Q. SIL Hit On Me: My older brother (by 10 years) is married with a 2-year-old daughter. I am a senior in high school. Last week, I baby-sat for them (as I often do) from when school ended until my SIL came home from work. We always have had a fun friendship, I think she and my brother are a great couple, and I have repeatedly joked about how my brother outkicked his coverage and I hope I am so lucky some day. We joke, it's flirty but harmless, or so I thought. But she walked in last week, sat next to me on the couch, grabbed my hand, put it on a non-gender-neutral area and told me she had to have me right there. I freaked out and walked out. I called my brother and left a message, but his wife had already spun a whole different story, and now my whole family believes I am at fault. Nobody believes my version. Other than waiting until fall to go to college and get away from the madness, any tips to cope?
A: Your brother outkicked his coverage all right, right into the depravity zone. In the years I've done this column I've had every variation of family-member violation including son-in-law coming onto mother-in-law and daughter running off with stepfather. It's grotesque when siblings-in-law voluntarily get it on, but it's actionable when one tries to molest the other. You are caught in a terrible trap here. Your sister-in-law, once rebuffed, put out the word that her younger brother-in-law tried to make a move. And now no one is believing your story because of sexism. It's just easier to accept that a horny teen acted horribly than a young mother. You need to sit down with your parents and tell them exactly what happened. Say the physical violation was against you, and now she's compounding it by spreading malicious lies to save herself. Frankly, I think you and your parents should sit down with a lawyer and discuss this. A false accusation of sexual assault is a dangerous thing. If your parents won't support you, go to your guidance counselor at school, explain what happened, and say you need some adults to help guide you through this morass. You should not become a pariah because you have an unbalanced new member of the family.