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Helping a friend

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  • Helping a friend

    Hey there.

    I'm trying to help a friend deal with her abusive environment, but it seems almost certain that she will kill herself relatively soon before she can turn 18 and get out. It's getting harder and harder to talk her down, while at the same time she's wanting to get out.

    I'm not adverse to her running away, and I'm in Illinois (coles county), but I've convinced her not to just be homeless until she's 18. Her parents would never agree to emancipation - - or anything where they let go of their abusive control of her. It's hard to tell if they actually care about her unless it's advantageous for them to.

    I'm wanting options to get her out, that will be safe, get her in a non abusive environment, and allow her to go to school while letting her see her old friends still. She's 16, 18 months off from 18,and she doesn't think she can make it the next 6 months. Nothing I do helps. Nothing anyone does helps to change that. So staying home is literally no longer an option, so don't try to suggest that.

    I was hoping someone could point me/us to maybe a specific person who would definitely be able to help us. All I can find is uncertainty and I need her to stay alive. A complication is I'm 20, and her parents know we like each other, and we have for a long time, so I'm afraid they'd try to hurt me (which would hurt her), but I don't think they could if I'm the one who reports this abuse, and there's no evidence of anything that I know of, unless I'm not allowed to like a 16 year old.

    What legal options do we have to get her out? I know about going to the police, and her refusing to go home, but what else is there? I don't want her to go into the foster system.. And i heard the court can just say she can stay with x person or family, as a kind of agreement between the child and parent. Please help.

  • #2
    Re: Helping a friend


    We are glad that you are reaching out to us. It sounds like your friend is in a really difficult situation, but she is really lucky to have someone like you to support her. It also sounds like you have explored a variety of options and have encountered a number of obstacles preventing her from getting the help that she needs. We are not legal experts so we can’t give you any sort of legal advice. You said that you worry that she may kill herself, so you can give her the national suicide hotline, 1-00-273-TALK (8255). You also mentioned that you are in Illinois. If your friend is also in Illinois, she can contact Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services (CCBYS). They will refer her to an agency serving her area that can help her get out of the situation that she is in and get placed into a safer, more supportive environment. You can contact them by calling 1-877-870-2663, and they will refer you to the appropriate agency.

    Finally, your friend can call our 24-hour hotline to get some support and explore what options she has available to her. She can contact us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or via our chat service on our website (4:30 PM -11:30 PM CST).


    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!


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