DEAR ABBY: How can I get my stepfather to stop hitting me? He's never caused permanent damage, but it hurts! I don't want my mom to know about it because she loves my stepdad. Plus, he supports my mother and me financially. Before Mom married him four years ago, we had to live with my grandparents because we had no money. Everything would be OK now if I could just find a way of making him stop hitting me. Do you have any suggestions? -- SAD GIRL IN DENVER
DEAR SAD GIRL: Your stepfather should not be hitting you. Please tell your mother ASAP. You are being physically abused, and it must be stopped.
If your mother is unable to stop the abuse, call the Childhelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 422-4453 ((800) 4-A-CHILD). Also, there is the Girls and Boys Town National Hotline at (800) 448-3000. Tell the counselor you talk to what you have written to me. All calls are confidential.