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5 Siblings On What It Was Like To Grow Up With Domestic Violence -- Including The Murder Of Their Mom

04/17/2015 01:53 pm ET | Updated Nov 28, 2016

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Nearly 15 years ago, police officer Brenda Sexton was brutally beaten to death by her boyfriend, Sam Lupo, leaving five young children without their mother.

"I was 10 years old when Sam killed my mother," recalls the oldest son, Tony, now 24. "That morning, I ran into my mother's room ... The lights were off in the room, and I tried to wake my mother up. I lifted the pillow up and at that point, I realized that my mother was no longer with us. Her face was caved in. I really couldn't recognize her at all. It was a terrible sight to see. There was blood everywhere — on the floor, on the wall, on the bed, on the baseball bat that he used."

Losing their mom at such a young age has had a profound effect on the five siblings.

"I miss my mom every day," says Amanda, 27. "Not having my mom has prevented me from wanting to move forward and have children and have a big beautiful wedding, because those are supposed to be happy moments, and there is going to be a lot of sadness with her not being there."

Likewise, Tony says, "It's very hard for me to think about getting married and having kids, because my kids aren't going to be able to meet their grandmother."

Twenty-two-year-old Niko has struggled with feelings of guilt. "As a child, I felt that maybe I was part of the reason that domestic violence was going on within my household. But as I grew older, I realized it was not my fault."

Robin McGraw, Dr. Phil's wife and the founder of When Georgia Smiled, has made it her mission to help empower and protect women and children impacted by domestic violence and she has a huge surprise for this family in honor of their mother. Watch it here.

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