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Is Emancipation or running away an option in the near future?(KY)

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  • Is Emancipation or running away an option in the near future?(KY)

    Hi. I live in Kentucky, previously Pennsylvania, and am having issues at home. For reference, when I was younger I was sent to a different household with my half sister every other week, and they physically and mentally abused me until I was 12. My biological dad died when I was 4 months old and I never knew until I was 9. I no longer go to the other household because of the abuse.

    I can not leave the house because my mom and stepdad use me as a built in babysit almost every day of the week, 6 or 7 AM to 5-6 PM, with no pay. During that time I feed them, cloth them, put them on the bus, help them with homework when they have it, keep them quiet throughout the day, currently potty train the youngest, and so much more. I have three younger siblings(3,6,9) who I(15, 16 next February) babysit. My stepdad is home, but sleeps and comes out of his room to scream at me (sometimes trying to physically fight me) for not keeping them quiet enough or to yell about what I feed them. I feed them breakfast and lunch, some days dinner too. He has a history of spousal abuse with his ex, which he carried over to my mother. It's only when they get into big big fights now but it used to happen every few months when I was younger. She will not do anything about it. I was in therapy for a different reason (I was abused at a different household my mother knowingly was sending me to) and they denied everything but months after they stopped taking me (I am technically still supposed to be on medication/in therapy they just did not want to make time anymore) they told me it was true. My stepdad also had to take Vicodin (Pain killer, prescribed) which he had a prescription for but the new laws don't let him have it so he gets more and more angry when his back flairs up. My mother is constantly screaming at me because I want to be a normal teenager and go to a friend's house for one night or because I didn't want to move. I was forced to grow up early and make mature adult decisions from age 10 or 11. I have depression/anxiety and living with them has made it worse. I can not talk to them because I'm scared of a fight or to be threatened with adoption. I am pretty sure there is some emotional abuse going on, but I can't be sure because I have trouble processing it. I grew up being emotionally abused at my other household until I was 12, and it's hard to tell when it's happening because it still feels normal most of the time. I balance not only my own school life(which has suffered) but my siblings, and I have to work around my parent's schedules(when they go out, have extra hours, store runs, etc). But when they do get home they act as if they were there all day, and even tell other people I don't do that stuff and I'm a horrible babysitter so I can't watch other people's kids for money.

    The worst part is why they won't let me leave. As said above, my father is dead. My mom and him were never married. She gets a $700+ check every month, my survivor's check. That is why she won't let me leave. She'd lose that money. Everyone in my family knows that is why I can't leave, and always bring it up. She's even said it during arguments. I don't even care about the money from that. They won't let me get a job because I have to watch their kids for free, and always belittle me saying how that's why they keep me around and that when I turn eighteen I won't have enough money to move out so I'll have to stay.

    I want to propose a deal of sorts with her. She lets me get emancipated/move out/get a job soon after I'm 16, and she can have most of that check. If that's all she wants, and all it takes for me to get away, I'll do it. My question though, how do I go about this all? In Kentucky, the laws about emancipation are tricky. I get that there is no set age, but does that mean I can just move out at any time? Do I still have to file for a petition? Can she at any time if I move out call the police and file me as a runaway? Can I get emancipated and move back to Pennsylvania? I have no money, hopefully giving that check over(none of it goes towards me anyways, I have limited things and practically have to beg for tampons/pads/food/bras of which I have 4) allows enough motivation for her to let me get a job. After all, then she won't have to spend anything towards what I need.

    I still have contact with other family members, none of which I can ask for them to get custody because they have there own kids or there living place would disqualify them. I'm just trying to extract myself from a bad situation and make my opportunities and life better for my future. I do want to have a relationship with my parents when I'm older, but at the rate we are going it's all a game to see who can push who further to the edge. I have been seriously considering never talking to them again the day I turn eighteen, job or not, financially stable or not, sleeping on a bench or not and I know that's not a good thing. I want to fix that before it's too late and somebody makes a mistake they are going to regret.
    Last edited by ccsmod11; 06-22-2019, 06:38 PM. Reason: Took out name

  • #2
    Hello, and thanks for reaching out to us at National Runaway Safeline. You have been through a lot, shouldering burdens that no one your age should, and not getting the support or respect you deserve, as well as suffering intense emotional abuse. You are very brave to have reached out to us for help.

    No one deserves to be harmed in any way. It is natural that you might have trouble processing this, or that you might be unsure about whether or not you are even being abused. If you are ever feeling unsafe at home, you can always call Child Help, the National Child Abuse Hotline, at 1-800-422-4453. They can help you understand your options for feeling safe. It sounds like you have very thoughtfully and maturely developed a plan for yourself. We are not legal experts here, but you may find it useful to contact the General Intake Number for youth legal services in Kentucky. That number is 1-866-452-9243. You can also try (270) 384-4707 for the Columbia area, and (502) 895-8167 for the Louisville area. As far as your question about moving out, it is our knowledge that police can become involved only when your parent files a runaway report. You will not get in legal trouble; you will only be brought back home. Your situation might be different if you were to report the kind of abuse and neglect that you are experiencing. It may be helpful for you to talk about what is going on with a school counselor, since you are unable to continue going to your previous therapist. Friends and other family members, even if they cannot provide financial and tangible support, can talk you through the harder days, too.

    We hope you find some of this information useful. You can call us at 1-800-786-2929 at any time of day. We are always here to listen, here to help. You are going through some incredibly difficult things, and this must weigh very heavily on you, but you were very strong in asking for help. Keep up your good work. Good luck.

    National Runaway Safeline
    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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