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Can I ever become emancipated? If I so, how do I do it?

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  • Can I ever become emancipated? If I so, how do I do it?

    Hello, I'm a 15 year old girl living in Iowa. I have abusive parents, and I need to get out of my house. My dad is a physically and mentally abusive drunk, and my mother is just stupid and selfish. Okay... So that sounds really immature, I mean more like even though he beats her up even in front of her kids she just can't leave him. They favorite my brother... Blah blah blah, I'm sure you know how it goes.. I've told my school counselor, and she simply told me to contact a counselor for my family, (since it wasn't about school that was all she could do to help me) and now my mom is convinced this will solve everything, including my insanity (I'm not insane, but I'm pretty darn close. I honestly think there is something really wrong with me.) I really want to run away, but I have no where to go.. So I want to be emancipated. I understand that I am still too young, and I also understand that it is pretty much impossible to do in Iowa. I'm stuck. I live in fear everyday and night, my dad is the scariest man in the world. The thought of him killing me haunts me everyday.

    Some of that may seem pointless, and I'm sorry, I'm just trying to explain why I really need to leave. I babysit, but I know that isn't necessarily a real job. I need to become emancipated as soon as possible, so please, I know I am too young still but I need to know how to prepare and what to do. Please, I need another option, people are just telling me to wait and wait and that there is nothing I can do until I am 18. I can't wait, I need another option, but I have no idea. No idea at all. I'm not going to make it another three years, what can I do?

  • #2
    RE: Can I ever become emancipated? If I do, how do I do it?


    Thank you for contacting us during this difficult time. It sounds like there is some serious abuse going on in your family. Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. Nobody deserves to be abused. You mentioned that you have talked to you school counselor and did not receive the help you were looking for. Have you thought about contacting the police or child protective services directly and making a report? Here at the National Runaway Switchboard, we do not investigate abuse. However, we are mandated reporters so if you disclose abuse to us we could report it for you. We are confidential and anonymous so unless you give us details we do not report without your permission.

    You also mentioned that you are interested in emancipation. Have you done any research on it? Although our databases are not locating any information on emancipation in the state of Iowa, you do have several options. The organization Justice for Children at is an organization of lawyers who may be able to help you, especially if there has been documented abuse.

    There are other options if you feel like you cannot stay there until you are 18 years old. Have you looked into alternative schooling programs? There are other programs such as Job Corps where you could learn skills and live apart from your family. There is more information at that might be of use.

    If you did run away, where would you go? Do you have somewhere safe to stay? We can help you find shelters in your area and other resources. Although we do not give advice or tell you what you should or shouldn’t do, we can help you explore options and provide any assistance we may be able to offer. We are sorry to hear you are in such a difficult position and hope that you reach out to us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are available for you 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY and by live chat at from 4:30 pm- 11:30 pm CST. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck. Stay safe and know that people do care.

    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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