DEAR ABBY: I am 15 years old. I have a friend I'll call "Betsy" whose father has hit her or tried to hit her twice. She is depressed and unhappy -- clearly suffering. Aside from this abuse, I know her family is having other issues.
My family knows about the situation but has made it clear to me they don't want to get involved in another family's business. I am so worried about breaking up the family and hurting them further. However, I don't want Betsy to be hurt anymore. How can I help? -- HELPING HAND IN VERMONT
DEAR HELPING HAND: You are a caring friend, and I wish you had been more forthcoming about what "other issues" were going on in Betsy's household. I don't know what kind of pressure her father may be under, but he should not be striking her.
If it continues, rather than calling the police yourself, you should inform a teacher or counselor at your school, or your clergyperson. They are mandated by law to report it when a minor is being placed in danger or harmed, and the police are more likely to give credence to such a report if they hear it from an adult.