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My friend just told me that earlier tonight she was held down and sexually assaulted by four males who attend our high school. She confided in me and I'm trying to convince her to talk to someone. But she is set on not telling anyone. Can you please help me. What am I supposed to/ should do? Thank you, Patty

Thanks for your note to FEMINIST.COM--and for clearly being a great and loyal friend. While I respect your friend's interests, I think that you are right. It was her this time, imagine who could be next? And who after that? This should be incentive enough to encourage her to report this incidence. I'm not sure where you are--in terms of geography--but at FEMINIST.COM, we have a database of resources. I suggest that you use this to find the nearest resource to you. These groups can provide legal information and also professional counseling. If for some reason you have trouble locating anything through this, please contact me and I will try to find something near to you. You might also check out our section of Violence Against Women links for more groups and hotlines.

Having known many women who have had similar experiences, I'm sure that she is blaming herself, which, as you probably, know is wrong. Nonetheless, there are many things which we unjustly carrying about guilt about. Helping her to see the "right" in this "wrong" act will be one step toward justice and one of the best things you can do as her friend.

I hope this helps--and as I said before, thanks for being such a great friend.


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