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16 living with an emotionally and physically abusive stepdad

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  • 16 living with an emotionally and physically abusive stepdad

    I'm 16 years old and living with my mom, her husband, and their child in Arizona. My mom and I moved here 6 years ago from Michigan so she could be with her husband. My mom's husband is physically and emotionally abusive towards both my mom and me, and I really need to get out of here. It's caused me to develop chronic depression. I've often thought about ending my life and have self-mutilated.
    My dad is willing to open his home to me, but he lives all the way in Michigan , and we're in Arizona. I've tried talking to her about moving in with him but she just says he doesn't care about me as much as she does and he can't give me the same opportunities I have here. I understand why she says these things, but they're not necessarily true.
    I'm done with watching him treat her like crap and treating me like crap too. The other day he hit me (no marks) and nobody has said a word about it since. Everything is eerily calm around the house. I told my dad what happened over the phone today and he says I need to call the police. But I'm scared. I do have a great opportunity at the moment with this charter school I'm going to and I don't know if I can leave that all behind. I know it's unhealthy for me to stay here but I feel like I'd be running away from my education.
    What should I do????

  • #2
    re: 16 living with an emotionally and physically abusive stepdad

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. It sounds like you are going through a really tough time and that home is a difficult place right now. Have you talked to anyone about your suicidal thoughts and self-mutilation? As a reminder NRS is here 24/7 anonymous and confidential to help in any way we can. Additionally, the number for the suicide hotline is 1-800-273-8255 if you are looking for other resources.

    You mentioned that your Dad suggested you call the police but you are scared of the result. Have you talked to anyone outside of your Dad about the abuse? If you're interested in filing a report, you can either do that yourself or we can help you do it too. In Arizona Children Protective Services can be reached at 888-767-2445. Again, we are available to help you with this process and provide any referrals or make calls if that would be helpful for you.

    It sounds like you have come up with a safe alternative option in living with your Dad. Reaching out to your dad and putting together a plan together can be a good next step for you. Have you talked to him about any schools in Michigan that may be a good alternative for you? Some charter schools have a national network and reaching out to the Arizona school may be an option for connecting with alternative options in Michigan.

    We recognize that this is a difficult time and encourage you to reach out to NRS again. We are available 24/7 to help in any way can and can be reached at 1-800-786-2929 or via our online chat option at

    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!


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