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by Abigail Van Buren

Neighbor's Crude Advances Demand a Swift Response

DEAR ABBY: This is embarrassing to say, but yesterday my sister wanted to go tanning, so our neighbor's father took us. After she got out of the car, he started to touch me inappropriately and say nasty things.

I told him to stop and that I didn't like it, but he kept on. Should I tell the police? Or my old social worker? I don't know what to do. My sister and I stay home a lot because our parents work, and I'm afraid he'll do something worse.

Please don't print my name or location. I don't want my parents to know just yet. I'm 20 and don't know how the law works for this type of assault. This is considered an assault, right? Please answer soon. -- SCARED ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR SCARED: No one has the right to put his hands on you without your permission! While what your neighbor's father did may not have been an assault, it could be considered sexual battery. You should definitely inform your social worker right away. A man who would do this to you is completely capable of doing it to a minor. Your social worker will know how to handle the details.