DEAR ABBY: I am 15 and I have two questions.
I was shopping with my friend "Crystal," and we saw some guys we know. They're a year or two younger, so I thought they were just being stupid kids when they not-so-subtly tried to get me to flash them.
I'm ashamed to say I played along and lifted my top a little and unintentionally gave them a glimpse of my bra. They kept pestering me for more. It was just annoying until one of them reached for my top and tried to pull it down twice. Then one of them said to grab my arms and hold me down, which two of them did, while another one held Crystal back. They nearly succeeded in removing my top and bra, and more than one of them got a hand down my bra.
Was I at fault for this incident because I encouraged them? Am I making a mountain out of a molehill, or is this kind of thing no big deal? -- HUMILIATED IN SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.
DEAR HUMILIATED: The answers to your questions are yes and no. Children who play with fire run the risk of being seriously burned. And girls who engage in sexual teasing run a similar risk. That's the lesson you should have learned from this embarrassing and, I'm sure, frightening incident. When you lifted your top, you sent a signal to the boys that you were willing to "play" -- and things got out of hand.
However, whether or not it was intended as horseplay, the boys went too far. Because of that, you should inform your mother and/or dad so they can discuss it with the parents of the boys involved. An authority figure -- preferably a parent -- needs to talk to those boys about the definition of sexual assault and battery, because that's what occurred. Unless they are warned, it will happen again. And next time, the police could be involved.