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Tired of Verbal Abuse,

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  • Tired of Verbal Abuse,

    I want to leave, so bad..I hate my life here in chesterfield, with my moms parents and I've had a freind and her family offer to let me live with them, but legally can I? I'm 16 in virginia..and I don't think they will let me, my dads parents maybe but not my moms, what should I do? I don't wanna run..but I can't stand it.

  • #2
    Re: Tired of Verbal Abuse,


    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Switchboard to explain your story and to get some suggestions to deal with your present situation. We are not in a position to tell you what to do because we cannot judge you and since we are to remain anonymous at this time, we hope that you can still work with us for support and resources. What we can tell you about general laws for leaving home is that there are two main ways to do it. The first is to see if you are able to file an abuse report. There needs to be an investigation and if founded by protective services in your area, you can sometimes be made to leave home. There, you can live with temporary foster care parents such as relatives, someone else willing to care for you or agencies such as a group homes. In cases where protective services find neglect or abuse, other methods to punish parents can be that they are made to go through family therapy or individual counseling. If nothing is found, it is likely that you can continue to live in this situation and the last thing we want is for life to get harder for you. We stress this point a lot so that you can avoid facing worse consequences when nothing happens in their favor.

    The other method for leaving home is through emancipation but you need to prove to a judge, once you file a petition with your local family courts, that you are capable of living on your own. It is crucial to establish that you are able to maintain life socially and financially. We are glad that you have some people to turn to for help. We hope that you approach the situation with care because your guardians reserve the right to file a runaway report with the local police if you choose to leave home without permission. Filing a report empowers your guardians to charge anyone involved with harboring you as a runaway. While running away is not a crime in some states, you still risk the chance of getting a status offense as a runaway. How the police choose to handle it is up to their own discretion but you can be made to return home if found or you can be taken to juvenile hall until you see a judge.

    However, since you are not thinking about runaway and most of your frustration comes from feeling like you cannot stand it at home, we hope that you can figure out other ways to cope. Have you tried reasoning with your guardians about how you are feeling? We hope that you can also find other ways to distract yourself from the stress. What are some things you can think about doing to avoid dealing with your family directly? Are there ways to get the family together to set a meeting about what is best for everyone involved?

    In most states, 18 is the age of majority and this makes it difficult to leave home without permission. Your guardians gets to decide where you live since you are still a minor. In Virginia the age of adulthood is 18 and this means that your friend's family can get in trouble if they allow you to come live with them without your guardians permission. Have you considered involving your friends in talks with your relatives so that everyone is on the same page? We hope that we have given you some insights with how to approach your delicate situation. We want to hear how you are doing and we hope that you can call us or continue to reach out for support. We are available 24 hours a day for you if you need us. We wish you luck and please know that we are here for you when you need to talk or put together a safe plan of action.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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