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Can CPS help with an "abusive" Step-mother?

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  • Can CPS help with an "abusive" Step-mother?

    I am 17 and live with my dad and step mother. I want to move back with my mom, and we are trying to get back to court, but it is a lengthy process.
    My dad is constantly asleep during the day for work, and i dont even see him. So my Stepmom dictates everything, even when court papers say she cannot
    intrude in court matters at all. My mother always has to ask my stepmom and not my dad about court papers and visitation. Along with that, she always
    overworks me and my younger sister, having us clean the entire house daily and making us do her responsibilities. She is rude and unfair to both of us
    (I.E; my 10 y.o half brother has a phone, and i dont. Her kids never have to do housework, it's always me and my sister.) My step mother has no consideration
    for me and my sister, and only worries about her other kids. My Autistic Half-brother (who is 9) is just plopped in front of the Xbox all day and is given
    anything he requests. My stepmother is always yelling and cussing, giving my half and step brothers the privledges we are denied. I have been to the
    hospital 4 times for my depression and suicidal thoughts fro living here. My dad and stepmom just punished and grounded me for causing myself
    self-harm. They are not supportive in any way and do not wish to seek out help for me at all. So the question at hand, can I call Child Protective Services
    with probably cause? My stepmom uses us only as a cleaning tool and treats us as slaves. We are denied fundamental activities and friendships. The answer
    for us is always NO. When we work our asses off all day. What can I do for immediate help?

  • #2
    Re: Can CPS help with an "abusive" Step-mother?

    Hi there –

    Thank you for reaching out to NRS for help with your situation. Sometimes asking for help can be a difficult first step and we’re so happy that you’ve taken that step to help yourself. No one deserves to feel depressed or suicidal and we hope to help you the best we can.

    One important thing is keeping yourself safe. Have you talked to anyone about your depression and suicidal thoughts? Talking to someone can help greatly when dealing with these feelings. You can call the National Suicide Hotline 24/7 if you are ever feeling this way again. Their number is: 1-800-273-TALK. Another such hotline that could give you some information about making your case with Child Protective Services is Child Help USA: 1-800-422-4453.

    You asked about immediate help. We are not legal experts here at NRS, but we can try to give you some general advice. You can definitely call your area’s Child Protective Services to report the emotional and verbal abuse that has been happening in your home. Check out this link for a guide to CPS phone numbers by state: Practices and procedures followed by police and Child Protective Services vary greatly by location. Most likely, CPS will then open a case, assign you a caseworker, and they will follow up and investigate your situation. Again, this may take some time, but may also help to show that emotional and verbal abuse has occurred when it comes to any sort of custody proceedings in court to try to get back to your mom.

    If you are thinking about running away to your mom’s house, we want to make sure you are informed about what could happen. Your dad could file a runaway report with the police. If the police then are able to locate you, they would be required to return you to your father’s home. We have heard that sometimes police will not accept a runaway report on a 17 year old since it is close to 18, but this varies greatly by location. If you wanted to get a little more information, you could try calling your local police station and ask them if they accept runaway reports on 17 year olds. You can make this call anonymously, you do not have to provide the police with your name.

    We wish you the best of luck and encourage you to call us on our 24/7 hotline if you wish to discuss your situation a little more or just need someone to talk to. We have additional services we could offer you such as a conference call with your parents if you think this might help to have us on the phone line as you talk to them.

    Take care,
    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)


    • #3
      My step mom is always abusing her son aka my step brother only when he “does something wrong”or is “disrespectful”. I want to only live with my mom only because I don’t feel depressed at my moms and my dad doesn’t do anything about it and tells us she’s not abusing him she’s disaplaning him. And I want to call the police because I can’t live like this and I want her to go to jail and I only want to live with mom. And she hit him with a broom in his stomach


      • ccsmod6
        ccsmod6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that your step mother is treating you and your step brother in such a hurtful manner and that you are so depressed living with her. While your dad may be right that your stepmom is disciplining your stepbrother, disciplining can go too far and can be abusive. While we are not the deciders on what is or is not abuse, if anyone is getting “hit with a broom in the stomach” then that seems like it could very well be considered abuse. It might be worth it for you to contact the National Child Abuse Hotline and talk to them about what’s going on. They would be able to provide you a more precise understanding of what qualifies as abuse and how to deal with it. They are reachable at 1-800-422-4453 or at You can also feel free to call out to us if you want to talk more about your situation and what other options you have. We are reachable by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or by chat at

        Take care,

    • #4
      My stepmother is abusing for me not doing my "chores" Im a 9 year old and getting abused I'm going to run away from her and my loved dad I loved him so much


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello There,

        Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, it takes great courage to reach out and we are so glad that you have decided to reach out to us.

        You do not deserve to be abused in any type of way and we are sorry that you are dealing with that. You do have every right to file an abuse report if you wish. One option to consider would be to call Child Help at : 1800-422-4453, and they would help with filing a report. Another option would be to speak to a school counselor and they can help you with an abuse report. Lastly, you can call us and we would be able to help with an abuse report over the phone or over chat.

        We know you mentioned wanting to run away, we are not legal experts but we do have some information on what could happen. If you were to runaway your legal guardian could file a runaway report and if the police were to find you, they may bring you back home. If you were to mention the abuse they may do an investigation to decide what would be best. You could consider talking to your dad about the abuse and see what he suggests.

        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 for you 24/7, best of luck!
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