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A Couple of Questions

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  • A Couple of Questions

    I live in Illinois and I am 16 years old. I live with my biological mother, my two half-siblings, and my step-father. I don't want to run away since that doesn't seem like the best idea. Currently, I have multiple relatives that say I could move in with them. I have asked my parents multiple times if I could move to my grand-mothers just for a little while, who lives five blocks away. The have said no both times. I know I could ask my biological father if I could move in with him but he has given away his custody over me (yet the state still says I have the same last name). I also have no way of contacting him for I have not seen him for nine years. In past years my step-father abused me mostly mentally but sometimes physically (this was when I was six until I was twelve). This, of course, led me to be depressed and I had begun to think of suicide during fourth-grade. I had talked to different schools I went to twice yet they did nothing for me. The first put me (only me) in counseling so "I could get used to my new step-father". They also said the couldn't do more for they didn't have any hard and undebatable evidence. By this time I had begun to turn to my relatives. A couple called hotlines to explain their evidence to the authorities but they did nothing and my mother cut any contact I had with them. I then began to take my depression into my own hands and no longer thought of suicide and do not have depression either. The second time was three years after this. They wanted to put me into a mental hospital for my PAST depression yet did not do anything about my home life. I did tell my biological mother about the treatment he was giving me. Yet she did not believe me.The abusing has now decreased to a couple of half-heartedly cruel words thrown to me very so often. Yet I still feel as if though I am treading on eggshells and I wish to move out. I wish to do this in a legal way (obviously) that would get no one in trouble. I know just me up and leaving this house would be considered running away, but I am getting mixed answers from resources. Some say the police would not be able to take me back, others say they would and my parents can press charges against my relatives. Which of these are true? Also are there any other options for me, or will I just have to wait until I am eight-teen? How can I help my half-siblings that are younger than me escape the fate I had to go through? Is there anything at all I can do? He does seem to treat them both with respect I never have gotten nor will get. Do you believe they will be safe on their own? If you could answer promptly that would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Hello #1,
    We especially appreciate you reaching out to National Runaway Safeline due to your limited electronic resources. First and foremost, you do not deserve to be hurt or talked to that way. EVER. We are so sorry that you are having to live in such abusive conditions. It isn’t right that you have to deal with family that would treat you so poorly. Please know that you are a wonderful person with innate worth and you are valued even if your family does not recognize that. We are so sorry that you are being subjected to the verbal and psychological abuse as well as not being heard.
    You mentioned your depression and feeling suicidal and we know that you are feeling better now, but we want to make sure if you started to feel that way again you have support. Depression is an extremely serious illness and does not deserve to be taken lightly. These are some services that will treat you with the dignity you deserve and will hopefully provide you with some help or relief. Reaching out to the “National Suicide Prevention Lifeline” (1-800-273-8255/ and “Suicide Forum” (

    You mentioned that you were thinking about running away. We completely understand why you would want to do this. We are not legal experts here at NRS, but there are certain runaway laws that minors are subjected to. Your parent/legal guardian is able to file a runaway report with the police. If you are found, you will brought back home. Running away is considered a status offense which means that it will not go on your permanent record or you that the police can’t place you in jail. There is also something else you may want to consider. There is a serious misdemeanor called “harboring a runaway.” This charge could be pressed against an adult who is allowing you to stay with them. This could be charged against an older friend or a friend’s parents. These laws differ from state to state, county to county, so to get a more solid answer to how this works, you can always call out to your local police station to figure what the runaway laws are like around Illinois.
    You also had a few questions about what would happen to your sibling and other options you have. We want you to know that do not have all of the answered but we can talk to you more about what is going on and all of the options you do have. Again, thank you for reaching out and we hope you found this information helpful. If you need anything else please give us a call anytime. 1-800-786-2929
    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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