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  • I'm not a missing person

    Hey, I'm 16 and I live in North Carolina. I'm come from a home with an alcoholic dad and a bipolar stepmom. My girlfriend who is 4 years older than me, has lived with me for the last 6 months, and my parents have openly given consent to our relationship. My dad is verbally and mentally abusive. He tells me that my family thinks I'm going to amount to nothing regularly. He harps on me about taking "dumb" classes, although I am mostly honors, and I make straight A's. He tells me my depression is not real and that I just need to do things. He always makes drunk messes in thekitxhen, or throws all the clothes in the laundry room floor to show he wants them washed, he spends money on things we don't need or have them money for and his excuse for these things are, he's "teaching" me to be an "adult". He never gives me the credit for how mature I am but CONSTANTLY reminds me that I am a "child" and he has "control" over me. He has lived off the government for the past two years due to losing his job over being drunk on the job and a simple assault charge that he received for hitting my stepmom. The other night he was drunk and went after my girlfriend for no reason. One minute we were talking about our pets and the next he was chasing us out the house - literally. He wanted to put his hands on her but my stepmom and I kept him from doing so. He grabbed me by my shoulders and forcefully tried to throw me out of the way to get to her. So, we left. We are at her grandparents house - very safe and secure. My stepmom knows exactly where I am and I've had contact with her. In fact, she has brought me clothes and my book bag for school. We called the cops when we left and they sent a deputy to us and one to him. So, the cops knew I left and didn't make me go back. He was so drunk when the cops got there he thought I was still at the house and the cops knew, because of my stepmom, to go along with him. That was three days ago.

    Now my family has contacted me saying that they are going to take out a missings person report. I'm terrified to go back.. and I've just had all I can take. I'm scared for my mental health when I am in that house with him. I have family but they take his side. They see me as a rebellious teenager who just wants to run away with their girlfriend but she & her family give me a safe, secure, warm, healthy environment. They think I am going to work a minimum wage job and end up on drugs or something. That's my whole families expectations of me and it's not a secret at all. My dad never lets me forget. Plus, my grandparents only live two houses down from my father and own a lake they force me to work at when I am with them. I've spent every birthday there - working for $5 an hour. Every summer weekend for the past three years.

    I don't want to go back but I'm scared. If I go back, I'll run away. I can't take it there.. I just cannot. Is running away every time they bring me back an option? My girlfriend's grandmother used to be a "foster grandmother" through child protective services, and said she would be willing to do it for me. Is that an option?

    My dad went to an interview yesterday for a really good job.. and unfortunately got it. How? I'm not sure either. But he will have money soon and I'm scared of that too. He reminds me frequently that "money is power" and you can twist the judicial system anyway you want if you have the money to. How do I prove that I am at wits end in my father's home? I am obviously educated and mature enough to handle myself for the most part... but I know I still need guidance and responsibility.. but I can't receive this in my house or with my family.

    I hope that someone replies to this soon.. It's urgent.

  • #2
    Re: I'm not a missing person

    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We are here to provide you with support and help you in the best way possible.

    It sounds like there is a lot going on right now at home with your dad. You do not deserve to be abused in any way and we are really sorry to hear that this is happening to you. One resources available to you is Child Help USA (1-800-422-4453). Child help USA can provide you with more information about filing abuse reports as well as link you to your local Child protective services (CPS). If you are uncomfortable with doing this you can always give us a call here at NRS. We can provide you with support while you make the report to NRS or we can take down the information and make the report on your behalf.

    We understand that this is a difficult time for you and that you are deciding what is best for you to do right now. We are not legal experts here but at the age of 16 if you runaway your step mom and dad do have a right to file a runaway report. They may not be able to file you as a missing person, if they are aware of your location. A runaway report is not a criminal charge nut considered a status offense. If the police find you there is a chance that you can be taken back home unless they feel that they would be that they would be returning you back to an unsafe situation. Also, if you are found staying with someone then there is a chance that that person could be charged with harboring a runaway.

    We are glad we are a resource that comes to mind in this time of crisis. We want you to know that we are here to listen and to help in the best way that we can. It also seems like there is a lot going on in your life, if you are able to give us a call or chat with us we would be able to explore your situation a little further with you

    You are so strong for reaching out and for dealing with your current home situation. We really would like to talk with your further about your situation and help you develop a plan that is best fit for you. By giving us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), we can learn more about you and possibly connect you to resources that can be useful for you. Some of these things may include shelters, counseling services and much more. We are here 24/7 and someone is available to talk with you.

    Best,

    NRS
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      So, I'm 19 and I left my family's house a few days ago. My mom texted me and said that they filed a missing persons report, but I'M safer and happier in my current place. How do I prove I'm not missing?

      Comment


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello there, thanks for reaching out today.

        That sounds frustrating that your mom filed a missing persons report for you when you left home at 19. Unless you live in Mississippi where the legal age is 21, you are considered a legal adult at 19 and you have the right to leave your family's house without permission. A missing persons report is different than a runaway report in that you legally do not have to go home. Typically, a missing persons report is filed when it is believed that something bad happened to you like you were abducted or had a health emergency. If you haven't already, you might respond to your mom saying that you are safe and you left on your own accord. You can also call the non-emergency police number to the police department that is local to your mom, and let them know that you are not missing - rather you just legally moved out. Typically, they should remove that missing persons report once you get into contact with them. Depending on the police department's protocol, they might do a safety check but they would not return you to your mom's house.

        We are so glad that you are in a safer, happier place. Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever want to talk through your situation, need help reaching out to police, or need any resources. We are here to listen, here to help.

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

        Best,

        NRS

    • #4
      Hello I am 20 years old I am about to be 21 in about 4 months. My parents tonight threw all my belongings across my room, broke my lamp and tried breaking all my belongings. They also yelled at me and called me a stupid person and tried to hit me when I hide away. I asked a friend of mine if there’s a way I can find a place soon. I have been suffering this kind of abuse for almost three years now. When it wasn’t taking down my door, it was dragging me all around the house, or making threats to my friends if they take me in or have contact with me. I need help, I do not know how to respond once my parents file a missing case report on me once I leave and I am afraid that they will make threats against my friends as well. Please help me I am stuck and can no longer take anymore verbal or physical abuse anymore. My friend asked me to leave to his house tonight but I am afraid my parents will get him in trouble with the law. Please help me.

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi,

        Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We understand it takes great courage to seek help, and we thank you for sharing what is going on at home. It does not sound easy, and we want to support you through it.

        It sounds like your parents are emotionally and physically abusing you. It is important you know that you do not deserve this kind of treatment. You seem to want to leave home because of it but have some concerns. We are not legal experts, but we can tell you that leaving home as an adult is not a crime, nor can you be arrested for it or brought back home by police. In all states, with the exception of Mississippi, you are considered an adult; if you are in Mississippi, you may need to exercise more transparency and caution if leaving. It sounds like you have a safe place to go, and one way to try to avoid a report being filed as a minor is to leave a note, text, or voicemail letting your parents know where you are, and that you are safe. It is possible your friend could get in trouble for harboring you only if you are indeed a minor. In any case, if your parents become threatening in a dangerous way, you can always contact the police at 911.

        We hope you find some of this information helpful. You might consider reaching out to us at 1-800-RUN-AWAY to discuss the situation further, or by instant message at 1800runaway.org. We are always here to listen, here to help. Good luck, and be safe.

        Sincerely,
        NRS
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