show to help her heal but I have to say that I don’t care that the grandparents are upset, that grandpa has to register as a sex offender and that grandma doesn’t get to see her grand daughter.  They forfeited their rights by jointly defrauding this child of her innocence.  It was so far beyond ‘just a mistake.’  None of us are perfect, we make mistakes and sometimes we can correct them and make better choices when we’ve learned from them but there are just some choices  that you just can’t risk making another error on ever again and if that means removing that little girl from her grandparents’ life forever then that’s what it should be for her protection and peace of mind.  The very fact that they can’t even now want to do that for her sake shows that their selfishness is still ruling their decisions and they can’t be trusted to do what is best for her and may never be able to be.  At any rate, her parents MUST choose her over all others, even and especially against those who they may love but who have violated such a sacred trust.  Her foundation has been compromised so now her long term sense of safety and well being depends on their actions.  Coming from one who knows…

April 14, 2007, 8:13 am CDT

Enough damage has been done

  Knowing that 'Grandpa' has every intention of doing it again why not let him come over then call the police and have him arrested again?Predators rely on shame and silence to cloak them.   I live every day struggling with the fact that my childhood abuser is free and uncharged, my parents told me it was natural curiosity and  did NOTHING. When I  was  date raped years later, and held captive for hours I repeated the do nothing process and live with utter shame that ,I DID NOTHING. I hold myself responsible for any harm the two of them do to anyone else. Grace can look back to Dr Phil's transcripts and assure herself that grandpa is one sick b*****d and that at her young age she has done more than most of us.

To let him back into her life including 'Grandma' the family risks any progress she has made and since Grandma blames ONLY herself  (and she should) she is just as dysfunctional  and immoral. The two of them also raped their son and daughter-in-law of their trust and respect. I hope Graces other grandparents are decent and can help fill the void.

April 14, 2007, 11:50 am CDT

Saving Grace

Why in the world is Ann still with Steve.  She should have thrown him out immediately after she found out.  This is her grandaughter for God's sake.  AND....why isn't he still in jail.  He is a sex offender and needs to be moved far away from this little girl


Dr. not be easy on this pervert

April 14, 2007, 12:06 pm CDT

If I were that Grandma .....

I would have reported Grandpa, DUMPED him, and done anything and everything necessary to help that child.  As much as parents protect their children, Grandparents (and I am one) should love and protect those precious children TWICE as much.  How can ANYone know of a child's molestation and keep silent?  There is no way I would protect ANY man (or woman), regardless of who he is.  There is NOTHING that justifies protecting a child molester - they are all disgusting monsters .... and being a trusted relative is the worse kind.  There is no law that deals with them harshly enough.  If anyone ever touched my children (Thank God no one ever did) I would have gone to jail for sure, because I would kill the bastard who touched my child  (OR Grandchild).  How COULD anyone remain silent?  It is beyond comprehension.
April 14, 2007, 1:18 pm CDT

What is wrong with the father of Grace?

Did you notice when the grandfather made excuses about the sexual abuse of Grace how upset & disgusted the mother became and the father of Grace did not show any emotion?  Cat is so concerned & askeds Todd if he thinks he can face his father?  Where was the comfort from Todd when Cat was so upset & crying?  Wouldn't you think the father would show more emotion about the fact that HIS FATHER sexually abused his daughter?  I am just as upset with the father as I am with the grandfather.
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