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Legality of fleeing to grandparents

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  • Legality of fleeing to grandparents

    Hey all,
    I’m a transgender Jewish 15 year old living in a transphobic Catholic home in New Hampshire. Over the last 15 years, I’ve suffered sexual, physical, verbal, and emotional abuse from family members and friends. I’ve developed severe dissociative identity disorder and PTSD. I’m afraid to leave my room because all my mother does is scream at me. I desperately need to leave this house because it’s making me legitimately suicidal. She refuses to give me adequate medical care for my Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and she refuses to acknowledge my dissociative identity disorder, which is incredibly stressful. She also refuses to acknowledge that I have autism, which leads to a lot of tension, or that I have PTSD. She intentionally tries to trigger me sometimes because she thinks it’s good for me to build up resilience.
    I can stay with my grandparents. They’ve grown suspicious of the abuse that I’m enduring and they said I could come live with them if things came too bad. I’m considering taking them up on their offer, but there’s several problems.
    Legally speaking, am I able to run away to their house? Will I get in legal trouble? Will they? If I do get in legal trouble, will I have to go back to this house?
    Second question.
    We as a family own a really big cat. His name is Oliver. If you’re on Tumblr and know the cat community, you’ve probably seen him. Point being - am I legally allowed to take him with me if I run away from home? He’s my best friend in the world and losing him would absolutely break my heart.

    Thank you and mazel tov,

  • #2
    Hi Dirk,
    Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. You made a great first step to finding the help that you may need. It sounds like you are going through a lot and the people around you are not being supportive. You deserve to be treated with respect, to experience acceptance and to feel safe.

    We want you to know that you are strong for having gone through so much already. It is perfectly okay to deviate from what others or the common population believe to be “normal”. You’re bravery and resilience is so admirable. You are so strong for having gone through so much without having the acceptance that you do deserve for just being you. Remember that you are not alone. If you ever want to talk more about what you are experiencing or get additional support we are here 24/7 at 1800-RUNAWAY or our live chat service. The GLBT National Hotline at 1888-843-4564 is another option to gain great support from those that are familiar with the issues and experiences of those that are also a part of the LGBTQ community. You can access their website link bellow to utilize all the other possibly useful resources they have to offer:

    We aren’t legal experts, but we have general knowledge about running away. In most states, running away isn’t illegal, but what is called a status offense. You can’t get arrested for it but it will mostly likely go on your record until you are 18. The police will only know if you have runaway if your parents/guardians file a police report. We can’t say for sure how the police will respond, but we hear a lot that police will take potential places you might be and will actively search for you. If they come across you, the most likely will return you home to your parents. Sometimes we hear that if you are staying with someone who knows you are a runaway and are not actively trying to return you or finding shelter for you, your guardians/or police can press charges against the people who are housing you, with something that is called harboring. And, unfortunately regarding your cat, we don't have much information around the legalities of that. It may be worth calling out to your local non-emergency police number to ask them.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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