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I am 13 and want to run away, but don't want to leave my sister behind.

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  • I am 13 and want to run away, but don't want to leave my sister behind.

    My mom is verbally and physically abusive. She usually just screams at me and mocks me, but occasionally when she is really mad she attacks me. She makes excuses for herself and recently went through cancer treatment. Just because she used to have cancer, if I try to defend myself as she screams at me and talks about how I'm a terrible child, she tells me that she has cancer(not true, she finished her radiation therapy a month ago) and I shouldn't be "rude" to her. I want to run away. However, there are some complications:
    Firstly, I don't want to leave my twin sister behind, even though my mom likes her a lot better than me, if I leave her behind, she will take my place as my mom's verbal punching bag, but I don't know how to explain to her that I am running away.

    Secondly, there is the COVID19 pandemic, and I don't want to be infected. Thirdly, I need a way to keep safe from people who want to kill me and people who want to sexually exploit me, and there aren't any weapons in my house that I can take with me.

    Fourthly, there is the matter of suspicion. How am I going to bathe on the streets so no one goes, "Oh look, there's a homeless kid hanging round there, he doesn't have any guardians, so no one will miss him." Or "Hey look, a homeless kid, we should get him to a shelter." How am I going to make sure no one figures out I'm a runaway?

    Fifthly, there's the problem of shelter. My closest family is in Connecticut, and the rest are in Great Britain, so I can't turn up on anyone's door. I can't organize with my friend's parents whether they're willing to take me or not, because during the pandemic, I can only send gmail or google hangouts messages, and those are closely monitored by my parents, who have the passwords to my google account, which is a school account, they never would have let me have it otherwise. I am also reluctant to live on the streets because there are many crazy people who can harm you.

    I hope someone can help with these, thank you.

  • #2
    Hi there,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
    While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
    The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    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

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    • #3
      Hi, thank you for telling me about the legal stuff and alternatives to running away, I was wondering about that. Could you please answer my questions? And can you do them in one message so that we don't reach the limit?

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for your response! We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and your questions are important and necessary to consider when contemplating if leaving home is your best option. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. It sounds like you're concerned about safety, being caught as a runaway, and finding safe shelter. These are all really important things to think about. When it comes to leaving home, it can be pretty difficult planning everything out perfectly or even being prepared for every single thing that could happen. It's scary, but sometimes life can be a little unpredictable. That's not to say running isn't an option or you should stay home, but sometimes a plan can be helpful. The streets can be unpredictable and scary, and there is the possibility that there is a higher chance of ending up in the custody of the police and being returned home (if your parents/guardians file a runaway report).

        It could be a good idea to consider running your ideas by your sister, a friend, or any trusted adults in your life. Sometimes other folks can help you think of options you did not consider. We would be happy to help you discuss ways that you can start conversations like these with people in your life. Safety is also a big concern when leaving, it could be helpful to consider if there are ways that you can remain safe, whether that means you carry certain items or take minimal belongings. It can also be a good idea to consider of finding a youth shelter is a good option for you. There are emergency shelters, they tend to let youth stay overnight or for at least a few days. And, there are transitional living programs that tend to allow youth to stay anywhere from 3-9 months. They tend to help with school, jobs, housing, and overall help folks get set up for stability when they exit the program. There are some things to think about when questioning if a shelter is right for you. They often times are not walks in the park, they can have curfews and rules that they require youth who stay there to follow. It can be easier for youth who are 16 or over to qualify for shelter and, many of them require parental consent or notification. However, we would be happy to help call out to shelters in your area and see if you could qualify.

        You know your situation best, and from that only you are able to figure out what feels right and accessible for you. We are always here to discuss what's going on, talk about options, and possibly connect you with local resources. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail, please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

        We hope to hear from you soon,

        NRS
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