Share this article

print logo

Survivor wants break from past

Dear Abby: When I was in sixth grade, my 19-year-old brother, "Ray," came into my room and fondled me late at night. I pretended to be asleep so I didn't have to deal with the situation. I told my mom afterward. She told me not to tell my father and bought a lock for my door.

Years later, when my sister found out what happened to me, she told me Ray had also done it to her. She told Dad and confronted Mom. Neither one ever said anything to Ray. They told us it was "in the past" and to leave it alone.

Because my sister is openly confrontational about it, she isn't invited to family events that he is attending. I am invited because I just ignore him, but it's uncomfortable knowing my parents took his side over that of their two daughters. I won't let my daughter be alone with him -- or with him and my mom, because I don't trust her anymore.

Should I tell my parents I don't want to hear about my brother and no longer want to be around him?

-- Wronged in Georgia

Dear Wronged: Yes, if it will make you feel better, by all means do. That your parents would ignore your brother's predatory behavior is appalling. By protecting him, your mother betrayed you and your sister.

You are also wise to be vigilant if he is anywhere around your daughter and to restrict contact with him to a minimum. No child is safe around your brother.

If you and your sister haven't had counseling to come to terms with what happened to you, please consider contacting the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN). The website is, and the toll-free number is 800-656-4673. Nothing you say to the counselors will shock them, and they will be glad to refer you to someone qualified to help you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.