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16 year old Runaway from Abusive Guardian

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  • 16 year old Runaway from Abusive Guardian

    Hi. On Christmas day I ran away from home because I live in an abusive environment. I've been getting abused for the last 10 years and no one will help me. CPS has been called and they will not do anything about it because my legal guardian always turns it around on me to make it look like I did something wrong to deserve the abuse. The last straw was on Christmas day when her son beat me up and her daughter threatened to shoot me. The police were called and I told CPS what happened but they did not believe me because my legal guardian said that I pushed her and that is why I decided to run away. I am in a safe environment now and CPS has been called but they are not taking it seriously. Someone at my school who knows my situation has been trying to help me and they told me if I can get a job to show that I am able to take care of myself then it will help me to establish my independence so I try to get emancipated. I live in the state of Texas and I am hoping they will not force me to go back to the care of my legal guardian because i do not feel safe and I do not feel like anyone in law enforcement or child protective services are listening to me. Does anyone know if I can legally stay away from the abusive environment and still stay in school if I start supporting myself by finding a job or will they force me to go back to my legal guardian's care once they discover I am working and will I be forced to give up school?

  • #2
    Hello there,
    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are here to listen and support you in any way we can. It sounds like you have little support from CPS or police and its unfortunate they aren’t believe your perspective and that you have been experiencing abuse. Glad to hear you are in a safe place and are okay currently. Emancipation could be an option.
    We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18. Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. The court will also factor in the mental and physical welfare of your parents in order to establish your best interest. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. Once you are emancipated, you can legally choose where you live, but you might still find that you cannot sign a lease or build credit until you turn 18. The emancipation process can take several months or up to a year, and may cost money in the form of court fees and other expenses. Usually, the best way to learn about emancipation in your state is to contact a lawyer. You may also find information at your county family court. We can look up legal aid resources that may be able to help you with the process. Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need legal resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
    We are here for you and will support you in anyway that we can. Please feel free to call into us directly as we can talk further about your situation and find resources that are best for you in your area. Stay strong and you are not alone in this! Our hotline ( 1-800-RUNAWAY) and chat are open 24/7.
    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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