The videotape of Susan's beating was filmed by her 13-year-old son. Although he has rarely talked about the abuse he witnessed, the now 17-year-old boy sits down with Oprah to explain its effect on his life.
The teen describes the day he held a camera as his father physically and verbally abused his mother. "What I remember was he was looking for an audio recorder, and in order to keep myself out of trouble I said, 'Let's get the video camera,'" he says.
Watch as Susan's older son describes videotaping his father's abuse.
Oprah: And so as you are filming your father humiliating your mother, for you this meant what? Because you've seen [the beatings] many times.
Older Son: I mean, it was hard every time. It was upsetting but…
Oprah: Did you kind of get used to it after awhile?
Older Son: Yeah. It was like waking up and brushing your teeth in the morning.
During the video, you can hear Susan's son making negative comments toward his mother, something he says he was forced to do. "Being in that home, it's like it felt like everything was reduced down to just basic survival. Like what animals would do," he says. "You do what you got to do to survive, survival of the fittest. I mean, I love my mom. I wish I could've done something to help, but I knew that she would want me to keep myself safe, too."