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  • What can we do?

    Okay, so. My girlfriend who lives in Michigan is having trouble with her parents. They practically mentally abuse her, calling her retarded, telling her that I'm not a big part of her life. Starting arguments with her every time she goes to get something, and sometimes these arguments turn into physical abuse. I've talked it over with my mother and my mother will take guardianship when possible. Only thing is that her parents most likely would not hand over guardianship, yet they do not care at all. I am very worried for her because this has been going on for longer than I've known her. We've been together for almost 8 months and at least once every few days she is extremely upset because of the way her parents treat her. (this is a touchy topic) They even told her she could've changed it and that it was her fault she got raped a few years ago!! Things are not going well for her at home, she is clearly miserable with her living conditions. Some things I have been notified of are hair pulling, physical abuse, just things that are unhealthy to live in. I live in Texas (we have a long distance relationship) and I want to know what can happen. I know she can legally runaway at 17, but she just turned 16 about a month or so ago. I am worried for her safety, I was sitting there on the phone with her when she was in absolute shock and crying. What can be done? Authorities in her area aren't very useful, as her parents deny and lie about everything in front of anyone, even me. I have seen and heard about these things happening the entire (almost) 10 months I've known her. (stuff to keep in mind) Her parents hate each other, they are only together because her father gets money from taking care of her mom (her mom has a disability) and it's constant. I want it to stop, and I want her to come here (because I know she'll be safe).

  • #2
    Re: What can we do?

    Hi there,
    We are glad you reached out, it sounds like your girlfriend is in a really difficult situation and we are here to help the best we can. It sounds like you care about her a lot, and it is good that you are supporting her while she is going through this. While we are not legal experts we can speak generally on your situation. Generally speaking you do have to be 18 and not 17 to leave home without your parents’ permission. Running away is a status offence meaning it is illegal to do because of age but one cannot be arrested or charged for running away. The only thing to consider is that whoever a runaway is staying with could possibly be charged with harboring a runaway which is a misdemeanor offence. Your girlfriend does not deserve any form of abuse by her parents, have you considered filing an abuse report? You mentioned wanting to change guardianship, and often times filing a abuse report is the first step in that process to ensure your girlfriend gets help and is safe. A good resource you can reach out to that can answer any questions you may have about child abuse reporting and how it works is Child Help USA. You can reach them at 1-800-422-4453 to get that information and support. We are glad to hear you are gathering this information for her, and that your family is supporting her during this difficult time as well. We are available to talk more on your situation and answer any questions you may have at 1-800-RUNAWAY where we are available 24/7 and you can remain confidential.
    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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