Dear Ellie: When is it okay to tell a friend that her lifestyle of having sex with any guy, even ones she doesn’t like, is pathetic?
I’ve known her for years. She’s sweet and helpful as one girlfriend to another. But with men, she’s weak, a magnet for those who just use her.
She’s caught several sexually transmitted infections because she never protects herself and doesn’t ask any questions of her sex partners.
Her parents, living out-of-town, don’t have a clue about her behaviour. She confides in me like a big sister because I’m a few years older.
She shows no awareness that men just take advantage of her and tell others how “easy” she is.
I fear that she’ll one day be set up for something very dangerous.
Very Worried Friend
Speak up! Tell her that she’s taking dangerous risks. Some STI’s can affect her health for years.
Urge her to make a fresh start elsewhere and help her move. Then, like a big sister, urge that she see a counsellor, even if you have to help find one and accompany her there a couple of times.
Dear Readers: The impact of over-indulging in high-sugar andfattening foods when young, to the point of becoming obese, can cause years of a poor self-image while growing up, and health problems that can last a lifetime.
Here is a readers’ commentary about a mother’s deep and personal concerns over her teenagers’ love of sweets (June 23):
Reader: “In today’s world we are very aware of racism of any kind, as indeed we should be.
“However, another thing to consider is weight-based discrimination.
“People feel perfectly free to discuss someone’sweight in the most derogatory manner. Even medical doctors can be offenders.
“I realize that they’re concerned about the health of the patient but it doesn’t give them the right to imply weakness of character, or low intelligence of the patient, or any other comment that’s degrading to the person.”
Ellie’s tip of the day
When a friend’s at serious risk, get involved in helping.
Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @ellieadvice.