DEAR ABBY: I was sexually assaulted by my cousin's boyfriend a short while ago, and it was hard for me to process. When I told my cousin about it, she acknowledged that it wasn't OK, but made it all about her. Although we are extremely close, I didn't get the type of support I was hoping for. In the end, she got back with him, and casually contacts me trying to sweep things under the rug.
I have been sitting on a message for a couple of weeks that I want to send to her, telling her I don't want to be in contact with her for a while. It's hard for me, because we're family. Because nobody knows the whole story, everyone is quick to think I'm the one "isolating" her from my life. What do I do, Abby? -- STUCK AND LOST IN NEW YORK
DEAR STUCK AND LOST: The person who assaulted you is a predator, and your cousin appears to be clueless. Inform her that, under the circumstances, as long as her boyfriend is in the picture, you will be keeping your distance because you no longer feel safe around him.
And please, rather than stay silent about what her boyfriend did to you, tell your friends and family what happened. Contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network for support and guidance. (It's the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S.) The toll-free number to call is 1-800-656-HOPE, or if you prefer, chat online at rainn.org. Whether you were assaulted or raped, file a police report so it will be on record in case he does it to someone else, which he may.