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15 in PA: necessary escape!

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  • 15 in PA: necessary escape!

    Im 15 years old right now and will be turning 16 in a few months. I live in Pennsylvania currently and need a way to be legally emancipated very soon.
    The reason for this is that my entire family puts me under so much mental stress and emotional abuse, that I'm honestly considering suicide on a daily basis. They (my parents) like to pretend that they care only enough to retain complete control over everything I do. I haven't gone to a friend's house, other than my boyfriend's, in about three years which is causing major difficulties with my social status and my social awkwardness. My mother, who has main custody of me and my two younger sisters (12 and 1 1/2), goes out between 3 and 7 nights a week to bars and doesnt come home until late in the morning, hardly disciplines my younger sister at all but slams the hammer down when I do something wrong, keeping me grounded until I do something else wrong. She gets into shouting arguments with us over things as simple as the dishes not having been done and hardly provides clothes for me because she is too busy paying for pool league and spending the day in her room. If me and my sister are there, I'm babysitting. So basically I feel like I am being forced to raise my 1 1/2 year old baby sister so that my mom can sit in her room all night or go shoot pool.
    My dad has expectations of me that are impossible to meet. If I dont get straight As then im the worst kid on earth, even though I do my homework, but I just don't understand the stuff im supposed to be learning in a couple subjects. If I bring up an E to a B+ then he just says "study more." If I bring up anything that has to do with anything other than school then he grounds me from it until I do what he says. Lets just say I'm probably not getting my computer back, which means I cant complete this 100 point project for school. My family sets me up to fail. But if I try to talk to them then I just get choked up and have an anxiety attack and end up in a shaking ball of tears
    and nothing changes.
    My kid sister, the one who is 12 years old, is the whole family's favorite kid. She gets better grades, has friends who she hangs out with, and is hardly ever grounded. Shes already smoked and drank before and my parents said nothing of it except "don't let me catch you do it again." Meaning she'll just be more careful next time. She says things to push every button, pinch every nerve in my body and is a large reason that I need to get out of here as soon as possible. It gets worse every day. Im the sister who "deserves nothing but to go to hell" because I told her to brush her hair. I hear her talking about me behind my back, literally, and she does everything she can to embarrass me and steal my friends. She sneaks into my room and steals money I save and things I buy for school, causing me to lose points for important school things.
    I have an alternate living arrangement set up for as soon as I find a legal way out of here, and I will be getting a job and working and going to school but I just cant seem to function properly while living around the people I am.
    So if there's anyone out there who can help me get out of here, then that would be absolutely amazing!

    Thank you, and I do appreciate your time in reading this and considering my situation.

  • #2
    Re: 15 in PA: necessary escape!


    Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at NRS. We are here to help you out the best way that we can by providing support and resources. It sounds like you've been having a really hard time and your feelings are completely understandable, you're under a lot of stress with so much going on.
    So you mentioned getting emancipated and we are glad to hear that you are really taking the time to think through your options. We want to let you know that emancipation can be a very long process, and can be expensive, so these are things to consider although we aren't here to give advice but to remind you of your options.
    We are so glad that you are reaching out for help, it sounds like you've been having a really hard time. You talked about getting to the point of considering suicide. The National Suicide Hotline is another number that you can call 24/7, 1800-273-TALK. We want you to provide you with as much support as we can, especially if everything going on is causing you to want to kill yourself.
    You mentioned several issues that have been going on with your mom, and that you have tried to communicate your issues with both your parents but that it ends with an anxiety attack. Here at NRS, we offer conference calling with parents. With conference calling, a liner is available to act as a mediator between you and your parents in order to facilitate a well-balanced discussion to insure that everyone is equally heard. If this is something you're interested in, you can call into our 24/7 hotline at 1 800 RUNAWAY (786-2929). Another option might be family counseling, which would provide you with the same service. If this is something you think might work and are interested in, we could assist you more on our hotline as well.
    Again, we are available 24/7 by phone, and 4:30p to 11:30p Central Time on chat as well.

    We hope to hear from you soon,
    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!


    • #3
      Thank you,

      I appreciate it, but I dont think any kind of counseling will change anything, since it didnt in the past. I have taken my parents to my Therapy appointments before and my sister, too, but nothing is ever changed. They all say that they will change and be better but they never do. It seems im the only one ever making an effort to to anything, and I have been for years but once things get too stressful for ME, then you know theres a problem. I have normally been the one my mother and sister would come crying to when things went wrong and whatever problems I had, I just had to stuff them away. My therapist believesI dont need therapy, everyone elss in my family does. I just need out and away from this all.


      • #4

        Lets say, hypothetically that im about two months from being 16. And I become pregnant. (Hypothetically)
        Can I lie to my parents, sneak off to West Virginia and get married to my fiancé, who lets say just turned sixteen? Then will I be legally emancipated and able to live with my boyfriend and his father?
        I understand that in West Virginia, you dont need parental consent for two minors to marry if they are 16 and the female is pregnant. Would this be legal aand safe?
        Then after im married, would I have to have and keep the baby or can I get an abortion or put him/her up for adoption and still be married?
        Remember that where I live now and where I plan to live after these events is Pennsylvania.


        • #5
          re: 15 in PA: necessary escape!


          Thanks for reaching back out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are the only one within your household receiving counseling at the moment. If so, that is unfortunately because it sounds like counseling may be beneficial to the other members in your household as well. Now to answer your questions from your second post, here some of the legal information we obtained from the West Virginia Legislature. It seems that there are two ways a minor who have reached at least the age of 16 can become emancipated. The first is by petitioning the court to be declared emancipated. It seems that in order for a judge to rule in a minor's favor for emancipation; the minor has to show that he or she can provide for his or her physical and financial well-being as well as the ability to make decisions for him or herself. The second is through marriage. A child over the age of 16 who marries shall be emancipated by operation of law. The age of consent for marriage for both male and female in WV is 18. However a minor under 18 and at least 16 may enter into a marriage contract with a valid written consent from the applicant's parent(s) or legal guardian(s). It seems that in WV, like in most states, pregnancy does not automatically emancipate a minor. Pregnancy, in most states, usually only give minors the right to be in control of all or the majority of her and the child's health decisions. It sounds like you're planning to reside in Pennsylvania in the future. Keep in mind, the laws in Pennsylvania may not apply to you because you may be considered a resident of West Virginia. In order for laws to apply to you, you need to be a resident of that state.

          Also here are the two links to the West Virginia Legislature which discusses emancipation and marriage in case you wanted to review the codes:

          We hope the information provided helps. Remember we are available 24/7 and can be reached by dialing 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). Our hotline is confidential, anonymous, and toll-free. In addition to our hotline, you can receive live assistance via CHAT between 4:30pm and 11:30pm.

          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!


          • #6
            I am not a resident of West Virginia though...

            Im not a resident of West Virginia, I live in Pennsylvania and plan to live in Pennsylvania after this. Does this mean I have to get married in PA?
            Would it be possible if I am 16 and ny fiance is 16 and we have his parents consent but not mine that we could still get married if I am pregnant for the reason of raising our child with his/her parents under the same roof and also the fact that I would just be much better off there than at my parents home taking care of our child? If we get a judge to okay it and give us a marriage license without my parents' consent?


            • #7
              RE: I am not a resident of West Virginia

              Thanks for getting back to us.

              At this point, we have provided you with some information, support, and resources. It sounds like you are having a very difficult time at home, and like you are trying to figure out a way to improve your situation by getting married. However, we are not legal experts, and so we have already given you all the information that we can about marriage and emancipation. We are not able to tell you exactly what will happen. Even if you get pregnant, you will probably not be able to get married without parental consent, and if you leave home before you turn 18, you will face some kind of consequences. Even if you do get married or emancipated before 18, you still will not be able to sign any contracts or get a place to live on your own. Deciding to run away from home is a huge decision, and deciding to start a family and get married are life altering decisions. We do not tell people what to do, but we try to make sure that you are safe and that you think things through. It is up to you to decide if it is worth the consequences. If you still need someone to talk to about this, we are here for you. At this point, we strongly encourage you to call the hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) for any further support.

              Best of luck,

              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!


              • #8
                I am the mother of a 15 year old daughter whom I lost custody of several years ago to her biological father after a relapse. I am now sober. Since then I have learned that him and his wife have been mentally, emotionally and physically abusive to her in which she has started to act out by cutting and running away fighting in school etc... I really need her to know I love her and am doing everything in my power to help get her out of that situation asap! But while I figure out what n how to do that where can I tell her to turn to for help ? Is there a safe place she can go to get away from the abuse till I figure this out McKees Rocks PA? What recourse are there for minor children living in PA and to protect her till I can do so myself and is there any referrals for parents that are trying to help abused scared children escape?


                • ccsmod15
                  ccsmod15 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. A great resource for your daughter may be Child Help. Their number is 800-422-4453. They are a child abuse hotline. 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 and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
                  Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).

                  We hope to hear from you soon.
                  Be safe,
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