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  • Is it okay to run away if you are being abused.

    Is it okay to run away from home if you are 15 and being abused physically and emotionally?

  • #2
    Re: Is it okay to run away if you are being abused.

    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline and sharing with us some of what has been going on. It sounds like home is not a safe place to be, with the physical and emotional abuse. We are sorry to hear you are being mistreated. We understand that you would want to leave and be somewhere safe. Here at NRS we are here to listen and support you in what ways we can.

    Here at NRS we are not legal experts, but we can speak in general terms. Sometimes having some basic information can help you make your decision. Generally, you are an adult at the age of 18 and if you were to leave home before then your parents have the option of filing a runaway report. Running away is not a criminal offense it is a status offense. This means that it is not illegal for you to leave home. If you are found the police will bring you back home and the runway report is removed. Where it can become illegal is for those that are helping you leave or are allowing you to stay with them. That is called harboring a runaway and the severity of that offense varies from state to state.

    It sounds like you have been thinking about this for a while. Some options you have is to talk to a trusted adult about how you are feeling. If you don’t have a trusted adult, possibly going to a school counselor, trusted teacher, or family member and talk with them. We are also 24/7 and are available to talk to you. Here at NRS we are not here to tell you what to do, our main concern is that you are safe in what you decide to do. Sometimes talking with someone can be helpful.

    No one deserves to be mistreated, and if you feel you are being mistreated by your dad you have the right to file an abuse report with your state child protective services. If that is something that you want to do, you can call Child Help USA at 1800-422-4453 and make the report. If you do not feel comfortable making the report, you can have a trusted adult make it or call our hotline at 1800-RUNAWAY and we can make the report for or with you.

    We hope this helped and if you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can give us a call or chat with us. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the best of luck.

    NRS
    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)
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Can I run away if my dad abused me if I’m 14?

      Comment


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out. We are so sorry to hear about what you are going through with your dad. Abuse is absolutely never okay, and your safety is very important to us.

        In situations like this, where you may be feeling unsafe at home, it is your right to make a child abuse report. There is certainly no pressure to file one if you aren’t comfortable with it, but if you are interested, this can be done through contacting the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. The hotline worker you speak with will collect some basic location information from you and then transfer you to the correct agency in your area that deals with these types of family issues.

        This agency will follow-up by initiating an investigation to learn more about the situation going on at home, with the goal of coming up with a safe solution for you (and any siblings you might have). These investigations are all different, but some typical outcomes can be things like parents being required to take parenting classes or go to counseling, or a parent or youth being removed from the home. Every situation is different, but those are some of the possibilities.

        Another option available might be to go and stay with a relative or other trusted adult. Because you are still considered a minor at 14 years old, your parent or other legal guardian would need to give the okay in order for you to do this legally. This can sometimes be tricky to get permission for, but it might be worth asking if you know somewhere safer that you’d like to stay.

        There may also be youth shelters in your area that you could stay in. We’d be happy to look into those for you if you’d like. Some may require parental permission, but some may not. It varies a little bit state-to-state.

        If you have other ideas or want to talk through anything we’ve written above, please feel free to reach out to us anytime via our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929. Or, you can chat with us via or website at www.1800runaway.org. We are here to help however we can.

        Best of luck,
        National Runaway Safeline (NRS)

    • #4
      What if my 19-year old autistic brother is abusing me? Does it still count, or am I just paranoid? I've done research, and I found a way to get out if I need to, but I want to protect my other brother. Also, I don't want my parents to look at me with disappointment and say I was overreacting, but I'm worried it'll get worse than just threats and intimidation. He's hit us( me and my other brother) before, and he used to drag us around by our necks. He freaks me out, but I don't know what to do. Mom and Dad say they're handling that, but he hasn't improved at all. He'll storm around the house and scream at us when Mom and Dad aren't there. I'm always scared he's going to hurt me, and I'm 14 and female so I won't be able to fight him off. But would my parents be charged with neglect, for not getting him a lot more help than he's got? Or would they be fine?

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks for posting on our forum and explaining a bit about your situation. It was brave of you to share a bit about what’s going on at home.

        It sounds like your 19 year old brother is very violent with you and your other brother. It must be really difficult because he’s autistic, however, it doesn’t make it okay that he hurts you. You mentioned that your parents have said that they are handling it, but it doesn’t sound like you feel safe at home. It’s totally understandable that you’re scared of being left home alone with your brother, since he’s physically larger than you. Have you ever talked to any teachers or school personnel about what’s been going on with your brother? It may be helpful talking about it to someone who is not in the home, they could help you talk to your parents again about how you still feel unsafe at home.

        As far as your question regarding your parents getting in trouble for neglect, we’re not legal experts, so we wouldn’t be able to give you a solid answer. There is an organization called Child Help, they’re the national child abuse hotline (800) 422-4453. They’re not just for reporting child abuse, but they also can answer questions about your concerns regarding neglect charges and if that could happen. Lastly, we also offer conference calling between youth and parents. If you’re not comfortable going to your teachers to ask them help talking to your parents, we can also do that with you!

        Again, thank you for contacting us. We are here to talk more about your situation at home with your brother and if you want to explore your options. Our safeline is open 24/7.

        Best, NRS

    • #5
      My mother has choked me, punched me, and hit me many times. Moreover, she's emotionally abusive as well. She threatens to hit me. She curses me out, belittles me, and insults me. I'm 16, and I can't do this anymore. What can I do? I'm afraid if I call CPS they'll come to my home, and then my mother will beat me for calling them. I'm scared. Before I was born, she knocked out my older brothers two front teeth because she punched him in the face, and she used to break wooden spoons over my older sister. Please help.

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey,
        Thanks for reaching out. It is never, ever okay for your mom to hurt you in any way and we’re so sorry to hear you’re in this position. We want you to know that your safety is our number one priority, so if you feel like you’re in danger you can always remove yourself from that situation. If you are in immediate danger, you can always call 9-1-1. If you need to leave immediately, we support that and want to make sure that you have a safety plan. You might want to consider where you’d stay (maybe a friend, family member, or another adult you trust). A shelter could be an option, however they might need to contact child protective services. They may also need to notify your mom that you are there, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that she can pick you up (especially if you’ve notified the staff about the abuse).
        You mentioned CPS as a possibility. You do always have the right to make an abuse report by confiding in a teacher or a guidance counselor. It sounds like you’re hesitant about what might happen if you do notify child protective services. If you want more information about the process of reporting and what might happen if you do report, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
        Stay safe!

    • #6
      Is it ok to run away if you are abused and you are 13

      Comment


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. After reading your posting It looks like your question is similar to another users. We have attached a copy of the conversation below. If you have any follow up questions please feel to free to give us a call anytime. 1-800-786-2929
        Originally posted by Guest View Post
        My mother has choked me, punched me, and hit me many times. Moreover, she's emotionally abusive as well. She threatens to hit me. She curses me out, belittles me, and insults me. I'm 16, and I can't do this anymore. What can I do? I'm afraid if I call CPS they'll come to my home, and then my mother will beat me for calling them. I'm scared. Before I was born, she knocked out my older brothers two front teeth because she punched him in the face, and she used to break wooden spoons over my older sister. Please help.

        Hey,
        Thanks for reaching out. It is never, ever okay for your mom to hurt you in any way and we’re so sorry to hear you’re in this position. We want you to know that your safety is our number one priority, so if you feel like you’re in danger you can always remove yourself from that situation. If you are in immediate danger, you can always call 9-1-1. If you need to leave immediately, we support that and want to make sure that you have a safety plan. You might want to consider where you’d stay (maybe a friend, family member, or another adult you trust). A shelter could be an option, however they might need to contact child protective services. They may also need to notify your mom that you are there, though that doesn’t necessarily mean that she can pick you up (especially if you’ve notified the staff about the abuse).
        You mentioned CPS as a possibility. You do always have the right to make an abuse report by confiding in a teacher or a guidance counselor. It sounds like you’re hesitant about what might happen if you do notify child protective services. If you want more information about the process of reporting and what might happen if you do report, you can call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.
        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
        Stay safe!

    • #7
      My dad calls me names(slut, whore, ect.), allowed my siblings to hit me, call me names, ect. Im 14 and i cant be happy while at home, my mom has left me and chose drugs over me and says "i brought you into this world and i can take you out" im basically stuck in my room when im not at school. Ive cried myself to sleep everyday, sadly i have thought about ending everything. I have thought about running away more than once, and im thinking about committing to it. I dont want to get in trouble (state of WV) i have tried talking about it but. Nobody listens to me. I have tried talking to my uncle (a police officer) but i have bad anxiety. A friends mom has opened her arms up to me saying if i need to go anywhere i can call them and talk to them. I have been close to calling them asking them if they could get me from my dads. They offered to help he talk to someone but every time i try i start to cry. My dad has told me not to talk to anyone about anything but holding everything in is killing me inside. I need to talk more about it to someone. :'(

      Comment


      • ccsmod6
        ccsmod6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are very sorry to hear that you are going through a rough situation and feel as though no one is on your side. You mentioned that your family at home are making you feel unsafe. If you do feel unsafe or are in danger it is always okay to dial 911 for immediate emergency assistance. Also you can report any future mistreatment or harm done to you to CPS.

        It seems that you are experiencing some suicidal thoughts. If you would like, you can reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800)273-8255. Also, maybe confiding in a listening family member or friend is another option for support. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org is an organization you can access to protect you from harm and abuse. It sounds also as if you are experiencing some emotional and mental distress from your situation. Another resource that you can call out to is Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) at 1877-726-4727 or at www.samhsa.gov . Lastly, you spoke about wanting to run away. It’s great that you have that friend you can lean on. If you need more information about places you ca go as far as shelters and things of that nature feel free to always call in at 1800-RUNWAY. We are open 24/7 and will do our best to find you somewhere to go. While we are not legal experts here, typically running away is something known as a status offense. This means that you usually would not have any legal consequences. If found by police, you would probably be returned back home.

        Again, thank you very much for contacting NRS. It takes a lot of bravery to tell your story. It is clear that you are brainstorming some ways to make a change for yourself, which is great. If you would like more resources or to talk know that we are here and you can reach us at 1800-RUNAWAY, and through chat.

        -NRS

    • #8
      My brother beats me for anything, even if i just tell him to leave me alone, what do I do?

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        We recognize that reaching out for help can be a hard thing to do, so we are really glad you’ve decided to speak out. We are here to listen and help.

        Its sounds like you’re in a struggle with the way your brother treats you the way he physically abuses you. We just want to tell you that no one deserves to be treated that way. If you do feel like being home at any point is a dangerous, you could consider going to a family member, school or friend’s house. Sometimes talking to the school counselor or surrounding yourself with people who care about you and listen, like friends can really help.

        If you ever want to give us a call at 1800RUNAWAY to talk about the situation do not hesitate. We just want to make sure you stay as safe as possible. Again we’re really glad you reached out and if you wish to talk further about the situation feel free to give us a call. We are here to listen. Here to help.

        Stay safe, NRS

    • #9
      I am only 12 and I get hit to the point where it will leave a bruise of the hand imprint on my arm and I know somewhere that I can stay but my parents don't know them.. I need to know if it's legal for me to run away..

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello there,

        Thank you for reaching out to NRS and having the strength to share your story with us. We are sorry to hear about your situation and what you’ve been dealing with. Ideally, home would be a place where people feel safe, loved, and valued, and you do not deserve to live that way.

        Although NRS is not a legal agency, we can try to give a general idea of possible outcomes if you were to run away. As a 12-year-old, you are still under your parents’ guardianship, therefore at any point when you are gone, they are legally within their rights to file a runaway report. Being a runaway is a status offense, and while you would not be charged with a crime, if police came across you, they would probably return you home. They could also potentially press charges against people who took her into their care for “harboring a runaway;” these charges would be misdemeanors, but still criminal offenses.

        In regards to your plan of running away to other people, some important thoughts you may want to take into consideration are whether you completely trust that them for your safety, if they accept all the risks of housing you, your plan for how you would make sure that you feel safe and take care of your needs (eating, sleeping, health care), and if there is another safe place where you could go if you felt unsafe.

        You also mentioned physical evidence of what is going on with you. We understand that that trauma can be difficult to work through and that reporting may not be an option you are comfortable with. However, you do deserve to live in a safe place, and if you wanted to talk more about child abuse reporting or wanted support, Child Help (National Child Abuse Hotline) could be a resource for learning what reporting would look like.

        If you would like to talk about other resources and support, feel free to call our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or use our Live Chat.
        We hope this information was helpful and take care.
        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    • #10
      Is It Ok If I Run Away At Age 14 From Getting Phsyically Abused By My Sister & My Family Barely Cares?!

      Comment


      • #11
        Hello There,
        Thank you so much for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we know it takes great courage to reach out and we are so glad you did. It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time. We are also sorry that your family barely cares about the abuse going on. If you would like you could report the abuse by calling the Child Help line at: (800) 422-4453. We know that reporting abuse can be scary or overwhelming if you would like you can call us at 1800runaway, and we can help you make the report. Any type of abuse is unacceptable, and you should not have to deal with that.
        As for running away there are a few things you should know before planning on running away. Running away is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense so you would not be arrested, but if your parents file a runaway report and if you were found you, the police would bring you back home. Also if you are planning on staying with somebody, they can be charged with harboring a runaway, if your parents wish to press charges. Before running away it may be a good idea to think about how you will support yourself, where you will stay, and safety. If you would like us to look up shelters in your area please free to give us a call at any time.
        We hope this information was beneficial to you, and helps in your situation. We wish you the best of luck. If you would like to talk more or have any more questions feel free to call us we are available 24/7.

        NRS
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #12
          I'm a 15 year old female about to be 16....i was adopted when I was three into a family that is amazing but not all the time. There are good times and there are bad but when it gets bad it hurts me physically and mentally. My parents hit me and they things okay...i did my research for the laws on child abuses in Massachusetts and it is allowed to physical punish your kids to a certain defense without it being consider abuses, but when they hit me it leaves marks and it gets to the point where I'm scared and I feel unsafe where I am but then I love my parents and as child who was in the system I have a problem with trust and I feel like if I were ever to run away I would feel like my life has become a cycle! But I feel like the abuses has gotten to a point where I can't deal with it anymore, what should I do?

          Comment


          • ccsmod0
            ccsmod0 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to us. We appreciate you sharing what’s going on. It sounds like you are not feeling safe at home and are thinking about running away. It also sounds like you have experienced abuse and are concerned that it will happen again. We want you to know that your safety is our main priority and if you do not feel safe you always have the right to call 911.
            It is great that you have done research on abuse. Although some level of punishment may be allowed, what you describe – hitting that leaves marks and feeling scared and unsafe – may well be abuse. There are laws to protect minors against abuse. If you would like to file an abuse report you may do so by contacting Child Help USA at: 1-800-422-4453. Child Help USA is an information and referral line that can connect you with your local CPS abuse hotline. We understand that making an abuse report can be intimidating so if you like you can call us and we can call together to provide support.
            Again, our top priority is your safety and you should do whatever you feel like you need to do to be safe. If you do not have a safe place to go you might reach out to the National Safe Place at www.nationalsafeplace.org or if you’re in trouble or need help, text SAFE and your current location (address, city, state) to 69866 for immediate help. You can also call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you would like us to look for shelters in your area for you.
            Again, we’re really glad that you have chosen to reach out to us. We know that it takes a lot to ask others for help when you are trying to figure out your options which is really good to see. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call or chat with us. We’re here to listen and help.

        • #13
          I'm an 11 year old female and both of my parents have been emotionally abusing me for quite some time now. I have been thinking of running away. What should I do?

          Comment


          • ccsmod10
            ccsmod10 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now and we hope to be able to help. We want you to know that no one deserves to be abused, and you should not have to go through that. If you haven’t already, you could consider reporting the abuse you’ve been experiencing. If you want more information about abuse reporting or if you want to file a report, you could call Child Help at 1-800-422-4453.

            We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents 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 harboring a runaway if they don’t work with the police. 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.

            Running away is a big decision and it can be scary. If you don’t feel safe and feel like you need to get away Nationalsafeplace.org 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. We can also see if there are any local shelters that could help keep you safe as well.

            Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you would like to share more, please feel free to call our 24 hour hotline at 1-800Runaway (786-2929) or use our live chat. We hope this information was helpful and take care and be safe.

            -NRS.

        • #14
          Is it ok to run away if being abused and I'm 17 years of age

          Comment


          • ccsmod13
            ccsmod13 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            We are so glad you reached out to NRS for help. Being abused is not okay and it is understandable you would want to leave if home is not safe. We are not legal experts by any means, but we can share some general information with you. If you were to leave home, your guardian can try filing runaway report. This would mean that police would return you home if they were able to locate you. In some cases police do not always consider someone who is 17 a runaway and will not force them back home. Your local police department will be able to give you more specific information about their runaway protocol. You can call their non-emergency number yourself or you can call or chat with us if you would like us to call on your behalf.

            You do have the right to file an abuse report. This would mean that a caseworker would come to your house to talk to you and your parents. If there is physical abuse going on, it can be helpful to take pictures of any marks are bruises as evidence. If the caseworker decides that home is not safe for you they might have you live somewhere else like with a family member. This is up to the discretion of the caseworker so it is not a definite thing. If you want to know more about this process or you would like to file a report, you can contact the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453.

            You know when leaving is the best decision for you and your safety is really important to us. If you would like to talk about possible options for places to go if you do decide to leave, you can call or chat with us anytime. We are here 24/7 to listen and help. You can reach our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or use out online chat services by going to 1800runaway.org

            Be safe,
            NRS

        • #15
          Can I run away if my 16 year old brother is emotionaly abusing me? I'm 9 and already think it's too much. I cant even focus in school at this point. If I do, what are some things I will need. Also, is it legal? Please tell me

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello,
            Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to listen and here to help. We are sorry you are going through such a difficult time right now. Emotional abuse is never okay you always have the right to file a report by calling Child Help at : 1800-422-4453. You could also consider talking with your parents about what is going on. Also sometimes talking with a school counselor can help you feel better.
            We are not legal experts but we do have some general information on the laws. If you were to leave home without permission your parents could file a runaway report. If the police do find you they most likely would bring you back home. We can help you explore your options and figure out a plan.
            We are here for you 24/7 please give us a call if you have any more questions or need support. We wish you the best of luck!
            NRS
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