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Dear Abby: Establish firm boundaries to prevent unwilling sex

Dear Abby: I am a junior in high school. Last year, a guy I have known for two years began showing a sexual interest in me. I rejected his advances. Last week, he began expressing his interest again, letting me know he wanted to have sex. He invited me to study – only study – but said we “might” make out.

I was a virgin and had never even kissed anyone before. I decided I was fine with just kissing, but as soon as I got in his truck, he started to feel me up. He took me to a semi-isolated area and we ended up having sex. It wasn’t fun or pleasurable. I told him he was hurting me, but he didn’t stop until the third time I said it. He was very upset with me. He only cared about me pleasuring him.

I told two of my close friends about what happened. One said he had essentially raped me. The other said it doesn’t count as rape because even though I said it hurt, I didn’t say it forcefully enough. Abby, what do you think?

– Uncertain in Illinois

Dear Uncertain: It appears you and that boy had a severe breakdown in communication, which led to your being sexually assaulted. He had made no secret that he wanted sex with you, and may have interpreted your willingness to kiss him after he took you somewhere other than what was agreed upon as a signal that you were willing, even though you didn’t say so.

Date rape happens when the fellow ends up forcing the girl to have sex without her consent. If neither one stops to find out how the other really feels, misunderstandings can occur. Probably the most valuable weapon against date rape is communication. In situations like these, ESP doesn’t work. That is why it is important to convey that you are unwilling. SPELL IT OUT!

Effective communication involves three things: what you say, your tone of voice and your body language. There will be less confusion if you look the person in the eye and say “NO” in a firm, no-nonsense tone of voice.

Grandma’s dilemma

Dear Abby: Can you give me a complete list of etiquette rules for parents with divorced children? My daughter and her ex-husband are constantly battling over issues regarding their two children. Her ex is engaged, and his soon-to-be wife gives her opinion on everything to do with parenting the kids. This is causing a continuous battle, and it isn’t good for the children.

– Grandma in Minnesota

Dear Grandma: I will offer just one “rule.” Divorced parents should remember that above all, what’s most important is what’s best for the children and maintain consistency wherever possible between the households.

Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 60069.