DEAR ABBY: I am a young girl with a problem. My dad beats me and sexually abuses me. When I lock myself in my bedroom, he says he's going to change the doorknob so it doesn't lock. I can't tell anybody because I am ashamed of what they will think. What can I do? Help! -- ASHAMED IN OHIO
DEAR ASHAMED: You have nothing to be ashamed of. When a young person is physically and sexually abused, it is never the victim's fault. It is urgent that you tell a trusted adult what is going on.
If you don't know anyone you feel you can trust to help you, pick up the phone and call Childhelp USA. The hotline number is (800) 422-4453. Tell the counselor what you have written to me, and that I told you to call. He or she WILL help you. Your call will be kept strictly confidential.
Please let me hear from you again. You are in my prayers.