DEAR DEIDRE: I AM in turmoil after my 15-year-old stepdaughter alleged she shared a kiss and a fondle with my teenage son at a family party.
I am a 48-year-old dad and my partner is 44. We have been together for almost a year.
We were having a family BBQ and I invited my 18-year-old son along to give him a chance to properly get to know my partner and her daughter.
He lives with his mum and younger brother. We all seemed to be getting on really well.
We were having a lovely day in the sunshine and after lockdown, it was wonderful to get back to doing normal things.
You can imagine how shocked I was when my stepdaughter told my girlfriend and I what had happened.
I have no reason to disbelieve what she is saying. My partner and I agreed it was a mistake on both parts, and we would sort it out.
There is no suggestion he forced her.
I called my son’s mum to let her know and we all agreed if he was prepared to take his share of the blame, we could close the matter.
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However, my son has steadfastly refuted the incident, saying some nasty things and making threats.
My partner called the police and has finished things with me because I won’t talk to the police for fear of incriminating my son.
The last thing he needs is a police record. I feel that if this incident did happen, then I am partly to blame for introducing my son to the family.
I can’t help but feel I have let my ex-partner and her daughter down because I can’t incriminate my son.
I also have a nagging guilt that maybe he didn’t do this and my feelings about it are wrong. I feel torn.
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DEIDRE SAYS: Can you and your ex separately sit your children down and explain that because someone lied your relationship has ended, people have been hurt and the issue has escalated.
This problem could have been easily sorted out had they told the truth.
It is important both children understand the implications of lying.
Happy, balanced 15-year-olds don’t accuse a guy of wrongdoing.
She may have made a play for him and flipped when your son rejected her.
The police are likely to discover the truth. Equally, your son could be angry because he’s been found out.
It is very much his word against hers.
Whatever the truth, ensure your son understands consent and underage sex.
Your son can talk it through with the False Allegations Support Organisation (false-allegations.org.uk, 0844 335 1992) who will understand his worries.
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