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Mom having custody of me?

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  • Mom having custody of me?

    I have a few questions. I live with my father and stepmother. They both treat my (step)sisters with way more respect than me. Me and my father are always arguing, and he always steps (runs if he isn't close to me) up to me and acts like he's about to hit me but stops. He actually does hit me in some cases. Another thing is the emotional abuse. I really need to leave. This sounds really selfish but I blame my bad grades and depression, and a little bit of anxiety on my main family. I really need to leave. I want to stay with my mom but my dad isn't on board with the idea. I don't know what to do but I really want to leave and move in with my mom. She doesn't exactly own a house, she stays with her boyfriend in a one room apartment. But she also stays w my grandmother across the street next door and she has 3 rooms 2 not being used. Can I somehow find a way to maybe move in with my (grand)mother one of the two? I don't care which one I just need a way out of this please. I can't stay here anymore. I'm 16 live in Florida and my mom also lives in Florida.

  • #2
    Re: Mom having custody of me?

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out to us. We are sorry to hear that things with your dad and stepmom are so difficult right now. It sounds like the hitting, arguing, and threats are really having a negative impact on you, which is very understandable.

    We want to affirm right away that any type of hitting or emotional abuse you are experiencing is not okay. It is never okay for a parent to treat their child in this way. And if you are feeling unsafe in any situation, you have the right to call the police.

    Given what you’ve experienced, you should also know that you have the right to file a child abuse report. This would start with a phone call to the Child Help hotline (1-800-422-4453) where you would get connected to the correct abuse-reporting agency in your area. Someone from that agency would then talk with you more about your family and what’s been going on at home, before getting an investigation started (along with the police) to try and make sure that they find a safe solution for you and any other children/youth leaving in the home. Sometimes this involves a parent or youth being removed from the home, but sometimes it can be other alternatives like counseling and classes for the family. Every situation is different. And if you’d feel better having us help you with the process, we can definitely be on that call with you. You’d just call us first on our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY and let us know that you’d like us to assist with filing a child abuse report.

    If you don’t want to go that route, that is totally fine. There are other options as well. It sounds like your dad may have legal guardianship over you, but if your mom shares it, she may also get a say in where you live. Perhaps she could talk with him and come to an agreement about you staying with her at least part of the time.

    If your Dad has sole guardianship, then unfortunately, he would be the one who legally gets to make the final call on where you live. If you don’t think he would let you stay with your mom or grandma, maybe there are other adults or relatives he’d be more open to you moving in with? That might be something to try discussing with him if you haven’t already.

    Another potential alternative would be to stay in a youth shelter. Some require parental permission, but many don’t. We’d be happy to help you look into local shelters in your area if this is an option you’d like to explore further.

    We are also happy to discuss any other ideas you may have if you want to talk in more detail about anything. You can reach us via chat at or by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

    Best of luck,
    National Runaway Safeline (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!


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