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What should I do about this? - December 23rd 2017, 05:25 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I have been talking to a girl my partner met on Her several months ago. She's eighteen and a senior in high school. I've seen her ID saying she's eighteen but I'm still skeptical because she's openly talked about previously lying to adults about her age when talking to them. That's not exactly the point of this post, though. Today she told me she was feeling sad and when I asked why she told me that a man who is 46, who she's been talking to her since she was fifteen (and knew she was fifteen), is married. This hurt her deeply because she has feelings for him. She also implied that, while she was underage, she and he exchange explicit messages and/or photos.

What should I do with this information? All I know about her contact information is her Facebook name (and my partner has her phone number). She lives with her parents in a town two hours away from me. I don't want her parents to find out about this and I don't want her to get in trouble, because she'd know it was me who reported her. I don't know who this man is or anything about him. I just feel very uncomfortable having knowledge of this incident. What should I do?

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Re: What should I do about this? - December 24th 2017, 02:21 AM

Hey there,

This is a tough situation to be in and I can understand why you are uncomfortable not doing something. The thing that is hard is if she is, currently 18, the police might not be willing to look into it since, I believe, she would have to be willing to report it. If there was enough evidence without her reporting it than they would probably try and do something.

I could be wrong about her reporting it but I know when I pressed charges against the people who abused me the detective I worked with asked me if I was sure about pressing charges and explained that if I didn't want to press charges they wouldn't move forward. I am guessing a lot of that was due to how old my case was and because there wasn't much evidence.

That being said, if she is underage it's likely that her parents could still look into it and try and have something done about it (although I am sure there are exceptions). The other thing to consider is that if you don't have much information about this man or about this girl it would likely be difficult for anything to be done, legally.

That being said, depending on the type of relationship you have with this girl you might be able to talk to her about your concerns and explain that a grown man should no have a relationship with a child. She might not listen but at least you will know that you talked to her and tried to sway her.

Sorry I couldn't be of much help.

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Re: What should I do about this? - December 29th 2017, 08:43 AM

This is definitely a tricky situation. In all honesty, I'm even a little shaky on my answer, but I think the best thing would be to consider the impact that reporting this would have on the people involved.

Do you know how she feels about what happened between her and this man? If she's simply hurting because he is married but not bothered by the fact that they exchanged explicit photos, it's likely that she won't be willing to take legal action or cooperate with detectives if they do try to look into it. If that's the case, I'm not sure that reporting it will have any benefit, as it may only hurt her and cause problems in your relationship with her.

Perhaps you could talk to her about your feelings towards the information she shared. Let her know that you're not comfortable with holding onto the knowledge because of the legal issues surrounding it. If you feel compelled to report it, letting her know that it's something you're planning on doing may help ease some of the backlash, as she won't feel blindsided by it. Additionally, if reporting it is something that she has wanted to do but has been too scared to do on her own, you may be able to help walk her through the process.

At the end of the day, this really comes down to your best judgment and doing what you feel most comfortable with. If you were in her position, what would you want someone to do for you? Usually, your gut will give you the right answer when it comes to things like this.

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