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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 had just gotten out of a relationship that didn't end very well, so I liked the attention. 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 a fellow ends up coercing or forcing a girl to have sex without her consent. Unless a girl explicitly expresses her willingness to proceed, it is the responsibility of the boy NOT to proceed.

To me what happened illustrates how important it is for parents to talk to their sons and daughters about responsible behavior because failure to do that can have lifelong consequences for both. If you haven't already done so, you should tell your parents what happened. However, if you don't feel safe doing that, tell a counselor at school.


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.

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