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  • Running away

    I am 14 almost 15. I am in a bad situation, my moms dad and step mom have temporary custody of me, and they treat me like I am 2. I want to go live with my other grandparents for a few days. Is that legal in the state of West Virginia ?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. Your situation sounds like it would be stressful for anyone going through it. To be a young adult and be made to feel like a child can certainly take a toll on your self-esteem and confidence.
    While we’re not legal experts, we want to provide you with some general information on your questions. Because you are only 14 (about to be 15), you are still considered a minor in the state of West Virginia. That means you would not be able to make an executive decision about who you get to live with at this time. That decision could only be made by either your parents or legal guardians. In this case it sounds like your grandparents are your legal guardians temporarily.

    If you are thinking about running away, we want to caution you that while it is not considered illegal to do this, it would be considered a status offense because of your age. If your grandparents filed a runaway report against you, the police would bring you back home to them if they found you.

    You mentioned that your living situation is only temporary right now, it will change again very soon. Although we understand how difficult relationships with parents and even grand parents can be, having an open and honest conversation might help relieve a lot of miscommunication and stress for you. If you would like support in this, we provide a conferencing and mediation service. You would have to call us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY and we would act as a 3rd party mediator while you open up to your grandparents. This can also be helpful if you decide to try and talk with your grandparents about living with your other grandparents and you don’t feel comfortable speaking up alone on this topic either.

    Your safety and comfort is of our utmost concern for you, and we want you to feel safe and loved within your own living environment. If you need to talk to us further on all of this, we do encourage you to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re here to listen and help in any way we can. Good luck to you!
    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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