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“I’ve Never Told Anyone This Story the Way I’m Telling You”

When Prudie reached out to readers for their stories of family abuse.

Plus members! Our very own Dear Prudence advice columnist, Emily Yoffe, is leaving Slate. To celebrate her nine years as Prudie, we’re republishing a selection of Dear Prudence pieces, including this video, which was originally published on April 17, 2014.

This content is free to all Slate readers to promote our new membership program, Slate Plus. Join Slate Plus to get bonus segments on our most popular podcasts, behind-the-scenes content, discounts on merchandise and live events, and more. Try Slate Plus free for two weeks! Go to to sign up.


In 2013, Emily Yoffe, Slate’s “Dear Prudence” columnist, wrote “The Debt,” about grown adults coming to terms with the parents who abused them in childhood. In this exclusive Slate Plus video, Emily tells the story behind the story. How did anonymous letters to Prudence lead to such a memorable, difficult story?

Related: What Do Grown Children Owe Their Terrible, Abusive Parents?