Daughter sexually assaulted at wedding reception: Ellie | Toronto Star

We attended my niece’s wedding recentlyWhile they were outside, they encountered the groom’s father who asked the boyfriend to get him something from the liquor truck. While the boyfriend was distracted, the groom’s father slipped his hand up my daughter’s dress and groped her buttocks. My daughter was so shocked that she did nothing. However, once the man left, she told her boyfriend. Her boyfriend wanted to go beat the man up. Uncertain Move and at the reception, my daughter and her boyfriend went outside for a cigarette.

The only legally correct answer is that your daughter reports what was a sexual assault. Why “sexual?” Because he didn’t just grope her elbow, and it was touching without her consent.

Her boyfriend should accompany her to confirm what he knew of the incident, and you (and your husband) should be there to support her.

BUT, your daughter has to be willing to do this, not pushed into it.

Your niece’s family knows the groom’s father. If they’re aware that he’s inappropriately touched other women, he should be stopped.

This time, a boyfriend returned before anything worse happened. In future, a young girl might experience an even worse assault from him.

You may want to alert the bride’s parents that your daughter’s considering making this report.

They may react negatively for fear of scandal or dividing the newlyweds.

I’ve been a part of my husband’s family for 13 years, and married for five. His parents are so selfish, always putting their feelings and opinions above their kids. When something doesn’t go their way, they throw a hissy fit. His mom is so fake. She talks ill of her family (children included) behind their back and then puts on angelic motherly behaviour when they’re around. I witness it daily. She gives me a bad vibe, and I never feel she’s genuine or that she has good intentions. I’m so fed up because I come from a very close and honest family, but I’m stuck in this frustrating mess. I’m fed up but I don’t want to wreck my marriage. How do I just cope with their behaviour because heaven forbid I ever say anything. Fed Up with Fake

However, if your daughter decides to report, that’s her right and she needs your support even more.

If you do nothing to change your reaction other than seethe with resentment, it’s a kind of silent fakery, too.

Your “daily” witnessing of your mother-in-law’s behaviour, suggests you may be living with her. Even if the circumstances seem to demand it, living together may harm your marriage more.

Talk to your husband. Ask him how he feels about badmouthing of children. Say how frustrating you find the situation (without blaming him). Maybe he has some suggestions, such as changing the subject when it happens.

There are ways to handle this with dignity:

Walk away if she continues with put-downs. Tell her privately that badmouthing reflects badly on her.

Tip of the day

Since you come from close and honest family, lead by example and protect your own marriage by not just accepting what’s fake.

Read Ellie Monday to Saturday. Email ellie@thestar.ca or visit her website, ellieadvice.com .Follow @ellieadvice.

Sexual assault is a crime that calls for being reported to prevent it happening again.