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College student worries about abuse allegation

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a 21-year-old college student. I've been friends with a fellow student named "Rob" for the past three years. I have never known Rob to be anything but a kind and trustworthy person. For the past two years, Rob has been dating another student at our college, and their relationship seems very healthy.

Last night, while scrolling through Facebook, I saw a post made by someone Rob and I barely know, stating that Rob is "an abuser." The post used Rob's full name, so I'm sure it was about my friend. I was shocked and don't know what to do now.

I sent Rob a simple message: "Is everything OK?" but haven't heard back, and I don't believe Rob knows about the allegation.

I have also been in touch with Rob's girlfriend (who I have come to be friends with), and she responded, "I'm OK," when I asked her how she has been.

Do I tell Rob about the post? Several of our mutual friends have stopped talking to Rob in the past few months with no explanation, and I'm starting to wonder if this allegation has something to do with it.

-- Concerned Co-ed

 

Dear Concerned: Yes, you should tell "Rob" about this post. It is vague and inflammatory. Ask him if he knows what it's about.

Your experience with him seems to have been entirely positive. Until you have believable and credible evidence that he has abused others, you should continue the friendship.

Generally speaking, when a group of individuals break off their friendships with someone over time, there is a reason, but each of us has the right to the presumption of innocence. I can imagine any number of circumstances in which your friend is innocent, is perhaps being deliberately defamed or has been misidentified.

Dear Amy: A friend asked me to help her plan a menu for a housewarming open house. I'm a foodie, so this is no problem.

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