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We're going to run away if we have to go back.

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  • We're going to run away if we have to go back.

    I'm 17, and my siblings are 13 and 14. Our father basically kidnapped us in 2015 and ended up with custody because our mom didn't have a good job at the time. For the past 6 years or so he has been emotionally abusive and has gotten physical a few times. He owns guns and is very mentally unstable which makes us fearful. Child protective services have gotten involved at least once a year since we've lived with our dad and they never help us because he is a master at manipulation. We finally got to our mom's house and our father said that he would give her custody, but now he's trying to get us back again. He still has legal custody, so our mom thinks she will have to bring us back if she can't file for emergency custody. My siblings and I have all talked, and we are going to run away if he gets us back again. We aren't sure how to do it though because we know that our father will make us miserable by probably trying to get us in legal trouble if he finds us. None of us have friends or family that could help since we have been so isolated with our father keeping us at the house most of the time, and my sister and I both have been diagnosed with bad social anxiety which has gone completely untreated. My siblings and I have been afraid for our lives when we are around him and it's not a question of whether we're going to leave or not, it's about finding the safest way that we can do it. We want to live with our mom, but we don't know how to get there unless we run away.

  • #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. 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 if you have to return to your father’s house. In parts of your post it seems you’re already at your mom’s house, and in others it seems you’re still with your father.
    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. In your case things may be different since your mom might still have some kind of rights for being your biological mother; it sounds like the only reason you guys were removed from her custody was for financial reasons so you are not in harm’s way when you are with her. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions. Please give us a call or chat with us so that we may help find a local legal aid who may be able to help your mom with the emergency custody matter. All three of you seem to be feeling unsafe in your father’s home and if your mom is more stable now, there should not be too many obstacles. If you are still with your father we suggest re-contacting CPS.
    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); (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.
    Be safe,
    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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