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Dear Dish-It: My Friends Are Being Abused

Dear Dish-it,

My friend and her sisters are being abused by their drunk dad. My best friend told me this and I know she wouldn't lie about this. She told me not to tell but I am scared it will get worse. What should I do?

Confused Lee

Dear Confused Lee,

Since you heard this information second-hand (meaning, you didn't hear it straight from the person or people who are supposedly being abused but, rather, from a friend of theirs (your BFF)), I think the first thing you need to do is double-check with your BFF and ask her why she thinks these girls are being abused by their dad. Abuse is a pretty serious allegation to make, and you do need to be sure that you have some reason to believe that it's really happening in your friends' home. I'm not saying your BFF would lie to you (or anyone) about this, but I hope you see the importance of trying to find out the truth before you take it to the next level.

The best way to find out the truth is to talk to the girls who are supposedly being abused themselves. If you don't feel comfortable asking, get your BFF to speak to them, or ask them together. (Also, if you feel uncomfortable about asking them about it, think of the alternative, which is NOT asking and letting the abuse - i9f it's really happening - continue.) Once you get some PROOF or EVIDENCE (which makes you believe for sure, for sure that something bad is going on in that home), then it's time to tell someone - an adult you can trust to do take the necessary actions to stop the abuse.

If you feel like it isn't your place or your right to tell anyone what's happening, get your BFF - who seems to be the person the girls went to when they needed to talk to someone about being abused - to do it or, again, do it together. Or, you can tell your friends that, if they're being abused, they need to tell an adult THEY can trust, like their mom, a school counselor, a help crisis line or a police officer. Explain to them that if they don't tell, then you're going to have to go to an adult yourself, because you should never know about someone being abused and not do anything about it.

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