DEAR ABBY: Last week, my best friend, "Lana," tried to kill herself. I'm not sure anyone else knows. Her brother beats her, and her mom yells at her for being "ungrateful" when she asks to spend a night elsewhere. My family has offered several times to let Lana live with us, as have her grandparents. After this week, I have begged her to. She still refuses.
Her plan is to move in with her boyfriend when she turns 18 in a few months. He's a good guy, but I don't think it will be good for her. I know they always say to tell an adult about a situation like this one, but Lana claims she's not strong enough to actually leave before then -- and she kept a secret of mine almost as big.
I'm scared and don't know what to do. I love Lana and I know doing the wrong thing could end up with her dead. -- TERRIFIED BFF IN TENNESSEE
DEAR TERRIFIED: If Lana tried to kill herself because of what's happening at home, she can no longer remain there. Talk to her again. Moving in with her boyfriend is not the answer. It could be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. If she lives with him under these circumstances, she will be emotionally and financially dependent, and it's not a healthy way to start a relationship.
Point out that if she lives with her grandparents -- who understand how dysfunctional her home life has been -- or your family, she will be in a safe place while she considers her options about finding a job or getting more education. Once she's independent, she will be in a stronger position to make wise decisions about her future.