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  • Runaway

    When I was 15 years old my dad & I were having problems so he moved me from Wisconsin to Virginia to live with my aunt. I am now 17 & am so sick & tired of this house. Everyday I wake up scared of what type of mood she's in or whether she's going to drink today. When she drinks there's no coping with her & sometimes she gets abusive. I try to be the best child I can & all her friends see that but she gets mad whenever they give me a compliment. Recently her words are just getting to be to much. My birthday is this Saturday. How much trouble would I be in if I live in Virginia & " ran away " a day before my 18 birthday. What I'm more worried about is that I will be bringing all my clothes & shoes with me & some of them are pretty expensive. Could she press charges or anything on me because she technically bought them? & I would be running away back to Wisconsin where I already have a place to live & a job lined up.

  • #2
    RE: Runaway

    Hey -
    Thanks so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like you have been going through a rough time at your aunt’s house and are ready to get out of there. No one deserves abuse in any form and we will try to help you out in the best way we can.

    We are not legal experts, but usually if you run away any time before the age of 18, the only person they can make you go back to is your legal guardian. It does not seem like your aunt is your legal guardian, which means that she could not force you to return home to her. You would be returned to your legal guardian. If she is your legal guardian, your aunt would have to call the police and report you missing before anything is done. Once that happens they would have to know where you are to find you and take you back. Because you are planning to leave the day before your 18 birthday, by the time they find you, you may already be an adult and wouldn’t have to return to her house against your will.

    Another option would be to wait the extra day. Once you are 18 you have no obligation of staying anywhere you feel unsafe.
    Again we are not legal experts, but you shouldn’t be charged for taking belongings, like shoes and clothes, with you. If your aunt pays your phone bill and cuts it off, she could do that. If she bought you a car but it is registered under her name, taking the car would be stealing. Your own belongings like shoes and clothes shouldn’t be a problem. To be sure, you could call the local police station in Virginia and ask them what would happen in that case.

    If you do decide to leave, we want to make sure you do so as safely as possible. You said you have a job lined up and a place to stay. It is great you are thinking ahead and making a plan. Make sure you have a safe way to get to your destination. Always have a phone with you in case you need to contact someone in an emergency. Do you have money to get you to Wisconsin? If your original plans in Wisconsin do not work out, do you have a backup plan so that you do not end up on the streets? These are all things to consider. If you need help at anytime with thinking of a plan, finding resources in Virginia or Wisconsin, or just to talk about what is going on PLEASE give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we can try to help you.

    We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.
    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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