DEAR ABBY: My brother is older than I am and has been in and out of prison. He has stolen my things and pawned them.
I am married, and my husband and I are expecting our first child. We live in a time zone several hours behind the one my family is in. I am now receiving phone calls at 4 o'clock in the morning from collection agencies on the hunt for my brother. He has been writing bad checks and leaving my phone number as a contact number.
I have managed to determine who his probation officer is, and I'm on the fence about whether I should tell her what he is up to. My dad is furious with me for even considering it since "brothers and sisters don't do that to each other."
Honestly, I am fed up with this "blood is thicker than water" mentality when it comes to my brother's wrongdoings. He is now including my family in his schemes, and I won't stand for it any longer. What should I do? -- LITTLE SIS IN THE USA
DEAR LITTLE SIS: There are no excuses for what your brother has done. If his father had given him a dose of tough love while he was a minor, he might have stayed on the straight and narrow instead of landing in the pokey.
Do not allow anyone to make you feel guilty for protecting yourself and your family. Blood isn't thicker than water when abuse is involved, and your brother's behavior qualifies. Contact his probation officer. With luck, when the collection agency calls again, you will be able to give them your brother's "cell" number.