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by Abigail Van Buren

Girl Assaulted by Friend's Dad Doesn't Know What to Do Next

DEAR ABBY: Last Saturday night, I went to a church dance. I didn't want to go, but my mother made me. I danced a few times, but mostly sat with another girl who's a good friend. When I got up to make a phone call in the hallway, I was unaware that her father had been watching me.

He followed me down the hall, grabbed me, and wouldn't let go. I tried to break away, but the harder I struggled, the tighter he held me. Nobody saw us. When I finally got away from him, I ran out of the building and all the way home.

I haven't told my mom about it because she would jump to the wrong conclusions -- and if I tell my friend, she might accuse me of lying about her dad and it would wreck our friendship. What should I do, Abby? -- TROUBLED TEEN GIRL IN LOGAN, UTAH

DEAR TROUBLED: You have to speak up. Tell your mother. Tell your clergyperson. Your friend's father is a predator. He assaulted you and he MUST be reported. If you remain silent, he could do something more serious to you or some other young girl. Please don't wait.