DEAR ABBY: I was molested for years by my brother and I never told anyone. It led to poor self-esteem, ruined the intimate side of my life and caused several other serious issues, including depression. I took the first chance I had to leave home and refuse to have contact with my brother. The problem is, I have a younger sister who I'm worried may now be in the same position.
I need to talk to her, but I'm not sure how. What do I say? Should I tell her what happened to me so she knows she is not alone and to stay away from him? -- SCARED AND WORRIED IN ARIZONA
DEAR WORRIED: Talk to your sister about this as quickly as possible. Do it in person, and a way to start the conversation would be to ask if he has ever touched her inappropriately. Explain that it happened to you, because it may make it easier for her to tell you if she, too, has been molested. Since you are reluctant to talk to your parents about this, contact your local police department and ask to speak to an officer in the sex crimes division. It may set the wheels in motion to prevent your brother from continuing to prey on young women.
If you haven't had counseling to help you deal with what you have suffered, I hope you will consider it. There is also a group, Survivors of Incest Anonymous, a 12-step program that is open to individuals 18 and older who want to go from being victims to survivors. Its website is www.siawso.org. You might find talking with others who have experienced what you have to be both comforting and helpful.