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13, I want to run away.

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  • 13, I want to run away.

    Hello, I'm 13. I have a lot of troubles at home and with other things. I've got a nasty history with school, and other things. Me and my family fight A LOT, and I'm under a lot of stress because of school. ( I do online classes so it's much harder. ) I have severe emotional issues, my family never lets me leave the house so I have trouble communicating with others outside of the Internet. I had a boyfriend when I was 12 who used to do bad things to me and forced me to do things to him, and it messed me up pretty bad. I've asked for therapy but my family says I'm fine and don't need it, although I've been diagnosed with depression ( and no one even knows about my ex, or the substance abuse ). I used to drink a lot, and too much. I can't control my emotions and I don't know how to interact... My family has been pushing on me about school and I'm very stressed. I need some way out of this and I want to know if it's legal for me to run away and find someone to stay with, my family does not beat me, but we do fight and yell a lot. I love them but I can't keep living like this. I feel stuck. Is there anything I can do? By the way, I'm an only child.

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    Re: 13, I want to run away.


    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really tough time. You mentioned school stress, family fights, and feeling messed up after the bad things your ex-boyfriend did. You did not deserve to be treated that way by your boyfriend; nobody should ever force you to do anything you don’t want to in a relationship. You might find helpful the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline (1-866-331-9474). Their website is

    Another resource that you might be able to look into if you’re looking for a safe place to go and talk to someone, would be to visit The National Safeplace website ( It sounds like you are struggling with depression and recovering from substance abuse. That’s a lot to handle on your own and it’s understandable that you would feel overwhelmed. This organization provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. You can look up your city and state to see if there are any safe places near you listed. They are usually places like designated school, fire stations, libraries, etc. So that is always an option if you feel like talking to someone in person and what has been going on. They can also direct you to a safe place to stay if you decide to leave home. You can also call or chat with us for more shelter or counseling resources. Maybe if we can find you a resource that has low cost counseling services, your parents may be more open to taking you to see one.

    You raise some very good questions about reporting emotional abuse. Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process.

    You mentioned that you're thinking about running away. If you are reported as a runaway it’s typically just a status offense; however, sometimes people helping runaways are at risk for charges such as harboring a runaway or crossing state lines with a minor. These charges are often just misdemeanors, but might be something to explore if you or whoever you would be staying with are concerned.

    There's definitely a lot to think about when running, like who you would stay with, how you would get there, how you would enroll in school, and how you would pay for things. We are happy to discuss with you some safe options specific to your situation if you decide to call or chat with us.

    We hope this information is helpful and hope that you choose to reach out to us directly.

    Best of luck,
    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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