DEAR ABBY: I'm 19 and my sister is 16. We have been working as prostitutes here in our state and in several nearby ones. We know we need help, but we are afraid to ask for it. Hotlines and trafficking programs have called the police on friends of ours who reached out for help. How can we get help without being forced to testify against my boyfriend and our other friends? - TERI
DEAR TERI: I'm glad you wrote because there is help for you. Contact an organization called Children of the Night. It has helped thousands of young people like you and your sister. Its toll-free phone number is (800) 551-1300, ext. 0, and it is staffed 24/7.
Children of the Night is privately funded and does not call the police on sex-trafficking victims. Once away from "the life," you and your sister will be able to study for your high school diploma online by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like more information, please visit www.childrenofthenight.org and see for yourself. I wish you luck and an easy escape from "the life." You and your sister are in my thoughts and prayers.
Splitting the rent?
DEAR ABBY: I have a dilemma, and I need to know who's right. My boyfriend of 2 1/2 years wants me to move into his apartment, but he says I can't live there for free. He wants me to pay half the rent, cable, water and electric bills. I'm OK with that. But I say the rent is the same whether I'm there or not, and I don't think I should have to pay rent on HIS place. It would be different if we were married.
What do you think? Who's right
- Maybe moving in
DEAR MAYBE: You are an independent young woman living in the 21st century, and as such, you should carry your share. That the two of you are not married is even more reason why you should share the cost of the rent.
What your question shows me is, if the relationship evolves further and you consider making it permanent, that premarital counseling could help you and your boyfriend avoid some pitfalls later. Disagreements about money often cause marriages to fail.
DEAR ABBY: My sister says it's rude to arrive at a party at the time specified on the invitation. She insists that if the time stated is 8 p.m., you shouldn't arrive before 8:30. I disagree, and I told her I believe that guests should arrive on time and to be late is disrespectful. Her response was that I am behind the times. Please let me know who is correct.
- On time in Florida
DEAR ON TIME: Depending upon the type of party it is, there is leeway. If it's a cocktail party, guests who prefer not to stand around drinking for hours may choose to arrive late. However, if it's a dinner party, the guests should show up promptly so the meal can be served when it's ready. Sometimes a guest may be 15 or 20 minutes late because of unforeseen circumstances, but if someone is delayed for more than that, the host should be called.
DEAR ABBY: My older sister was born on July 4. She's now in her 60s and refuses to celebrate the holiday. She also doesn't want the immediate family to celebrate it either. We have tried to be supportive in years past, but we miss having our Fourth of July holiday. What do you suggest?
- Wants to celebrate
DEAR WANTS TO CELEBRATE: I suggest that before July 4, you declare YOUR independence by asking your older sister what other day she would like to celebrate her birthday. Then celebrate the Fourth of July as you would like - without her.