Ask Amy: My friend was groped at a work event. What should she do?

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Dear Amy: My best friend recently attended her professional association’s top producers’ banquet.

“Brian,” a very successful man from another firm, groped her bottom two times at the event. No one else saw.

She let the first incident pass, because they were in a group setting, and she didn’t know how to respond.

Then he grabbed her again. She stormed away and avoided him for the rest of the event. The next day, she told an associate, who confronted Brian.

On the phone, Brian told the associate that my friend was flirting with him.

The next day, she received a text from Brian: “Call me so I can apologize about yesterday.” She felt humiliated by chasing him down for an apology, so she never called. Three weeks have now passed, but the humiliation is still festering in her mind.

I told her it wasn’t too late to ask for an apology in a three-way call with her associate and Brian, where he would have to fess up to his actions instead of blaming her.

I also told her to report Brian to the association and ask for him to be barred from next year’s event. These people are all real estate agents.

She’s obviously hesitant to inconvenience people and make the wrong type of name for herself.

Outraged: I disagree with your idea that this should be handled casually on a three-way call.

If your friend asked me, I would advise her to write an account of exactly what happened and send it directly to the association’s head office, naming “Brian,” reporting that he has admitted this behavior to another associate and asking that appropriate action be taken.

Real estate agents meet clients alone in empty houses. A person who would grope an associate during a crowded industry event should not be trusted to meet with clients.

Female real estate agents are especially vulnerable, and if your friend reported this and demanded action, the “name” she would make for herself would be as someone who is appropriately concerned about her safety, as well as the well-being of other women who might have the bad luck of crossing paths with this creep.

Dear Amy: Is it ever okay to require a preschool child to finish everything on their plate, when the portions were preselected by someone else?

I don’t want to give too many details, because this is a sensitive family issue.

I’ve brought it to the attention of the perpetrators — gently, I hope — and things seemed better for a while. But now it has reverted to: “There’s one more bite on your plate, then you can have this.”

The child is a good eater otherwise, likes healthy foods and is of average weight and in good health.

It concerns me that this controlling behavior has continued, because I’m afraid the child will develop eating disorders, weight problems, bad associations with food and mealtime, or even behavioral problems.

Do you have any suggestions?

Knots: If the child’s parents are the “perpetrators” pushing food, then my main suggestion is that you should understand that they are the child’s parents, and they have the right to handle mealtime the way they think is best.

If you are the child’s parent and the grandparents or other occasional caregivers are doing this, then you have the right to insist they stop.

I agree that this way of treating mealtime takes away a child’s agency; the parental hovering and hoovering can also be hard for others to witness.

However, no, I do not believe this kind of prompting will necessarily lead to an eating disorder, a bad relationship with food or a life of crime.

I also believe that most parents stop this behavior once a child enters preschool and finds effective ways to push back.

Mainly, while you are accusing these people of controlling behavior, you are trying mightily to control them.

I hope that once you see the irony here, you will back off.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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