Dear Abby: My very best friend growing up was repeatedly raped by her father from around age 13. She told me when we were 17. I reported it to a policeman, but back then, they couldn’t do anything unless she reported it. She refused in order to protect her mother.

Her mom is gone now, but dear old Dad is still hanging on. He lives in a retirement home known for supporting children and children’s activities. (It’s associated with one of the largest charitable groups for kids.)

I worry a lot about this freak having an opportunity to molest other children, and it sickens me that when he does finally die, he will receive full honors from this group. I have thought about anonymously contacting the home and warning them.

Should I?

Uncertain In The East

Dear Uncertain: That information would carry far more weight if it came from his daughter. Encourage her to discuss what her father did with the director of the retirement home, as well as a social worker. Her father should never be alone with a minor child again.

If your friend refuses to do this, then yes, you should speak up.

Dear Abby: I love my grandchildren. My problem is, my daughter expects me to baby-sit at the snap of a finger, regardless of what I have to do or what I have planned.

Additionally, I never know how long I will be sitting. Sometimes, it can be up to 12 hours.

I receive no compensation because, in her words, “Grandmothers should not be paid.” If I refuse, she accuses me of being a “bad” grandmother. If I ask to have one child for an overnight and a weekend day, I am refused. Her reason? “Because I said so!”

Would I be justified in asking for compensation? I live on a fixed income and could use the money.

Bad Grandma

Dear Grandma: If there are expenses incurred while you baby-sit your grandchildren, you should be compensated for them.

However, I can see why your request for a salary for doing it would not be well-received. Because you need extra money, consider finding a part-time job. If you do, you will not only ease the strain on your budget, but also make yourself less available to your daughter “at the snap of a finger.”

Dear Abby: I have noticed that your letter writers often assign a fictitious name to the person they are writing about. I wonder why they do this. What is the purpose?

John Doe in Tampa

Dear John: I change all the names in the letters I print. I do this to prevent embarrassment for the letter writer, as well as the person who’s being complained about.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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