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My aunt is unhealthy, I want to leave, what do I do?

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  • My aunt is unhealthy, I want to leave, what do I do?

    Hello. To understand the situation, you need to have the background. My mom has whipped me, attacked me, screamed at me, and attempted to murder me. CPS was called many times, they only did anything when she was going to attempt to murder me, so I called 911. I lived in MI at the time. I then was shipped off at 15 to live with my aunt in NY. I'm 17 now, she has said to me "I understand why your mom abused you now" and "go ahead and cut yourself, I don't care! I really don't. This isn't what I signed up for!" We fight every day, and I want to move out. I could move in with a boyfriend or a friend, and am wondering what the laws are surrounding that. I am under temporary custody of my aunt, as my mom signed a temporary custody agreement, and my aunt is my legal guardian. Does that also make me an independent? Thanks for your help...

  • #2
    Thank you for telling us your story and reaching out. It can be difficult telling others what has happened to you. We want you to know that no one deserves to be screamed at, attacked or have their life threatened, and you should not have to go through that. It sounds like things have not gotten any better since moving with your aunt but you are very strong to reach out and no give up despite your current situation. We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents and or aunt could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there if your parents or aunt files a report and if your boyfriend’s family doesn’t cooperate with the police they could get charged with “harboring.” Some police departments don’t accept runaway reports for 17 year olds, but the policies may vary by each department. You are still considered a minor in your stated and leaving without parental consent could still be considered a status offence. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

    If you don’t feel safe and feel like you need to get away provides a safe location for you to meet a staff member who can take you to a designated place where you can discuss all options about how to stay safe. You can text 44357 the word “safe,” and your location to find a safe location in your area. Once you arrive let someone who works there know you need help connecting with a staff member.

    One service we can offer is to conference call with your parent or legal guardian. This way you could have a conversation with your parents but you would not be alone. For example, it may be hard for you to explain to your aunt how you feel when she says some of the things she says to you and that you would like to live with your boyfriend instead. Sometimes those conversations go better in a conference call because we can advocate for you. If you want to reach us, you can chat with us anytime at or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re here 24/7, and we are ready to listen and help however we can.

    Wish you the best

    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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