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My Runaway Rights in North Carolina

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  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi Riley,

    We’re so sorry to hear that you’re facing abuse at home. No one deserves to be abused or made to feel unsafe, so thank you for recognizing the importance of your own health and well-being and reaching out to us for help.

    It sounds like you are struggling with finding a way out of a dangerous situation where you’re forced to work in your home under threat of physical violence while your physical and mental health are neglected. Reporting this abuse to Child Protective Services is always an option. If you want to pursue that or discuss what reporting may mean, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), or Child Help at 1-800-422-4453, and we can help you with that process. Your life and safety is important, and if you’re in immediate danger remember that you can also call 9-1-1. We can best help you think through your options if you call us, but we recognize that it may be hard or put you in danger to call while at home. If that is the case, you can use our chat at https://www.1800runaway.org/ when it is open or the 24/7 Crisis Textline at https://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works/ (texting HOME to 741741). If you need a safe place to go, you can find somewhere through National Safe Place’s TXT4HELP program (http://www.nationalsafeplace.org/txt-4-help) by texting “safe” plus your current location (city/state/zip) to 69866 to be given the nearest Safe Place site and the opportunity to text with a counselor. If you call us or use our chat, we can also help you find possible shelters or other safe places in your area.

    You said that you’re considering running away and going to your girlfriend’s family, if you can find a way to get there. If you did run away your parents would have the right to file a runaway report, and your girlfriend’s family might be liable to be charged with harbouring a runaway. However, since abuse is involved police response might change, and it is possible they would not attempt to return you home right away and would instead pursue CPS reporting. If you call us or use our chat, we can look for legal aid resources for you or call out to police to find out what they would do in this situation. Other options may be to talk to your girlfriend’s family, your other friends and their families, or your school (though anyone at your school would be a mandated abuse reporter) about what’s going on and how you are unsafe at home. They may be able to provide you support and brainstorm more options.

    You also mentioned past struggles with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues. Your life is valuable, and you deserve to be listened to and supported through these struggles. If you ever feel in danger of self-harm or suicide again, please know you can call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to get immediate help.

    Thanks again for reaching out to us and prioritizing your own safety even through this difficult situation.

    We wish you the best of luck,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi my name is Riley and I'm 16 year old and I live in Boston North Carolina . I live with my birth mom and step dad and I want to run away from home. I have mental disabilities none that can put me in danger but need treatment and my parents have denied me of that. Ever since I was little I never knew my real dad. When I was four my mom married my stupid step dad. Ever since that day things have been different to the point where it's free to say my mom hates me. He would force her to abuse me so I have been a victim of abuse since I was 4. It doesn't happen to me lately but it happens to my sister. In a abuse article I read a few days ago it stated thati am treated worse that the slaves of 1816. I am forced to work around the house. I am on punishment to clean for 2 months and I'm supposed to not have to clean anymorie on the 14 which is in two days but that won't happen given I just got in trouble. In 2016 he beat me brutally in the head so now I have been diagnosed with brain swelling and the doctors do not know why because I have not told them yet I made a few lies but my mother shut them down as not possible not realizing she was exposing her husband. The other day he beat my little sister who is 10. She loves her life so I don't want to take her with me. I have tried suicide a few times but I either couldn't go through or someone stopped me. I'm not allowed outside, to my friends houses or with family members. I have an older sister who lives in South Carolina she loves me and when I was younger he would force her to stop I don't know what his deal is. When she would leave he would abuse me and beat me. Till this day she is trying to find a way to break up my "parents". He uses the law and our religion to force me to labor. If I refuse I will get beaten to a pulp. My step brother ran away when he was younger than me. I have family friend who is just about around the corner from my house and she and my parents do not speak. I have a girlfriend in Philadelphia who offered to pick me up but she is under the age so she can't drive without an adult and all adults are out of town for her. Please help me I am really scared and searching for an answer. I can not stay here for another second. I don't mean to pressure you.

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  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thanks for reaching out to us at National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. We’re glad you contacted us for help. We are here to listen and help the best way we can.

    We aren’t legal experts, but we can give you some general information based on what you told us. Typically when you’re in foster care and turn 18, you become emancipated. In most cases, you might be eligible for transitional living programs and possibly grants for college after you turn 18. However, if you run away before turning 18, you most likely will lose these benefits of transitional housing and college grant money. If you have questions about your specific situation, you could ask your case manager for more information. You could also call us to discuss other options that may be available.

    We want to make sure that you are safe in whatever decision you make. We are here 24/7, and our line is confidential and anonymous at 1800runaway. We also have a chat option available from 4:30pm to 11:30pm CST through our website at 1800runaway.org. Please call or chat us if you would like to talk further or if we can provide you any local resources. We are here to listen and here to help.

    Good luck and stay safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    if i am In foster care and run away at 17 and will turn 18 in 4 weeks what will happen to me..especially if I'm with my legal age birth siblings

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  • ccsmod16
    replied
    Hi, thanks for reaching out today! It sounds like you are frustrated with the foster care system and are wanting to run away. We are sorry to hear things are so difficult right now.
    We are not legal experts, but in most states the legal age you can leave foster care is 18. If you leave before that, your case worker could file you as a runaway with the police. Some police stations do not accept runaway reports for 17 year olds if they are close to 18, but that really does depend on the local police department. While it is not a criminal offense to run away, anyone over the age of 18 that you stay with does run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway, which is a criminal offense.
    You may consider talking to your case worker, someone in your home, or even someone at school about what is going on that is making you feel like you want to leave. We also offer conference calling if you would like to have a third party in the conversation with your case worker. We would serve as an advocate for you on the phone; sometimes having a neutral person can lessen tension.
    We are here 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY and also by live chat beginning at 4:30 CT if you want to talk about your situation further or pursue a conference call. Thank you for reaching out and best of luck!
    Last edited by ccsmod16; 09-29-2017, 11:29 AM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi im 17 and ok im foster Care and I want to runaway cause of all the stress and it's not the home it's the system and I want to leave what will the do

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there,
    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It takes a lot of courage to seek help when you need it. We are glad that you have trusted us enough to contact us. We are very sorry for the difficult situation that you are in. We cannot imagine what you must be feeling right now.
    Again, we are very sorry to hear that you are in this difficult situation. You were doing your friends a favor by giving this girl a ride and now fear that you may be in trouble with the police because she was actually a runaway. We know that is very scary to think about and it is completely normal to be scared and nervous about it. We are not legal experts here at NRS, but to our limited knowledge, we can give you some options that may be helpful. We suggest that you continue to be honest and open with the police and the investigators. As far as we know, you did not house her or help her avoid the police in any way, all you did was give her a ride. You were not aware of the situation that she was in and you did not know she was a runaway. You were just told that she needed to be picked up. We think (again, not legal experts) that you should be okay as long as you continue to be honest and open with the police and anyone conducting the investigation. It seems like you did not do anything illegal.
    Thank you again for reaching out to NRS. We hope that the options that we offered you are helpful. We hope that your situation works out soon. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or start a live chat with us online. We wish you the very best of luck and we hope that everything works out. We are here to listen, we are here to help.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I am 19 years old. About a week ago, I was asked to do a favor by some friends. They asked me to pick up their friend who is 17 because she was getting abused by her parents. The reason they asked me is because I’m the only who drives. They didn’t tell me who the girl was or anything besides the fact that she turns 18 soon and her family is abusing her. Even though I didn’t know her or the whole story, the thought of someone being abused irks me so I did it anyways. Well now, the police are out searching and they have proof that I picked her up. A private investigator called me and asked me a bunch of questions that I answered truthfully. I am worried though that I will go to jail for picking up a runaway when at the time, I did not know was a runaway at all. I thought she was leaving for a couple nights then going back home to work things out or something because I dropped her off at someone’s house. I did not keep her or house her, just picked her up and dropped her off. If I had known that she was going to be a runaway, I most definitely would not have done it but have gone to the police about it first. I have a such a bright future ahead of me and I can’t afford to get arrested for something I had no idea was going on. I’m scared and worried. Not only because I did that, but because I’m 19 and she’s 17. She apparently turns 18 very soon. What do I do?

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  • ccsmod0
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like being at home is really starting to get to you. You mentioned that you have contacted DSS before. Do you know what came from that case? You might be able to contact the case worker that is in charge of your case and let them know about what is going on. We want you to know that you deserve to feel safe in your own home. You said that you have had conversations with your mother about your father behavior but she does not seem to want to do anything to help. Perhaps we can conference a call with you and your mother to talk about your options on leaving home. We know that you already looking into emancipation but maybe we can give you some more information on it. Because from what we are hearing you might be a good candidate for it. If you give us a call we can talk more about all of your options as well as ways to keep you safe in your home. 1-800-786-2929
    Best wishes,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm 16, my family is unstable. I'm not able to focus on myself like with my school work without knowing I'm in a place that I'm not happy.
    Everyday I wake up and its the same. I enjoy going to school because it gets me away from home. I dread the weekends because I have to be home unless I can be with my boyfriend or a friend.
    There has been abuse. DSS got involved, its been pretty bad. My father is the abuser. He's mentally and physically abusing. He grabs my little brother hard and yells at him and such and my brother is now to where he follows in my dads footsteps.
    Mental abuse from him like he has lied, he has told me before my household chores are ultimate priority instead of my school work. I take college and high school classes at the same time. I usually come home with a lot of homework.
    My father is unreliable. He makes bad choices for himself and sometimes puts us in a bad place for our family. My mom has told me I cant do anything that it is his choice and that she can't do anything to make him do what he needs to do to be a father.
    I'm not sure what I can do. I have talked to,my mom abouy moving out with a family member,or friend and she tells me no. I'm not sure what I can do. I want to try to go for emancipation but I feel my reasoning wouldn't be enough.

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  • ccsmod2
    replied
    Hi,

    Thank you for contacting NRS. It is very brave of you to seek help. It sounds like you're going through a tough time at home. You don't deserve to be treated that way, abuse is never okay. We cannot tell you what to do because we are non directive here, but we can try to provide you with resources that can help you in your situation. You mentioned that you have scars from when you were previously beaten. If you would like to report the abuse, you may want to take pictures of your scars. Child Help is a child abuse hotline (1-800-422-4453) that you could call for more information about reporting abuse. Your safety is very important. Some things you may want to consider is if your mother files a runaway report, and the police find you they could return you home. Running away is not illegal so you cannot get arrested, however if you were to stay with a friend, your friend could get in trouble for harboring a runaway if the police find you. Talking to someone that you trust about the issues that you are facing at home could be useful as well. We are always here to listen and help the best we can. If you feel that you would like to talk to us please feel free to call our 24 hour hotline (1-800-786-2929).

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I'm 16 and I live in North Carolina, and I've been having family issues, tings get better and then go back to worse again, my mom told me I could pack my things and move it if I wanted, but when I did she filed a missing persons on me on Facebook, I can't go home or I'll be really beaten, I have scars from when they beat me before, what should I do?

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  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,
    Thanks for reaching out to our forum! We appreciate you explaining a bit about your situation and we will help you in any way we can.
    It sounds like home life is a really stressful environment. You definitely don’t deserve to be abused in any way, it does seem that your step-mom is physically and verbally abusive to you. You do have the right to report the abuse. We at NRS can do abuse reports for or with you, there’s also Child Help (the national child abuse hotline) at 800-422-4453. They also help youth find ways to get their custody transferred over to a safe adult or family member. You mentioned running away. Running away is not something that you can be arrested for. If you do runaway, parents are able to make a runaway report with their police. That goes nationwide and if police find you, they just bring you back home. We do see police refusing to take a runaway report on 17 year olds. We offer to call out to police with youth and ask them what their runaway protocols are. The only time we see people being charged in a runaway situation, is when the parents of a runaway ask the police to charge an adult who’s letting the runaway stay with them. The charge is called “harboring a runaway”, it’s not a common charge and parents are the ones who usually ask police to press it. If you do decide to run away, and don’t want to stay with friends, NRS can help you find runaway shelters in your area.
    Talking to school counselors or teachers about what you’re going through at home could also give you some additional support. You’re not alone in this, and we are always here to help out. Our safeline is open 24/7 and we also have a chatting service via our website. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
    Be well, NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello my name is fred and I just turned 17 years old on the 13th I am texting in regards to that I would like to either runaway or get emancipated from my house. I have a step mother who treats me like garbage and sometimes whenever she yells at me she will push me up against the wall and slap me across the face and always asking me do you want to fight whenever I scowl at her because of the way she treats me. She abuses me more than my real father does my real mom left at an airport by myself and my step mom says that if she had the chance she would slaughter 9r kill my real mom (I don't remember which) mymy step mom has a friend who cares a lot about me and my sister who goes through the same stuff as me and she said if she could she would take us in a heartbeat she loves us and care for us more than my step mom does now my step sisters mom is my step mom and I have a little brother that is spoiled and who is treated like a prince on my birthday this year I didn't get anything for my birthday from my parents in fact I got yelled at. My real dad is completely brainwashed by my step mom and she thinks must have all the attention in the house and if my step sis or me is sick my step mom will pretend she is sick so she can get attention from everyone and she makes us do stuff for and we havent. Done anything this summer I have a friend who can give a place to stay but not for long. There's so much more but I need HELP before I lose my marbles and do something I will regret for the rest of my life can you please help me!

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  • ccsmod4
    replied
    Reply: I have a friend that is 16 years old

    Hello 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. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now.
    It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation with your friend may end in suicide if things don’t change.
    Their safety and well-being is important. If they are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services.

    If any harm or abuse is happening at home, they have the right to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).

    If you feel like this might be an option your friend might want to explore, they may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help them to file a report if that’s the route they are considering.

    Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
    This may be an isolating and lonely time for your friend, but they are not alone in this. You seem to be a caring a god friend to them. They are fortunate to have your support. Good job.
    We want you to know that we are here as support to help as well through this challenging time.

    If you or your friend would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Be safe and stay strong,
    NRS

    Leave a comment:

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