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Child has runaway from legal guardian, I am her mother, how do I help her!

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  • Child has runaway from legal guardian, I am her mother, how do I help her!

    First of thank you NRS. You were there for me in 1994, 1997, 1998

    I was a runaway, 10 times, through 2 different states. I called you for help, and sat at a payphone calling back as we were trying to get through to my mother who wouldn't answer the phone. If only she had answered, if only. All day I waited by that phone, until a man came up to me and asked me if I need help. He had noticed me sitting there, not even sure what city I was in, with not a penny to my name.

    2 months later, bruised, raped and mentally abused, I called 911, and that same man was held at gunpoint and later sent to prison. I lived. It took years of counseling to overcome that.

    My mother, who mentally and physically abused me, took guardianship of my daughter in 1997. Then she found religion, and I believed she was different. We've all had a good relationship up until about a year ago. They left and went to Hawaii, whereas I'm in Nevada. She cut off all contact from me, my husband and my other children.

    My daughter who is now 16 years old, has run away from home. She has called me and wants to come home. I would fly her home right now, but I can't. First off my mother has prevented her from having any access to her documents, and she doesn't have a state issued ID card, nor does she have access to her mail, so she can't get on a plane. I'm pretty sure if I do fly her here, I'll be harboring a runaway. But what's better, having her in a safe home illegally, or on the streets?

    I don't know where to start. I don't know what to tell her. I don't want some unknown predator man to hurt her. I have told her to call 1-800-RUNAWAY. I've told her to go home, and I will file whatever legal paperwork to get her out of that house, because I understand what she's going through. She said she's tried to call my mother (legal guardian) but she won't answer the phone. Flashbacks start coming back, I haven't left my phone since first getting the call last night.

    She's a good kid, but my mother has kept her out of high school, choosing homeschool to better control her, they fight, and the psychological abuse is happening.

    I need some advice, what do I tell her? Can she get resources through the Juvenile Detention Center? I believe she's at the age to choose her guardian if it's reasonable. My home passes the test. What now? What happens when 2,500 miles of water seperates you. I feel helpless. I've tried to call my mother and talk about her coming to live with me, but my mother will not answer the phone. I honestly feel 16 again myself, powerless. I can't find any help in Hawaii. She lives near Haliewa, HI and I hope she's still on that island.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    RE: Child has runaway from legal guardian, I am her mother, how do I help her!


    We would like to thank you for getting back in touch with the National Runaway Switchboard. You are truly welcome and we are happy that we were able to assist you. It sounds like you are reliving some of things you experienced as a youth by what your daughter is currently going through. It seems like it must be pretty difficult to learn about what your daughter is experiencing and to be miles away from her. It’s great that your daughter contacted you because it seems like she is willing to reach out for help. You mentioned that she wants to return home to Nevada but doesn’t have an ID or the necessary documents to board a plane. You stated that your mother physically and mentally abused you when you were in her care. Are you aware of any abuse going on the household? If you daughter is experiencing the same things you did, there is a possibility that Child Protective Services can intervene. Also with her being 16 years of age, the judge often times will take her opinions into consideration when deciding on guardianship or home placement. It sounds like you have been unable to locate any resources in Hawaii? You mentioned that your daughter is in Haleiwa and that seems to be on the island of Honolulu. If that is correct, there are several legal aid resources available as options to obtain more information about what you can do legally. In addition to legal aid resources, there also youth shelters available if your daughter is in need of a safe place until further arrangements can be made. Depending on the type of resources you are seeking, the Juvenile Detention Center may be also to assist.

    It is great that you have provided our telephone number to your daughter and hopefully she calls for further assistance. Is it possible for you to give us a call because it may be easier to assist you, explore options, and provide resources? Our hotline is toll-free, anonymous, confidential, and available 24 hours 7 days. We hope to hear from you because we look forward to speaking to you.

    Best Wishes
    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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