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Wanting to run away but scared of the consequences.

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  • Wanting to run away but scared of the consequences.

    I live alone with my single mom and have had problems all my life. The rest of my siblings live with my dad who I see once a month and I tried living there, but I grew majorly depressed from being abused by my stepmother. My dad knew but did nothing about it. Living with my mom was better for a little while but when I was 12 she became a huge alcoholic. I am 17 now and it has grown so bad that she loses every job she gets and her parents don't want to help paying for the bills. Because I am the only one there for her, I am the only person she has to hurt. One day she will be sweet and my old mom again and the next she will be breaking my door down trying to attack me in the middle of the night. Not only does she try to hurt me physically( she's so small that only a few times she really did hurt me), but she also abuses me verbally and physically. Calling me worthless and a load of curse words are the nice versions of what she says to me. I have been medically diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My doctor has found scars of self harm and has tried to get me help but they say it's up to my mom who thinks I'm doing it for attention. I am doing my senior year online because my change in behavior made school unbearable. Overall this environment has left me a crumbling shell emotionally and physically. I have had a boyfriend who is there for me every minute of every day and has been here for years watching all this. However, he lives in South Carolina and his mom says she will welcome me with open arms. My mom knows I want to go there but she says she will call the cops if I try to leave. I know In South Carolina, you can leave home at 17, but not in Georgia until you are 18. I know if I explain what's been going on with my mom they won't make me live there anymore but i am afraid they will send me to my other parent and I am emotionally abused at my dads house as well, just not as bad. I'm ready to go and have planned leaving the entire summer, I'm just scared of the consequences and if the family I'll stay with will get in trouble.

  • #2
    RE: Wanting to run away but scared of the consequences.

    Hello there –

    Thank you for getting into touch with us here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we possibly can. From your email to us, it sounds like you are going through a very tough time right now dealing with your mother making you stay in the house all the time. Seems like it’s getting very overwhelmed with everything that has been going on. It’s brave of you to reach out during your time of need. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on and thinking about what would happen if you did run away. No one deserves to be treated that way, especially by your parent at home. You always have the right to report any abuse to your local police department or child protective service in your state. If you don’t feel comfortable with filing a report against your parent(s), you can always call us anytime you want. Hopefully we can help you with some of those questions you have.

    Like we tell a lot of our callers and/or people that email us, the laws on that specific subject of running away vary from state to state, so our advice would be call your local non-emergency police number to get more information on that. You could ask hypothetical questions that they can answer for you. We could help you do that if you’re not comfortable with doing so. Generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states except Alabama and Nebraska [19 or upon marriage], and Mississippi [21]), your mother would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. Since it’s only considered a statues offense and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home. This is of course if you had any interaction with the police directly or if they stopped you to ask you a few questions. There are some cases (based on individual police officers of your state) where they won't take a runaway report because they might view the youth as an adult, especially if the youth is close to turning 18.

    If your mother does make a runaway report and you are planning on staying with someone else, your parents can press charges on that family for harboring a runaway when they are not giving accurate information on your whereabouts. That could lead to a number of different legal issues.

    If you give us a call on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help you find resources in your area and could potentially help you brainstorm a possible solution to the issues you are having. We would love to talk to you about what has been going on recently that is making you want to leave home. We also have an online chat service available every night from 4:30-11:30 PM CST that is available through our website
    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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