DEAR ABBY: When I married Roy (not his real name), I had two daughters, ages 9 and 5, from a previous marriage. Roy began to sexually molest the older one. It was almost two years before she told me about it. She told because she was afraid that her younger sister was in danger of being molested, too.
Abby, this was a terrible shock to me. I knew things like this happened to children, but I never believed it could happen in my family.I am now divorced from Roy, and my children are doing well after much counseling. Although Roy was indicted by a grand jury, he jumped bail before going to trial and has been missing for almost a year. It upsets me to know that he is out there somewhere, probably with a new identity, and he may be sexually abusing other unsuspecting children. I am writing this to alert others to this possible danger. It's far more common than most people suspect. - TEXAS MOM
DEAR MOM: Thank you for sharing your experience so that I can once again tell my readers that their best insurance against child molestation is to educate their children early. They should be taught that their bodies are private, and if somebody tries to touch their bodies, they should tell their parents immediately.
Children must be assured that if anyone makes them promise not to tell anyone, that is one promise it is all right to break.
DEAR ABBY: Would it be appropriate to send a Christmas card to an old boyfriend I haven't spoken to in eight years? We are both married, and even though I love my husband, I still have feelings for this man.
I want him to know that I still think of him, and I don't want him to forget me. Even though he never told me he loved me, we were lovers for nearly a year. I would include a recent picture of myself and also an update of what I've been doing since he last saw me. I would send it to his office so as not to arouse any questions from his wife.
Thanks for any advice you can give me. - FOND MEMORIES
DEAR FOND MEMORIES: Do yourself and your old boyfriend a favor and resist the urge to re-establish communication with him. No good can come of rekindling this old flame. Be content with your "fond memories." What was, was.
DEAR ABBY: I just saw an article in the newspaper here and had to write to you. It was about a 49-year-old man who was speeding in his car when he lost control of the vehicle. The car flipped over twice, and his 6-year-old son who was riding with him was killed. Because the child was not wearing a seat belt, the father is being prosecuted and, if found guilty, he could serve a year in prison.
I know that your column reaches so many people, and this could be an important reminder to get across to parents of young children. It could be a lifesaver. - MRS. J.E.F. IN SAN BRUNO, CALIF.
DEAR MRS. J.E.F.: Since you wrote me, the manslaughter charge against the father has been dropped, but that doesn't change the point of your letter. Although it may seem cruel to further punish a parent who has suffered the misfortune of losing a child, perhaps this kind of example will cause other parents to think.
Parents are responsible for the safety of their children, and it is the responsibility of parents to see that their child is seat-belted - no matter how much the child protests. The rule should be: Until the child is secured, the key in the ignition will not be turned on.