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Friend Can't Remain Silent Witness to Classmate's Abuse

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-girl who recently learned some devastating news. One of my good friends, "Sasha," is being abused by her parents. It happens a lot. They beat her with spatulas until they break. She has had broken bones because of them.

Sasha told me she's thinking about suicide and has a plan to overdose on her ADHD meds. I thought it was time to tell someone, so I texted a tip to one of the teachers at our school and told them all about what had happened. One of my other friends told me it wasn't a good idea to do that because her parents will probably hurt her even worse because she told.

I am really worried about her. Did I do the right thing? Is there any other advice that you could give me in order to help her? -- REPORTED ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR REPORTED: Not only did you do the right thing, you did it perfectly. When a friend confides that she feels so hopeless that death is the answer, the appropriate response is not to keep it a secret, but to try to get her help. You did that, and I applaud you for it.

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