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17 and almost 18 in 3 weeks, ran away and came back next day.

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  • 17 and almost 18 in 3 weeks, ran away and came back next day.

    Hello, I am a 17 year old female in New York City and I will soon be 18 in 3 weeks. I graduated high school early and I am now in a community college. My guardian, who is also my sister has given me so much verbal abuse that I could not handle it. I am currently still in emotional distress from the treatment of my guardian. I got into an argument with her and she sent me text messages telling me to pack my things and leave. She was not home so I packed my things and went to a friends house where they welcomed me to say there for as long as I need. My friends parents are fine with letting me stay there rent free and aren't pressuring me to get a job. I got a case worker involved because I sought help from another friend and her mother got me the case worker, saying it was a good idea.

    The case worker told me to return home or else my friend's parents would face charges and I would be arrested. I spent the night and returned home the next day. I had a interview with the case worker and I told them I ran away because I didn't want to risk foster care if I told them I was kicked out.

    Things have cooled down but my sister who is my guardian wants to press charges on my friend's parents for letting me stay there without consent. My other guardian is my sister's husband. He respects my wishes of staying with my friend if it means I will be happy. He only wants me to just wait till I am 18. I assume now that my friend's parents could be charged with "harboring a runaway" if my sister presses charges.

    I am doing everything in my power to collect evidence to justify the actions of my friend's parents. I took photos of the texts telling me to pack and leave, I also took voice recordings of my sister, how she really is when it comes to verbal abuse. In the recordings she claimed to press charges against my friends parents simply out of revenge of what I did, not because she had concerns for my safety. I plan to email my friend the evidence in case my sister takes actions.

    These are a few questions I have:

    What will happen to my friend's parents if my sister presses charges?

    Can I request to have permission from the case worker or my guardian to stay with my friend?
    ( if I type up a letter of consent and my guardians sign it?)

    If I want to avoid foster care, should I wait till I am 18 to give my evidence to the case worker and maybe press charges on my sister for kicking me out?

    Please get back to me, thank you so much.

  • #2
    RE: 17 and almost 18 in 3 weeks, ran away and came back next day.

    Hi there,

    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. Wow! It seems like you are going through so much right now. We’re sorry that your sister is treating you that way. You absolutely, most definitely, don’t deserve to be talked to in a demeaning way. She seems like she’s putting you in a pretty tough situation. It also looks like you’ve taken some really great steps in getting the support that you need. Being open to reach out for support is a great quality to have (most people don’t have it!)
    So let’s talk through some of your questions. Before we get into them, though, we should let you know that we are not legal experts. That being said, we can provide some general knowledge about what might happen.

    1. This is a difficult question to answer because it depends completely on the local police department and the state in which you are. If you’d like, you can call your local police department (confidentially) and ask them this question. You can look up the non emergency number by searching your local police department online.

    2. So only your guardian can give you permission to stay at your friend’s house. She wouldn’t need to sign anything. In many cases, the only thing that you would need is your sister to give you verbal permission to stay there. (It wouldn’t matter if you had a letter or not).

    3. So this is another tough question to answer. In general, local government will most likely not move forward with an abuse report if you are almost 18. Many times, it takes a long time to move someone into foster care. This depends on the type of abuse, but often times, the police will provide many other resources before thinking about putting a youth in foster care.

    We really hope that this answers your questions. We know that this can seem overwhelming. If you’d like to talk with someone about all the options that you have or to clarify some of what we said above, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) at anytime. We are here 24/7 and completely confidential and anonymous.

    Keep your head up! You sound like a very smart person, with a very bright future.

    Good luck to you,

    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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