2009 Shows

Pedophiles once lurked in parks and around schoolyards, and then they prowled the playground of the World Wide Web. Now these predators have a more sinister method at their fingertips – sending explicit text messages directly to your child's cell phone. Dr. Phil examines the latest technological threats to your kids and shows you how to protect them. Joining him is Colorado detective Mike Harris, who works overtime tracking online predators. He says one piece of equipment gives him a high success rate. Find out what this device is, and how you can use it to monitor your children. Next, go behind the scenes as Mike’s unit prepares to take down a 28-year-old man allegedly texting sexually explicit material to a girl he thinks is 15. Dr. Phil cameras capture the dramatic arrest on tape. Then, 16-year-old Zoe admits that she exchanges risqué photos with men online but says this is normal teen behavior. Her mother, Sharon, says Zoe invited a man into her home whom she met online, and she worries for Zoe's safety. Dr. Phil has a stern message for the teen. And, Kyra was 12 when she was sexually assaulted by a 22-year-old man she met in a chat room. How can she pick up the pieces and move on with her life? Will her story be a wake-up call to Zoe? Plus, don’t miss the top three things you can do to save your child from cell phone perverts. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: megand2222 on Oct 29, 2013, 9:54AM
this is pretty much like my story.....

im not really sure what to say...but if theres ANYONE out there and guys are trying to meet you from the internet, dont do it. I was seriously hurt by some guys because i met them in person. if you ever want to talk, add me as a friend, or send me an email at megand2222@gmail.com

im here for anyone and i hope my story could help
Replied By: kristinajimp on May 19, 2013, 7:19AM
I was raped by a stranger 4 years ago and I just watched your show. I disagree that rape is only about power and control. It's actually about both sex and power and the goals are often intertwined in the rapist's mind. If sex had nothing to do with rape, then primitive humans would not have raped each other in order to mate. But our ancient ancestors often practiced rape in order to procure sex and to procure and also dominate a mate. To say rape is all about power and has nothing to do with sex is inaccurate and an oversimplification of the realities of rape. Yes, rape is about power but it is also usually at least partially about sex too.

Not all rapists' motivations are the same. Some rapists seek to cause the victim as much physical pain as possible. Other rapists seek to humiliate the victim as much as they can. Others fantasize that they are somehow seducing the victim and seek sexual satisfaction for themselves and for their unwilling partner.

With counseling and support from family and friends, a victim can recover from rape. Unlike losing a limb or being horribly disfigured, the aftermath of a rape is something that does not have to be lasting. Those that go overboard about the after effects and make extravagant claims about the damaged rape caused a person are doing as much harm as those that take rape too lightly. I am not saying rape is not traumatic. Rape is traumatic because having your body invaded so intimately by another against your will tends to diminish your sense of security.

That being said, child sexual abuse is usually extremely traumatic and those that suffer such abuse have a great deal of difficulty recovering from it. It is especially difficult if a family member abused the child.
Replied By: johnnytrust on Jan 27, 2013, 8:48PM - In reply to johndoeutah
I agree with this post. Dr. Phil over-emphasized a non-existent threat to children and I want to reference a better study from the University of New Hampshire Crimes Against Children Research Center.


They found

"The publicity about online “predators” who prey on naive children using trickery and violence is largely inaccurate."


"Most online sex offenders are young adults who target teens and seduce victims into sexual relationships. They take time to develop the trust and confidence of victims, so that the youth see these relationships as romances or sexual adventures. They recommend that prevention efforts with adolescents be targeted, age-appropriate, and include frank discussions of sexuality and the hazards of relationships with older people."

"First, the characterization of young people as vulnerable because of naïveté about the Internet itself is not accurate. By early adolescence (ages 12 to 13), youth Internet users generally understand the social complexities of the Internet at levels comparable to adults, when answering questions about good and bad things that can happen online and the need to exercise care (Yan, 2006). Then, as youth get older and gain experience online, they engage in more complex and interactive Internet use (Livingstone, 2006). This actually puts them at greater risk than younger, less experienced youth who use the Internet in simpler, less interactive ways. Among youth ages 12- to 17-years-old, it was those ages 15 to 17 who were most prone to take risks involving privacy and contact with unknown people (Livingstone, Bober & Helsper, 2005)."

Those ages 15 to 17 who were most prone to take risks involving privacy and contact with unknown people because they are seeking relationships, sex, and romance. These offenders take advantage of those teens seeking relationships, sex, and romance. Teens seeking relationships, sex, and romance are usually older teens.


  • Only 5% of internet sex offenders posed as children/teenagers
  • Only 5% of internet-initiated sex crimes against minors involved violence
  • Only 3% of internet-initiated sex crimes against minors involved forcible abduction
  • 80% of internet sex offenders are honest about their sexual intentions
  • Most internet sex offenders are young adults (these young adults are usually aged 20-30)
  • Most of these youth know they are talking to adults. These youth are seeking relationships, sex, and romance. They are usually older adolescents.
  • 73% of youth and who met face-to-face did so more then once
  • The study found that posting personal information itself, is not risky behavior. Personal information is names, school names, ages, or telephone numbers, photos of youth,
  • Although inexperience and immaturity plays a role in victimization, it's a different kind of naiveté then the naiveté depicted in the media. In other words, Dr. Phil should have told Zoe why she should not be having sex with these men. These men could be charged with statutory rape, it will ruin her reputation, some adults deliberately evoke and then exploit the compelling feelings that sexual arousal can induce.

Much of the prevention methods emphasize parental control and the dangers of divulging personal information (i.e. keep the computer in a common area, know what sites your kids visit, never give out personal information). But simply urging parents to control, watch, or educate their children may not be effective in many situations. The most vulnerable youth live in abusive homes. There is a boy in Iowa who was in the hospital because his alcoholic father beat him up. He kept running away but the police brought him back. He goes online and he knows that's his community of people who love him no matter what and aren't going to beat him up. For youth like him, the internet is safer then their home environment. These youth seek solace on the internet. When youth are in trouble offline it steeps on to online and they look from validation from peers and from strangers if their peers are part of the problem. These youth are alienated from their parents. That's why they may not themselves be very receptive to the advice and supervision of parents.


Youth who are most at risk talk about sex online, (they are most likely to receive aggressive sexual solicitations, the most serious of all sexual solicitations. Youth with histories of sexual abuse are at risk due to emotional needs or developmental distortions that make some youth less able to assess and more responsive to inappropriate sexual advances. Male youth who are gay or questioning have concerns about confidentiality and feelings that problems are too personal to disclose can also limit their willingness to get information about sexual matters from trusted adults. For these reasons, some gay boys turn to the Internet to find answers to questions about sexuality or meet potential romantic partners, and there they may encounter adults who exploit them. Youth with patterns off and online risk-taking such as going into a sex-oriented chat room and meeting up multiple men for sex are at risk online. Posting personal information itself, is not risky behavior.

A study by Dr. David Finkelhor concluded 1 in 5 children are sexually solicited online. The definition of sexual solicitation is "[any] request to engage in sexual activities or sexual talk or give personal sexual information that were unwanted or, whether wanted or not, made by an adult." Any unwanted requests, including requests made by other youth. Personal sexual information is bra size, whether or not a person shaves his/her privates. Most youth handeled the solicitations well by blocking the solicitor. The FBI's A Parent's Guide to Internet Safety has a  Signs That Your Child Might Be At Risk On-line symptom is You find pornography on your child's computer. Kids have been looking at porn long before the internet (i.e. playboy magazines) and these youth may be seeking it out or downloading it. Another symptom is Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room. So is a parent who doesn't want Child Protective Services (CPS) involved abusive. Pretend we have all the resourses and no US constitution. Why not make a law that says cameras must be kept in all homes with kids so parnets dont abuse or sexually abuse their child. Child abuse happens more then online victimization. Besides, if you have nothing to hide, you shouldn't mind the government spying on you. Same with the internet.

Prevention strategies should be directed to youth, not their parents. Focus prevention frankly on concerns relevant to adolescents, including autonomy, romance and sex. Prevention approaches need to acknowledge the independence and developmental interests of adolescents and to acknowledge that normal adolescent sexual feelings, urges, and curiosity are important factors in these cases. Too often approaches to prevention shy away from realistic discussions about ordinary sexual feelings. Instead they advise things like, “Tell a parent, teacher, or trusted adult if you feel uncomfortable about anything you see on the Internet” (Internet Keep Safe Coalition, 2007). Such characterizations gloss over the reality of adolescent sexual development. We recommend educating youth frankly about the dynamics of Internet-initiated and other nonforcible sex crimes. Youth need candid, direct discussions about seduction and how some adults deliberately evoke and then exploit the compelling feelings that sexual arousal can induce. Even young adolescents should be given basic information about the inappropriateness of romantic advances from adults (Zoe, read that sentence). This information should include reassurances that it is normal to have strong sexual feelings, but wrong for adults to provoke or exploit these feelings, especially with youth who are inexperienced in coping with sexual desire and intimate relationships.

Ideally, prevention information about Internet-initiated sex crimes should be part of broader programs that teach youth about healthy sexual development, including how to recognize and avoid sexual victimization. Such programs should start in early adolescence and be developmentally geared. With younger adolescents, programs might emphasize types of Internet use and web sites, risky situations youth may encounter online, and practicing refusal and resistance techniques.  Older adolescents could use information about age of consent laws, the problems of relationships with older partners, the dangers of transmitting sexual pictures, and online grooming tactics used by sexual offenders.  All such prevention messages need to be developed and tested in conjunction with youth themselves, especially because few if any programs of this sort currently exist and wide gaps may be present between how adults and young people view and understand the online environment.
Replied By: dayswanh on Nov 2, 2012, 9:59AM - In reply to tchan93
At 18 they are legal adults and you cannot force them stay and lock them up (that is a crime called false inprisonment, kidnapping, abduction, etc.
Replied By: dayswanh on Nov 2, 2012, 9:54AM - In reply to brookebrooke
What about a child who uses internet through friend's cell phones at school during lunch?
Replied By: dayswanh on Nov 2, 2012, 9:20AM
While it is better to add extra layers of protection to minimize a child's chance of being victimized, I know a 14 year old girl who met men through the internet using FRIEND'S CELL PHONES AT SCHOOL DURING LUNCH. When she was 11, she stopped going to school and went out on the street doing drugs. She was ordered by court to go to school and started asking to borrow friend's cell phones during lunch and she would meet men and go online and get into their cars and hotel rooms and do drugs with them. She would also ask her friends to publish her address and family member's names online. Her mom searched their address and other information and it was published on over 20 websites. A guy called their phone, recited their address and said he was going to come over and kill them and a few people have broken into their home because of this. That girl's sister would sneak friend's cell phones into the bathroom and has sent nude over 100 nude photos spreading to more than 500 people. She said she has the right to send nude photos since her mother doesn't pay the bill. There was a seperate case of an 8 year old girl (her friends, not her mother, her friends introduced her to Facebook) who, when she was 7, created a Facebook using a friend's iPhone at school during lunch and added her 19 year old cousin who is in college. When the cousin told her mother, the mother wondered how her daughter created a Facebook since their internet is in an open area (they have other computers without internet) and the girl never goes to friends homes she plays with friends at the park. She told her mother she borrowed a friend's iPhone and created a Facebook and her mother explained to her why she shouldn't have a Facebook. ("Like we teach you not to talk to strangers, there are strangers on the internet who can kidnap you and kill you") and the girl replied "SO!, I don't care" and she added people who her mother knew she didn't know and she went on chartrooms and her mom reported this to the police and 2 pedophiles were caught and her daughter also posts sexually suggestive photos on the internet and kept reporting all her daughter's accounts multiple times and NOTHING! She went from public, to private to charter school and her daughter didn't stop. When her mother unexpectedly homeschooled her one day and continued for 4 days, she didn't learn but threw tantrums and objects. Then, someone called their phone, recited their address and said was going to come over and kill them and a few people have broken into their home because she also asked her friends to publish her address and family member's names online. When she would come home, she stated "a guy asked me to sent a picture of my ** through blablabla.com and I snuck a cell phone into the bathroom and sent it to him" and the schools did NOTHING. She would come home and discuss graphic things but would not state the name of those people she talked to no matter how long her mother persisted. The police kept warning her, she didn't stop. I am not saying to not use parental controls, RADAR, etc. but you cannot prevent your child from being victimized 100%. Just take extra measures of protection such as not letting them have computers in their bedroom and using RADAR. Don't  give them cell phones with internet since now they give it out to friends.
Replied By: furcrynoutloud on Feb 6, 2011, 5:04PM
 I am glad that Dr. Phil added that rape and agreeing to have sex are two different things. Sex and teens should never go together. Now that I've said that let me tell you about rape. I know someone that was raped and it took the emergency room Dr's and nurses hours to get the dirt, leaves and grass out of every crevices of her body......EVERY PLACE THAT COULD BE FOUND TO GO IN AND OUT OF.  She was black and blue from front to back too. She is a older woman now, but the nightmares are still there from time to time. The attack by those men was so brutal that, at that time, she wished they'd just kill her and put her out of her misery. Please, Please, don't think that it wouldn't or couldn't happen to you. How common is rape?? I am a grandmother now and I have had many friends, women and girls I have talked to and I can tell you first hand.....It happens and to many I have known or have been introduced to. Some more brutal than others but just as traumatizing.  There is a huge amount  of danger out there. There was a young teen that was my friends daughter who was killed and left on the side of the freeway just because some sick, sick person/persons out there thought she was a woman of the night because of the way she dressed, and being out late at night.  PLEASE, WHEN YOU THINK OF DOING SOMETHING YOUR FRIENDS ARE DOING OR JUST THINK ITS OK TO DO,, PLEASE ASK YOURSELF FIRST......AM I READY TO DIE TODAY!!
Replied By: furcrynoutloud on Feb 6, 2011, 4:30PM
I am glad that you(Dr Phil)
Replied By: dauphinemaja on May 17, 2009, 3:34AM
for both internet and cell phones goes, what does one do when one has 5 kids who were brought up properly. how can you keep track.
Replied By: joenam on Apr 21, 2009, 8:47PM
This has become a serious issue and parents are very concernd. They need to buy their children cell phone for two primary reasons: 1) Childrens safety and security and 2) peer pressure on children to also have a phone.

At home, parents had some control over how their kids used computers to access internet. With cell phones, they feel helpless. Parental Controls on Mobile Phone is a growing need of today's families and there is an opportunity for someone to deliver this need.

So called Parental Controls provided by wireless carriers are missing on the customer need. Parents need to see what the kids are doing on their cell phones. SMS, MMS, uploading photos, downloading Music, and chat. That is what is required.
Showing 1-10 of total 104 Comments