Dear Annie: Many years ago, I was raped. Back then, there weren’t any rape counselors. I confided in my sister but never reported it. I learned to live through it.
A few years later, I was stunned to see this same man at my nephew’s college graduation party. I told my sister this was the man who had raped me. She said she had never seen “Nick” display any violent tendencies, and that she and her husband had many business dealings with him.
He then showed up at her place for another party. His presence brought back all of my suppressed fears. I was frightened, cried and left, but not before I shared my experience with my two grown nephews. My sister was livid that I told her sons about the rape. I said they deserve to know who their parents’ friends are. Nick was chummy with my nephews, and it made me sick.
My fears began to fade when I learned that Nick was moving out of state. My husband and I also moved away. My sister never confronted Nick about me. But when I came back to visit a few years ago, I saw pictures of her 50th birthday party, and there was Nick, seated with her family, having a great time.
My sister is now 68. Looking through her Facebook page, I saw Nick in several recent photos of her with her friends. I am terribly upset that she continues to associate with this man and apparently doesn’t care how I feel. How do I work through this? I don’t want to ruin my friendship with my sister.
— Still Scared
Dear Still: Your sister prefers to deny that Nick raped you, because it allows her to maintain a relationship with a man with whom she has business dealings. It’s good that you have moved far enough away to limit contact. We also suggest you steer clear of her Facebook page, where you are likely to see photographs of Nick. But please know that it is never too late to get counseling. Contact RAINN (rainn.org) and ask to speak to someone.
Dear Annie: Cremation seems to be getting more popular, but advisory notices from the cremation societies all say that there is at present no way of extracting DNA from cremains.
I feel the funeral homes should be obligated to preserve a DNA sample, even if it is a lock of hair. Some years ago, a woman named Anna Anderson claimed, probably sincerely, that she was Grand Duchess Anastasia from the Czarist Romanov family. A DNA sample proved otherwise. She had been cremated, and no one ever would have known the truth, but fortunately, a body part from an earlier operation had been preserved.
I realize that was an unusual case, but it did solve a mystery, and there may be others waiting to be solved. Perhaps people could make a provision in their will that a DNA sample be preserved.
Dear P.J.: You are correct that DNA is destroyed during the cremation process. However, we don’t necessarily agree that the burden of extracting a DNA sample should belong to the funeral homes, and a provision in a will would be heard too late. In potential criminal cases, the police handle it. Otherwise, if someone wants their DNA preserved, they can do it on their own or notify family members to take a sample before consigning the body to the funeral home.
Dear Annie: I agree with your response to “Worried” that he shouldn’t be so upset about his girlfriend’s risk-taking behavior based on her age.
However, I wish you had addressed the issue of the lady’s constantly changing the meeting times. This shows a total lack of respect and consideration for her partner. This relationship will not last based on this issue alone.
— No Procrastinator
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.