Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: The blackmailing bully
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
My neighbor goes to high school with me. He saw my boyfriend and me in my backyard making out. Some of our clothes were off.
He told me afterward he took pictures. He said he was going to put them up on Facebook.
I was super embarrassed. I thought he was kidding, so I laughed. He got angry and said I always thought I was better than he was. He said I’m a snob and I put him down. He said I let everyone at school think I’m such a “good girl” and now everyone’s going to know the truth.
I cried. I thought we were still friends even though we don’t hang out anymore. He told me to stop crying or he’d show them to our parents. I’m so scared.
My parents will kill me. We’re active in our church.
I went to his house and begged him to delete the pictures. He pulled me toward him and said if I have sex with him, he’ll erase them.
I got away.
He threatens me almost every day. I can’t take it. He grabbed me. He shook me. He pulled on my arm trying to get me in the bushes in his backyard. I think he’ll make me have sex with him.
My boyfriend doesn’t know. He’ll get physical with him if he finds out and he might dump me too. I am still a virgin.
How do I stop him from blackmailing me?
Dear Blackmailed and bullied,
He’s relentlessly being aggressive toward you physically, emotionally, and sexually. He’s bullying you and you are his victim.
“Making you have sex with him” is called rape. Right now, he seems to be having fun harassing you. But if it goes any further, you could be in danger.
As difficult as it is, you must tell your parents, even though it may make you feel humiliated. That is a smaller price to pay compared to the psychological damage he’s causing you and what he may still do to you.
Show this letter to your parents. They need to go to the police.
Tell your boyfriend. Decide with your boyfriend to not have sex and roll back the temptation. If he’s unwilling to agree to that, you need to say goodbye. Abstinence is the smart choice. Group dating is wise.
You didn’t ask to be a victim, but you need to make the difficult choice of not staying one. Grieving will be a challenge. Ask your parents to get you professional help.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Find out more about Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation at www. rhondastopbullying.org.