DEAR ABBY: I have the classic evil stepmom -- except she is my mother, and it's my stepsisters that she mistreats. They are 8 and 6 and have suffered enough through their mother's divorce.
My mother treats them as if they are less than human and don't have the right to be in "her" house. I feel terrible about the way she treats them. I want to do something about it, but I can't say anything to her because that would be disrespectful. Please advise. -- SILENT WITNESS IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SILENT WITNESS: Your mother's behavior is despicable. She knew the girls were part of the package deal when she married their father, and she has no right to abuse them.
Because you feel that talking to your mother would be disrespectful, I urge you to tell the girls' father chapter-and-verse about what's happening to his daughters. No law says your mother has to love them, but at the very least, she should treat them with courtesy and respect.