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  • Help!

    My brother in law really needs help and fast! And his girlfriend. She's 17 and she's pregnant. She is due in July, but the doctor said considering the stress she is under she could have the baby at any time. My brother-in law is 19. He wants to move her and the baby in with him, but her grandparents, who have legal custody of her won't allow it. As a matter of fact, they don't want him to be in any part of her life, or their baby. They are saying she cannot call him when she goes into labor, and they if she does they will fight for custody of the baby as well. My brother-in law is not a bad guy. He is trying to do the right thing. Most people would be glad of this, but for some reason her grandparents hate him. I personally think it is because if she is gone they have nobody to verbally, emotionally, and physically abuse. The problem is she can't get help. They have people watch her at school, she is terrified. They watch her at home. She can't use the phone without them knowing, and they won't let her leave. We had a heat advisory and it was like 90 degrees outside and the humidity was awful and they made her go in the yard and pull weeds all day! They make her do all the cleaning, and her brother doesn't have to do anything. He's 10 but still, he should have chores as well. They put her down, call her names, and have hit her. However she has no way to take a picture for evidence, they won't allow her a camera. She wants to leave with my brother in law and sneak out. Can he get in trouble for coming to get her and letting her stay with him? They are both devastated. She wants out, and he wants to do the right thing. What can we do? As a family we are all concerned! And worried!

  • #2
    Re: Help!

    Thanks so much for writing in. It sounds like your brother-in-law and his girlfriend are going through an extremely difficult situation right now. It sounds like your whole family cares about both of them very much and is really worried about the situation. You mentioned that the girlfriend lives with her grandparents and that they have been abusive for quite some time. Do you have any idea if she has ever spoken with Child Protective Services (CPS) about this situation or tried to make a report? Is that something that she has ever thought about doing? You mentioned that she is currently in school. Would she be able to talk with a teacher or a school counselor about the situation? Generally if she were to talk about the abuse they would be mandated to tell someone at CPS about it. It’s not fair that she is being treated that way by her grandparents, especially in the fragile state she is in with being pregnant, and she has every right to make a report if she wanted to.

    You mentioned that she is 17, do you have any idea when she turns 18. In most states the age of majority is 18 yrs old. Now in some states they consider you an adult at 17, and in some even 16 are considered an adult. If you felt comfortable and wanted to get the correct information for your area sometimes the best way is to contact your local police, on the non-emergency line, and ask them what age you can be to legally leave the home. You wouldn’t even necessarily have to discuss the specific situation, if you didn’t feel comfortable. Also getting in touch with your local department of children and family services could be an option as well. I also wanted to give you a number for an agency called Justice for Children (1-800-733-0059). They may have some insight about the situation and possibly give you come specific answers.

    Although it seems like a really difficult situation, it’s good to know that your brother-in-law and his girlfriend have so much support from you and your family. If you need any specific resources or have other questions you can write back or give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are a completely confidential hotline and there is someone here 24 hours a day. If the youth decided that she wanted to make a report or talk with someone from CPS we could help with that as well, by conducting a conference call and helping to advocate for her situation. Hopefully some of that information helps and contact us again if there is anything else you need. Best of luck with everything and take care.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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