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I’m 16 and being physically and verbally abused can I run away?

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  • I’m 16 and being physically and verbally abused can I run away?

    Im 16 and from West Virginia, I have a unique situation where I am left home a lot, probably 3-4 nights out of the week and it’s good to have that kind of freedom, I am left home because my parents own their own business and it requires a lot of time. When my parents do come home they drink a lot and even when they don’t I am constantly getting told how worthless I am and being struck with anything they have around them at that time, I still go to school and have my drivers permit, I have told my situation to my best friends parents and they have offered to open up their home to me, but i have read many things online and i don’t know what to do because of it being West Virginia and me not being 18, if I applied for an emancipation then I would have to let my parents know that this is happening, they would try to send me away if they ever found out. I don’t know what to do and I can’t take the abuse much longer it gets worse and worse everytime, also I have held many summer jobs and will start working at a restaurant soon, so I would be able to support myself and I would have a good home to live in, should I just leave or not?

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline. We are very sorry to hear that you are being abused at home. Abuse is never okay, and you don't deserve to be treated that way. You do have the right to report the abuse. You could try talking to someone that you trust such as a teacher or school counselor. You might want to start taking pictures of your bruises as evidence of the abuse as well. If you ever feel as though you are in immediate danger, we encourage you to contact the police. Child Help (1-800-422-4453) is the National Child Abuse Hotline, they could provide you with more information on abuse reporting and how to transfer custody.

    You could try asking your parents if they would allow you to stay with another family member or close friend. If you were to leave home without your parent's permission they have the right to file a runaway report. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home unless you tell that you feel unsafe at home. If you decide to stay with your friend, their parents could get charged with harboring a runaway. We encourage you to do what you think is best for you in this situation. We hope that this information helps you, please be safe. Please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email. or live chat if you have additional questions or just need to talk.
    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
      Update: I did what you said I should do and I asked my parents if I could move in with a friend, and they flipped out the abuse has gotten even worse now and they took my phone and all of my electronics to communicate to anyone with. My mom will not give it back and told me if I tried to leave they would send me away, I need help and don’t know what to do, this is the original person who posted this.


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks again for reaching out to us. We are very sorry to hear that things have gotten worse for you. Unfortunately, due to our non directive approach we do not give advice. You are the expert in your own life, you have to do what you feel is best. As we previously mentioned, you have the option of reporting the abuse to Child Protective services or the police. You could also reach out to Child Help (1-800-422-4453). Please contact us directly via our email or live chat so that we could discuss what ways we could best assist you.
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