Auntie SparkNotes: I'm Being Harassed by a Seventh Grader
I'll cut straight to the chase. I have a younger brother—he is 13, I am 17—who has a friend, "James," who likes me. I have known James since he was very little as we attend the same religious center. When I heard about his feelings for me (and saw them in action) I politely told him that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between us and I asked that he please leave me alone. He didn't.
Every time I saw him, he would call me "babe", "baby", "sweetcheeks", names like that. I asked him to stop so many times, I lost count. I eventually decided to simply ignore him.
A few weeks ago, he texted me. (I have no idea where he got my number.) It was a normal conversation until he started asking me things about my sex life. I refused to respond, and the next text I received from him was something I will not be repeating in this email but it put my sexual decency into question and contained threats of sexual violence against me. All this from a 13-YEAR-OLD BOY! I am shaken up and concerned. Help?
Oh, ew. Call his parents.
...Was Auntie's immediate reaction upon reading this letter—along with making a very pained face and a noise that's kind of, like, Ehhhhnnnnnnggghhh, and backing slowly away from my laptop, and then strutting out of the room like a NOPETOPUS.
And that's what I suggest you do, too. Trying to corral this pint-sized creep just isn't your responsibility; this is a 13-year-old, and he's got parents whose job it is to deal with this type of thing. Just call them, or approach them the next time you see them at church, and say, "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but your son has been sending me some really inappropriate text messages. I'm not trying to get him in trouble, but this is a problem and I thought you should know about it."
Note: Things being what they are, the little turd's parents might claim at this point that either a) their son would never do such a thing, or that b) if he did, you must have misunderstood—which is why you're also going to show them the messages, which you have kept, I hope. (If you haven't, and you need them, you may be able to get copies from your cell service provider.)
And then, having alerted the proper authorities, you can block his number from your phone and go about your business. You should let your own folks know about this situation, too, so that they're aware of the problem—and so that if your own brother comes around asking why you went so far as to get his pal in trouble, they can take the opportunity to explain to him that behavior like this is not okay and that it's something parents need to know about it.
Which they do, seriously. Not that it's so weird or crazy for a 13-year-old boy to act like a tiny disgusting monster with no concept of boundaries—at age 13, such behavior is pretty much a biological imperative—but responding to a clearly-articulated "No" with escalating harassment and threats of sexual violence? Even for a kid who's right in the midst of the ass-hattiest part of puberty, that's an impulse that needs to be nipped in the bud, post freakin' haste, by the people in charge of making sure he doesn't grow up to be a date rapist. And while it might cause him some short-term grief to get in trouble for what he did, and while it might make his parents uncomfortable to learn about their child's textual terrorism, you'll be doing them all a favor by making it clear, right here, right now, that these shenanigans will not be tolerated—and by helping him learn this lesson before he grows up to be the kind of dude who sends pictures of his wiener to his boss.
Got something to add? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want more info about how this column works? Check out the Auntie SparkNotes FAQ.