Dear Annie: When I was a teenager, one of my cousins tried to molest me when we were at our grandmother’s house. He tried to force a kiss on me and said because I was older, I should learn about sex and teach it to him. I fought him off.
I was afraid to tell our grandmother, because she would have been so upset. Grandma is gone now. The problem is, this cousin told his parents I tried to molest him. Consequently, they have treated me terribly. His mother told me she didn’t want me around her daughter because I might hurt her. She is nasty and belligerent around me, even now.
I don’t like that they have repeated this false accusation to other relatives, telling them I am a bad person. I don’t think talking to my cousin would get me anywhere. Should I speak to my uncle about what happened, even at this point in time? – Concerned
Dear Concerned: We hope you have told your parents, as well as your aunt and uncle, the truth about this accusation. It’s not uncommon for young cousins to “practice” on each other, and it’s very likely that your overly hormonal cousin was embarrassed by your reaction and blamed you to deflect his own culpability. It’s also understandable that his parents would believe him, especially if you didn’t tell your side of the story at the time. If your cousin is an adult now, he might be more amenable to taking responsibility for his actions, especially if you approach him without blame, simply asking him to do the right thing and help you clear this up.
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