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Friend's Dad Fondles Me

T.P. wrote:

I'm 33 years old and I have a problem. My best friend's dad (who's married to a beautiful woman who's like a second mother to me) has recently made passes at me on three different occassions. My best friend has lived with her mom and dad since she returned from the Army. I've been a part of the family for many years.

Unfortunately, whenever I come to visit now he seems to find a way to touch me inappropriately without no one noticing. I've always greeted him with a hug and a kiss because he's always been a father figure, well it seems as though he's taking it too far.

The first time it happened was in his home office. I was helping him out with something on the computer, as I had done in the past with no problems at all, when suddenly he began to rub my back in a way that I thought was inappropriate. I was stunned and I didn't know what to say so I just thought of a way to get out of there and I did.

Well, the second incident happened a week or so later when I was at their kitchen sink washing my hands and he came behind me and pressed himself against me while he rubbed his hands up and down the sides of my waist. Again I was very shocked and I didn't expect it because his wife was in the next room and my best friend was on the porch waiting for me to come back out.

I became angry and after that I begin to really be careful whenever I came over for dinner or just to visit my friend. I started to really distance myself from him. For a while it seemed to have worked and I thought I was in the clear.

I thought he had got the picture but I was wrong. Just the other night after leaving my friends house he came out of his office and gave me a hug good night but before he let me go he dropped his hand from my shoulder and fondled my right breast. I was shocked that once again he had the audacity to violate me that way. My only reaction was to squirm up and leave as quickly as possible.

I've known and loved the entire family for at least 12 or 13 years. I'm not sure why this is happening now but I want it to stop. I'm afraid that if I approach him, he will deny any wrongdoing and act as if he hasn't done anything.

I'm also afraid that if I keep quiet, he will think his behavior is ok and therefore, continue. I love his wife very much and I don't want to lose my best friend whom I also love like a sister. This has the potential to destroy their family and I don't want to have anything to do with that.

Oh, and did I mention he's a minister? Yes, that's right a minister. I feel almost embarrased about asking for advice because at my age I thought I would be able to handle something like this I guess you don't know what you will do until it actually happens. Please help me out on this one! Thanks!

Dear T.P.

There's several ways around this.

You could make an almighty fuss, which would likely end your friendship, be your word against his, and be pretty unpleasant.

You could simply keep avoiding the situations; be alert, move away, just don't let it happen.

You could stop going around there, telling your friend "I'm sorry, I just find it difficult with your father these days"

You could confront him one-to-one, and warn him that if he touches you again, you'll scream. But be willing to carry out the threat, or it'll make things worse.

Or you could make a joke of it - at his expense. Every time he touches you, in any way at all, make a 'girlie' scream and say something like "You Lecher, How Could You?", then turn to the others and say, with a big smile, he just ... whatever he did. You write your own script, but try this only if you have the confidence to make it work.

And I'm sure there's other ways, too - the key is to have a plan, whatever suits you - and stick to it.

If you ever see an opprotunity to discuss it - say there's a witness next time - then take that opportunity; but it might be best to treat that as a 'first time', else your 'cover up' may cause more pain.

It's not an easy situation, and I'm sure you should be as honest as the situation allows. Alas, there's no method guaranteed not to cause heartache.

Whatever you do, don't lie - it may be that others have had similar experience, and if you protect him, you undermine them.

Good Luck.

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