DEAR ABBY: I have recently turned 14. When I was 7, I was sexually abused by a close female relative. The abuse wasn't as severe as in most cases of molestation, but I know what happened to me was wrong. I forgive this relative and do not bear the emotional scars that most victims do.
I'm wondering whether I should ever tell my family about what happened to me. If I do, I am afraid they will hate this relative for what she did. I have told only one of my friends about it, and he told me it was up to me to decide whether or not to tell my parents.
What do you think I should do, Abby? Should I take this secret to my grave? Should I tell my parents and risk them never talking to this relative again? Or should I wait until I'm an adult to talk about what happened? I don't want this to tear my family apart. Please help me. -- LOST TEEN IN L.A.
DEAR LOST: Because this is on your mind, you should tell your parents. Obviously, you need to talk about it. It is not your responsibility to protect this person who abused you from the consequences of her actions. Because it happened to you, it may also have happened -- or be happening -- to other children in the family. So even if you won't speak up for yourself, please do it for them.