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Leaving home at 16 in Texas

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I live in the eastern side of Texas and i turn 16 tomorrow. I talked to my mom about me moving to live with her because my dad is always yelling at me and I get depressed and have anxiety. I talked to my dad and he won't let me leave even when i want to take him to court to change who my legal guardian is. He says he wouldn't and would refuse to pay child support. My mom doesn't want to take me because she said it would be a form of kidnapping. I don't know what to do and this is stressing me out with school and my grades.

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  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. It sounds like you've had to go through a lot and your courage and resilience are really admirable.

    You said that you have been struggling with some mental health issues and have previously tried to commit suicide. We care a lot about your safety, and we can help you find resources that can help you cope with these feelings. You do not have to face this alone, and there is so much help out there for you. If you are thinking about hurting yourself, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline could be a good resource for you. You can check them out at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/, or you can call 1-800-273-8255 for help and support any time. If you’d like some additional support, an organization that may be helpful is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can contact them by calling 1-800-950-NAMI or you can text them by sending NAMI to 741741.

    You mentioned that your mom has tried to hit you and threw you into a closet and it raises some concern for your safety. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused in any way. If you are currently at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hello. i turned 16 in july and i suffer from anxiety, ptsd, severe depression and anxiety, and high functioning adhd. i live with my mom and stepdad and i really want to leave. i've been doing a lot of research about how to legally leave parental custody without being filed as a runaway and the only option i have is emancipation. i was physically and emotionally abused by my father at a young age, i have been raped four times throughout my life, and i've tried to commit suicide and have been hospitalized on multiple occasions. i feel like i'm stuck. my mom keeps yelling at me and blaming things on me, she tells me i'm lazy and that i don't try. i keep telling her that i am trying but i just don't understand things and she just yells more. it's taken a really big toll on me, i've started blaming myself for everything and i've stopped taking care of myself. she takes away my comfort items, which really messes me up because i have seperation anxiety. i've told her on multiple occasions that she can't do that and she tells me that because she's my parent she cant do what she wants. she tried to hit me a few days ago, and i grabbed her wrists and she threw my into my closet and claimed it was self defense. i started screaming and she told me i was being overdramatic because i felt like i was back at my father's house. and that isn't even half of the things she's done. every friend that has heard my mom yell at me has told me that she's emotionally abusing me. even one of my friends moms said the same thing. i don't know what to do. i just want it all to stop.

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  • ccsmod16
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi,
    Thank you for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like your situation is both scary and highly stressful. Your situation is difficult to address here, on a public forum, because it is very specific and we don’t know what information and resources your boyfriend’s mom has given you. It is understandable to feel the need to leave and to want to be safe from the erratic and frightening effects of your mom’s disease and her treatment of you and your brother. You have been very brave and intelligent and we want to help you make a plan that you are comfortable with.

    The best way for us to help you is to have a conversation with you either through our phone hotline or via live chat. You can reach us at 1800-RUNAWAY or chat at www.1800runaway.org We are here 24/7 and all of our services are confidential.

    We truly hope to hear from you soon.
    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    im 16 and i live in a motel room with my mom and 2 of my siblings and my boyfriend with two beds. my mother is very bipolar and verbally abuses me. she even tried to harm herself in front of me and said it was my fault and then pushed my older brother into a door. i want to leave, ive done a lot of research and my boyfriends mom is a social worker giving me all the information i need but im really scared that my mom will be able to take me back in after i leave and make me go back to the motel with her. advice?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for reaching out to NRS and for taking the time to share a bit about your situation. We want you to know that we are here to listen and to be a support for you during this difficult time. Emotional abuse does get overwhelming and it can be tough to cope with on your own. Abuse of any kind is never okay and not your fault. You deserve to be treated in a way that makes you feel safe and supported.

    While we are not legal experts by any means, we can speak generally on laws regarding young people leaving home as minors. Your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18 which means they can decide where you live. If you leave home without permission, your mom can report you as a runaway. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that your mom can ask police for assistance to return you home. Whoever you stay with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway which is usually a misdemeanor. Runaway and harboring protocols do vary, so you can call the the non-emergency line to ask an officer anonymously about this situation.

    Emancipation can be a lengthy and difficult process. The general requirements are that you are living separately from your parents, you are able to financially support yourself, and that emancipation is in your best interest. Parental consent or at least cooperation with the emancipation process is usually required, but petitions can be viewed on a case-by-case basis. The first step to learning the specifics of the process and to file a petition is to speak with a legal advocate. We can connect you with legal aid resources in your area if you call our hotline, 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at 1800runaway.org.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

    Good luck and stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I just turned 16 the other day. That day my mom mentally and emotionally abused me to the point I freaked out and put a hole in the wall with my head (I suffer from Depression and anxiety and I'm bipolar) but it all happened because I didn't wanna do my homework and wanted to sleep in. Things haven't been like this for about a year but in the past there were numerous police calls and cps reports. My boyfriend offered to let me stay with him, and he turns 20 in 4 months. If I get caught will he go to jail? Or is there anyway the courts will allow me to get emancipated with out a parents consent?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thanks for reaching out to us. We're sorry things aren't so great at home now. It sounds like your guardian isn't really listening to you the way you would like. That must be frustrating for you.

    We aren't legal experts, but from what we know it sounds like there would either have to be a transfer of guardianship to your dad through the court system, or you would need permission from your guardian to live with your dad. If you left without permission before 18 your guardian could file a runaway report and anyone you stay with could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions. So, to avoid any legal problems, you or your dad may want to consult a legal aid agency to see how to proceed with a transfer of guardianship. Assuming you are in Texas (per the thread title), you can contact any of the following agencies:

    1) Justice for Children; 713-376-4902; https://justiceforchildren.org/
    2) Legal Aid of Northwest Texas; 888-529-5277; https://internet.lanwt.org/en-us
    3) Lone Star Legal Aid Agency; 800-733-8394; https://lonestarlegal.blog/

    We hope this information helps. Feel free to reach out to us to see if there may be other options for you or if you would just like to talk about what you are going through. We are confidential and open 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Or you can chat with us via the portal at www.1800runaway.org. Please stay safe.

    All the best,
    NRS
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 04-05-2020, 03:40 PM.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm 16 years old and when I was a baby my mom gave her rights to my sister's (she is my half sister)dad's mom. I want to live with my dad and my real Grandma. I have brought it up to my guardian and all she does is yell at me saying that I can't go until I'm eighteen which I've heard that I can live with my dad at 16. Who do I talk to and how to get my opinion out there. My guardian wouldn't let me talk to any cps or Court because she doesn't want me to leave. I think it would be best because I am really unhappy here and I want to live with my dad.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to write us here on our Bulletin. It sounds like you are thinking about leaving home, but you have some questions about what could happen. Seeking out more information was a really smart step to take!

    While we are not legal experts here at NRS, we can share our knowledge of the concerns you raised. Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18. This means that if you and your sister were to leave without permission then your parents can report you as runaways to the police. Running away is not illegal and you would not be arrested, but it is a status offense. This means your parents can ask that police help with returning you home. There is no universal way that police handle runaway reports, so it can vary based on the police department. In some areas, police do not pursue runaway reports for someone who is 17. If this is the case for where you live then police might not force you to return to your parents. However, if your sister is younger than she would likely be brought back to your parents. You can call the non-emergency number for your local police department to anonymously ask questions about how they handle runaway reports.

    Having a plan in place before you leave can be helpful in deciding what you think is best. Some things to think about before you take the step to leave are if anything could change at home that might make it easier to stay, are there things you have not tried yet to make the situation easier to cope with, and what supports do you have. A helpful step is to start reaching out to friends and family members you might be able to stay with should you decide to leave. Sometimes having an adult on your side to advocate for you can make communicating your needs more effective to your parents. The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parents’ permission. In this case, they would be allowing you to live somewhere else where you are safe and being cared for. Perhaps an adult family member, a friend's parent or a counselor at school can talk to your parents with you about your experience at home and the possibility of you leaving.

    If you are not quite ready or are not able to reach out to someone in person, there is an organization that advocates for young people in unhealthy or abusive situations. If you feel like this applies to you, you can contact Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 or go to childhelp.org.

    You did mention that your parents made threats about sending your boyfriend which must be very concerning for you. It sounds like they might be threatening to pursue statutory rape charges against him. This can depend on the age of consent for the state you live in. The age of consent is the age where you are legally able to consent to sex with an adult. You can go to https://sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states/ to look up the consent age and laws
    in your state.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I’m thinking about running away..my parents threaten to call the police... I’m 16 about to be 17 in a month and they have threatened to call me in as a runaway and put my 20 year old boyfriend in jail. My sister with me is also considering running away.. I don’t know what to do.. should me and my sister leave together? Or should we leave separately? What kind of legal consequences would I face? What would happen if my sister and I were together?? We are both adopted.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, and sharing some of your story with us, it takes great courage to reach out and we are so glad that you have decided to reach out.
    You do not deserve to have your grandmother take her anger out on you, that must be so frustrating. We know you mentioned that your grandmother has never sat down and actually try and understand you. One option we offer at NRS is conference calling, where if you call us we can call out to your grandmother and have a conference call. Conference calling allows you to have a conversation and we are there to make sure the conversation is productive and we are there for support.
    Also you mentioned your grades have suffered due to all of this. One option to consider is to talk with your teacher and a school counselor and they may be able to provide options to help you bring your grades up. Also dealing with depression and anxiety can be hard to deal with alone, and you do not have to deal with these things alone. One resource that may be helpful to you is called NAMI (national alliance for mental illnesses). They can be reached at 1800-950-NAMI. Also if you are ever having suicidal thoughts please contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1800-273-8255.
    Also to report the emotional abuse you can contact Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. That may help you with also being adopted. And we are not legal experts but if you were to leave home your grandmother could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home.
    We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support to you. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My grandmother got full custody of my when I was 3 ,and I did not understand things at that time of course.But I’m 16 now and in oct I’ll be turning 17.My grandmother has anger fits all the time ,and it scares me because she always brings out her anger on me.For the past 7 years she’s never sat down and got to understand how I feel about things.She still hasn’t but regardless she’s down graded me,told me things that a responsible adult should never tell a teen aged girl,and because of this my grades in school have suffered , and I most likely and going to get held back because of it.Shes always yelling at me to get my grades up ,and I struggle with doing that when in the past 7 years I have developed anxiety and depression. recently I told a friend about my situation and she had told her aunt who is her legal guardian.They told me they want to help and they had gone to a person to talk about if they could adopt me and they told me that I would need to get a video of her arguing with me. I can’t do that because she has taken my phone and all I have is my school iPad and I can’t recorded it on here because she goes through my iPad when I’m sleeping. she’s always trying to accuse me of lying and because of all this I have self harmed and I have had several suicidal thoughts and I feel as if I don’t get away from her then I might do something I’ll regret.And I have seen that the law here in Texas says that I would be counted as a runaway and knowing my grandma she would sue my friends mom because all she cares about is her self and her money.I don’t know what to do in this situation. Please let me know what I should do!

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.

    While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

    We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I’m 16 and I’m living at home with my parents and I just feel like I need more me time like every time I try to relax my mom always wants something and I always feel like she’s neglecting me all the time it makes me feel less of myself I always have to put on a happy face for my friends to show them I’m ok when really I’m not I’m not ok I’m depressed, angry, and frustrated with my life it’s like I’m living in a hell hole like I can’t break free. I just want to leave and do what I wanna do not have to worry about when I’m gonna eat or telling myself not to cry. I just wanna go somewhere where I can be me and not have to listen to what someone has to say to me but I just wanna know of what I’m doing is illegal or illegal

    Leave a comment:

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