He gets too close to teen

Los Angeles Times - - COMICS - Send ques­tions for Amy Dickinson to askamy@tri­bune.com.

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Dear Amy: I am 15, and there is a man at my church who makes me feel ha­rassed. At a con­cert, he started to give me a shoul­der mas­sage. My dad was there and saw it but didn’t do any­thing. This man is 30 years my se­nior and just went through a di­vorce.

Lately he’s mak­ing any ex­cuse to give me a hug or touch me.

He is a doc­tor and is re­spected. I’m al­most afraid to tell my dad be­cause my dad wouldn’t be­lieve me.

How can I ei­ther avoid this man or con­front him? Be­ing in the same room with him makes me un­com­fort­able.

Trou­bled Teen

Dear Trou­bled: You’re smart to pay at­ten­tion to your gut. Do not be in the same room with this man if he makes you un­com­fort­able.

That means if he comes into a room, you leave it. Al­ways have a pal with you, or make sure you’re part of a big group. If he at­tempts to touch or hug you, no mat­ter where you are, tell him, “I don’t like that.” Be very, very clear.

Tell your dad about this. Even if he doesn’t be­lieve you or doesn’t see it as a prob­lem, he needs to be ed­u­cated about sex­ual ha­rass­ment, and he needs to know how you feel.

Ev­ery­one might tell you that this is noth­ing to worry about. How­ever, I would stress that you should al­ways pay at­ten­tion to your own in­stincts — over any­one else’s, in­clud­ing your dad’s. (March, 2007)

Dear Amy: I have been mar­ried to my wife for four years. We have a won­der­ful 10-month-old daugh­ter. I love my wife very much, and I think she loves me too. How­ever, she is very hot-tem­pered, and when she ar­gues, she gets so ag­i­tated that she doesn’t care how her words and ac­tions hurt me.

While she usu­ally calms down within a few hours, some of the things that she has done have left a per­ma­nent scar.

Two weeks ago, dur­ing a fit of rage, she told me that she would call 911 and say that I was abus­ing her. She pro­ceeded to ac­tu­ally dial 911. Luck­ily she came to her senses and hung up be­fore the call went through. How­ever, this is the sec­ond time in two weeks she has done this.

I feel that her be­hav­ior crossed the line.

Is this some­thing I should con­tinue to ig­nore as a tem­per tantrum, or should I be con­cerned?

A Con­cerned Hus­band

Dear Con­cerned: Not only should you be con­cerned, you should be alarmed. If your wife is ca­pa­ble of threat­en­ing and abus­ing you in this way, I shud­der to think what she might do when your daugh­ter reaches the tod­dler stage and starts to trig­ger her tem­per.

You need to take im­me­di­ate steps to in­ter­rupt this cy­cle of abu­sive be­hav­ior. You should do what­ever is nec­es­sary to force your wife into coun­sel­ing and also to pro­tect your daugh­ter. I sug­gest see­ing a lawyer im­me­di­ately to get ad­vice on how to prop­erly doc­u­ment this be­hav­ior and per­haps pre­pare to re­move your daugh­ter from the home.

I don’t think you fully re­al­ize what a world of hurt your wife’s ac­cu­sa­tion would visit upon you if she fol­lowed through. (June, 2005)


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