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DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: My Friend's Father Is A Sex Offender - Can We Remain Friends?

DEARSUGAR NEEDS YOUR HELP: My Friend's Father Is A Sex Offender - Can We Remain Friends?

DEARSUGAR and Fretful Friend need your help. The new girl on the block has finally made a friend. However, she's scared to go over to her house or get too close to her for good cause. How can she handle this kind of situation without hurting her friend's feelings?

Dear Sugar
My family and I moved from Florida to California about three weeks ago and it's been going well. Since my mom is still in Florida finishing up her job, I sometimes have to ride the public bus home. My dad gave me a little map of the area and the bus routes which I put in the front of my binder.

The other day when I was walking into one of my classrooms, a girl noticed the little map and said that she rode the bus sometimes too. I was excited to know that she lived around my neighborhood and that I could have a friend that lived close by. When we exchanged addresses and phone numbers, we found that we lived only around the corner from each other. That made me really excited.

Soon after, when I was driving with my dad, I pointed to the house where my friend lived. He seemed a little surprised and asked for her last name. Later that night while I was in my room doing homework, my dad came in and asked to see me for a moment. What he showed me blew my mind.

He took me to the office room where the computer is and said "I know it's not your friend's fault but take a look at this..." He then showed me a picture of a man under the title California Registered Sex Offenders. As I continued to read, I noticed that the man had the same last name and the same address as my friend.

I kept reading and was shocked to find out that he had been charged with several sex crimes such as: Rape by force, Oral copulation with person under 16 years and Sexual penetration with foreign object by force. This really scared me. I had so many questions running through my mind... Why wouldn't he be in jail? Does his daughter know about this?

My dad told me not to get close with her family and to not go to her house. She's a great person and we get along so well, but I'm worried that she might think I'm avoiding going to her house because of her. I haven't mentioned it to her or to any of our friends. What should I do? Fretful Friend

Join The Conversation
dolphingal dolphingal 8 years
I know what you are feeling and more important what your friend is feeling. Whether you know it or not she ALREADY knows you know. There will be no easy way to get it in the open, but if she is a friend she will tell you about it. I live on two sides of this dad is a registered sex offender, and now I have 3 kids. It is I have been there when my friends didnt come over, I went to their house, and I was ok with that. after isnt her fault. Unfortunatly we dont pick our parents. I wish everyday that i had different parents. what do I tell my kids? Why cant they sleep at papa's house or go to the store with him? I look at my life and it SUCKS. but I go on as will she. I feel for her, be a friend and feel for her too.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
You can still be friends with her, but just never go over to her house and distance yourself from the rest of the family.
Tiinnaaaa Tiinnaaaa 10 years
i really think you should listen to your dad and just stay away for your own saftey
The-Nut The-Nut 10 years
I say keep an open mind. You now have this information and can be friends with her in a way that makes you and your family feel comfortable and safe. I have recently done a research paper on child sexual abuse. In my research I have discovered that most sexual abuse comes in the form of incest. Keep this in mind when you talk to your friend. Study up and watch for signs because right now she may really need a friend. If this is happening to her you could be what saves her. Also keep in mind that your dad is concerned and be sensitive to how he is feeling, in other words dont shut him out over this issue, be open with him.....he cares.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
Good advice Jen76.
jennifer76 jennifer76 10 years
Read about this man: This guy has a sordid history. His daughter made friends with two girls in her neighborhood. Both of those girls are now dead. Hate to be a scaremongerer, but I remember these girls as I lived in the area at the time. I'm sure their parents only wish they had thought to do what your father has done for you. Now, listen to him.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 10 years
If you were my daughter I would definitely want you to be kind to her but not become good friends with her. Like SweetPeasMom said it is not like you wont make other friends. This is just my opinion. Also, I know this girl should not be punished for what her father did but, it is a huge safety issue. One more thing don't tell any of your school friends or mutual friends.
Froggee285 Froggee285 10 years
Well you always have the option of inviting her over your house, or going out to the movies, or something. What you have, however, is part of a story, and you don't know (or haven't explained) it all. He is a registered sex offender, but when did this happen? Was it recent, or from the 1970s? The registry should hold that information. If it was from a long time ago, theres a chance that he has been through treatment and has started a family, as a clean good person. On the other hand, it could be recent...but I don't see why it would be recent because he would either be in jail or not allowed to see his children if he abused them. I would be cautious, but keep an open mind. Its true that a lot of the time sexual offenders can never be cured, but who knows. But the fact that he lives with a daughter makes me think his offence was from a long time ago. Your friend may or may not know, just don't bring it up. If she says anything, then thats HER choice. For now, I would invite the girl over, and be friends at your house. She may be lonley, all the parents knowing about her father. To be on the safe side, stay away from her father. A childhood friend of mine (and her older sister and younger sisters) was raped by her father for many years. It wasn't until the Youngest, who was maybe 3, said something to the mom. I remember her dad from when I went over her house, and he gave me the creeps. He was like a Ken doll, so perfect looking. ANyway. Yes. SO be friends with her. But be careful.
cubadog cubadog 10 years
First you should not mention it to ANY of your mutual friends. There is no reason to bring anything up until you are directly asked why you don't come over to her house. I am sure the entire situation is very embarrassing to her and she needs an understanding friend but DO NOT put yourself in jeporady for the sake of the friendship if at anytime you start to feel unsafe then you may need to make the decision to end it.
SweetPeasMom SweetPeasMom 10 years
yeah, best not to get involved with that kind of thing for your own safety. It's not like you won't make other friends.
Adriana42 Adriana42 10 years
Listen to your dad.
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
and I get my good comment flagged maybe it will show. :STAR: Someday I will understand :STAR:
t0xxic t0xxic 10 years
Its not something to mention to other people either btw. And dont let what her fathers done make an opinion of her. You guys can be totally cook friends at school and even her go to ur house but just dont go over there. Make excuses like ur parents dont want you to be over at anyones house since you guys are new an such. There are ways around it. I definetly wouldnt be going over there just because of the what if factor but theres no reason to miss out on a good friend. Chances are the closer you get the more you might find out an you never know what that will be. She may need you. :STAR: Someday I will understand :STAR:
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