Dear Abby: My friend "Sally" has a 14-year-old son I'll call Derek. He recently made sexual advances toward me. What frightened me was Derek's refusal to accept that I meant no when I refused and informed him that what he had in mind was immoral and illegal.
I threw the kid out of my house, called Sally, and asked her to keep her son away from me and my home. She refused to take me seriously.
The next day, I sent Sally a special delivery letter, repeating in writing how I felt about what Derek had done.
Abby, I understand that Derek is at an age when his hormones are raging, but his behavior was repulsive and offensive. I am afraid of him because he's bigger than I am — and because he's been seen around my house late at night, according to one of my neighbors.
I live alone. Is there something I should do to protect myself? Or should I just wait to see what happens? —Frightened by a 14-Year-Old Predator
Dear Frightened: If what your neighbor said is true, Sally's son has more problems than raging hormones. He also may be a Peeping Tom. Since peeping and prowling can escalate, the police should be notified. It appears that the boy needs help, and his mother is in denial. Do not procrastinate. You must protect yourself.
Dear Abby: My boyfriend, "Roy," and I have been dating almost a year. We are both 21 but have known each other since we were 8. Lately, his mother has been making hurtful comments like, "Wow, you're not dressed like a slut today," or "How come you're always here when I come to see my son?"
I don't want to be disrespectful, but her comments are insulting. I don't dress like an extra in a music video. Having been brought up in a Christian home, and still living in one, I know the difference between cute clothes and trashy attire.
These comments from Ray's mother started when he and I began dating. I don't know if it's my clothes she hates, or if it's the fact that Roy and I are considering taking the next step.
It also bothers me that Roy doesn't say anything when his mother rips me to shreds. My mother told me to keep my distance from Roy's mom and make sure he knows how I feel about his silence.
Roy is a "mama's boy," so I don't expect him to say anything to his mother. I don't even expect him to understand how I feel. I just want to know the proper way to handle things the next time his mom criticizes me. —The Girlfriend
Dear Girlfriend: Roy's mother sees you as a threat. Her comments are intended to drive you away. Unless Roy speaks up, her behavior will escalate. If you continue to tolerate her behavior, Roy's mother will make your life hell. And if you marry him, she will rule the roost.
Explain to Roy how hurtful his mother's comments are. Tell him that you will no longer tolerate them, and the next time she insults you, you will say, "Roy, how do YOU feel about the way your mother is talking to me? Do you agree with her?" Make it clear that if he fails to stand up for you and tell his mother that he expects you to be treated with respect, the relationship is over.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © Universal Press Syndicate