Ask Amy: Teen victim looks for answers
By Amy Dickinson,
DEAR AMY: Recently I was shopping and ran into one of my older brother’s friend. He is 19 years old. I am 16.
I was attracted to him. He invited me to his house and I went. He kissed me. I wanted to make out with him, but I did not want to go all the way and told him so.
We made out. I wanted to stop. I wanted only to kiss him. We ended up having sex.
I didn’t say “stop” out loud. I kept thinking, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” But I didn’t say it. I don’t know why. I felt scared and shy. He didn’t do anything to scare me. I just felt too scared to say stop. I felt stupid too.
My mom’s friend said I was raped. She said: “You told him you didn’t want to go all the way. He’s older than you. He should know better.” She said a girl has to say “yes,” and if a girl doesn’t say yes and has sex, then she was raped.
Was I raped? I don’t want to go to the police. I just want to know the answer. — Super Sad
DEAR SAD: Your mother’s friend is right. Though there are different legal definitions of rape in different states, you did not give your consent to have sex. And in some states, you are younger than the age of consent. In fact, you said — out loud — that you didn’t want to, and you were raped. You were scared. You were in his house, he is older than you — I’m assuming he is bigger than you, and I’m also assuming you have never had to deal with anything like this before.
I am so sorry this happened. Your confusion is common to people who have been through this, and is completely understandable.
Your mother’s friend sounds kind, smart and supportive. Please let her help you now. You need STD and pregnancy testing. (Planned Parenthood can provide testing and counseling; check plannedparenthood.org for your local clinic.)
I urge you to go to the police to get their advice about what to do, legally and otherwise. I realize you don’t want to do this, but this guy must not walk around thinking that what he’s done is okay. He might have done it before, or he might do it in the future.
I am certain that your willingness to tell your story will help many people.
For more support and information, you can check the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network hotline at rainn.org or by calling 800-656-4673. They now have an online hotline where you can chat with a counselor 24/7.
DEAR AMY: I lost my baby daughter a little over nine years ago when she was 4 months old. I still have trouble dealing with this, despite counseling and therapy, but I do my best.
My best friend recently had a baby and named her daughter my baby’s name. She used the first and middle names of my child. She knows I have had trouble dealing with my loss. I feel so hurt and disrespected by her doing this.
Her daughter is now 2 months old, and I have not seen the baby (or her). I don’t take her calls. I feel as if I can’t be around her or her daughter because the name will keep my baby in my head. What should I do? How do I let her know how I feel without coming across as confrontational? — Sad
DEAR SAD: I can’t imagine why your friend has done this, but there is nothing confrontational about being honest and asking a question.
You say: “I’ve been keeping my distance because I feel so sad every time I think about your baby and mine having the same name. Can you tell me why you made that choice?”
She may tell you that she thought this would honor your child’s memory. If she says this, you’ll have to tell her she is very mistaken and that it makes it hard for you to be around them.
DEAR AMY: Your advice to “Tonya” about intervening when she saw a homeless man abusing his dog was right-on, I think. However — she’s worried about the dog? What about the homeless man? — Gretchen
DEAR GRETCHEN: I had the same thought. But the man, presumably, has the ability to make choices, which the dog, sadly, cannot make.
Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
by the Chicago Tribune
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