Ask Amy: Friend agonizes over old rape


She said, “Every time I get a herpes outbreak I get flashbacks to what happened and feel ashamed.”

She contacted her rapist through Facebook after 17 years of living with this pain and anger. She let him know that what he did was wrong. His response was threatening and harsh. There was no sympathy from him, but in his response he also admitted to having sex with my friend and also another 15 year old.

As someone who loves and cares for my friend, I advised her to press charges against him. She said she has to think about it because she doesn’t want to relive the pain she had to go through.

She has reached out to the other girl, but I don’t know where it will go from there.

I understand that I cannot report this or press charges. However, as a friend, what do you suggest I do to help her? — Worried

DEAR WORRIED: You should direct your friend to contact the sexual assault hotline at (Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network). A counselor can talk to her about her legal (and other) options and give her a referral to a local counselor.

It might prove frustrating for you to hear about this rape — and then to think your friend is not dealing with it the way you think she should.

Confronting her rapist and contacting the other woman all these years later is the start of what could be a long road toward healing for her. She was wise to tell you about this, and in the name of friendship you should make sure your door is always open to listen. Don’t feel you need to provide unsolicited possible solutions, answers or even ideas. Listening without judgment and offering assistance when asked should be enough. That’s friendship’s high calling.

DEAR AMY: I knowingly got involved with a man who told me he was living with his ex-wife and child. He said they had reconciled “because of the kid.” He made it clear that he was seeking a lover because he was unhappy.

We carried on this affair for many months. I was not the only one he was unfaithful to. I found out he is a serial cheater that preys on vulnerable women. How I learned this information was through suspicion and much digging online. (I could be a private detective by now!)

My question is: Do I share this info with the ex-wife, with whom he is still living and who is very much involved in his life?

I know because she called him a lot when we were together, and he was obviously lying to her about his whereabouts and happenings. I have since stopped seeing him. — Concerned

DEAR CONCERNED: You needn’t play the victim when you knowingly engaged in an affair with someone who was living with someone else.

Your characterization of this man as cheating on you with other women is fairly hilarious.

I imagine his ex-wife might already know about her partner’s various affairs, but if you choose to punish him by outing him to her, you wouldn’t be the first scorned woman to take this route.

At the very least, she should be advised to be tested for STDs — and you should be tested, too.



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