DEAR HARRIETTE: There was a lot of good information in your answer to the parent who was concerned about what to tell her children about the Penn State scandal. One crucial point, however, was left out: Parents need to empower their children to tell an adult -- no matter what threats the abuser has made or what the abuser's connection (family member, friend, etc.) is to the child. Encourage children to make a list of trustworthy adults to whom they can report inappropriate events. Remind them to keep telling until somebody listens.
When I was a tween, I was sexually assaulted by a family friend in my own home, but I was not empowered to tell anyone. -- Speak Up, Round Lake Beach, Ill.
DEAR SPEAK UP: I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you and am grateful that you are sharing the wisdom that comes from experience. You are absolutely right that children need to have the courage to speak up and tell their parents and/or key trustworthy adults what happened to them.
I realize that this is much easier said than done. Just to say it out loud once can seem like the most humiliating action. But the only way a victim can be helped is if he or she says something. Too often, sexual predators convince their victims to remain silent, which allows for the horrors of situations like Penn State and too many others to go unnoticed for years.
We must protect our children. Teaching them to speak up when they have been hurt is an essential step in that process.
DEAR HARRIETTE: A friend just asked me to go into business with her on a small venture she is starting. I love the idea of it, but I don't have any extra money to do anything. So when she asked me to contribute $2,000, I told her I wouldn't be able to do it. She got mad at me and said I wasn't being serious. I tried to explain to her that I am willing to work as hard as I can, but if I don't have the money, I don't have it. She's hardly speaking to me now. What should I do? -- Broken Friend, Washington, D.C.
DEAR BROKEN FRIEND: Count your blessings. If your friend isn't open to having an honest discussion about how the two of you can work together based on both of your realities, you don't want to do business with her.
It is often challenging for friends to transition into a business relationship. Guidelines need to be set, and roles and responsibilities defined. That she was unwilling to consider options for how you can work together means that she is not the right business partner for you.
Just so you know, there are many variations on how to structure a business. It is not uncommon for one partner to put up the money and another to do the lion's share of the work or get less equity in the company. Trust that not everybody goes into entrepreneurial partnerships with deep pockets.