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Do I Have To?

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  • Do I Have To?

    I'm 14, live in Maryland and have an abusive stepdad. I left home for New York a few weeks ago, but I was forced to go home. My stepdad STILL gets drunk and puts his hands on me. If I go back up to New York and the police catch me, do I have to go back; or can I stay in a shelter thing?

  • #2
    Re: Do I Have To?

    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us today at the National Runaway Safeline. We know it takes great courage to be able to reach out and share some of your story. We are so sorry to hear you’re being abused. Nobody deserves to go through that. We believe you and want to support you as best as possible through this situation.

    It sounds like you are thinking about leaving home and have some questions about it. You mentioned wanting to go to New York. You have a few options. If you feel comfortable, you could file an abuse report against your step dad. It is always your right to do so. We can support you through this process of filing a report if that is what you decide to do. You could always give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about what this would look like.

    While we are not legal experts, generally speaking if you were to run away, your guardians could file a runaway report. This would mean that if the police were to find you, they would bring you back home. If you did run away and wanted to stay in a shelter, oftentimes the shelter is required to contact your parents to let them know that you’re there.

    You can always give us a call to talk more about your situation and your options. It sounds like you’re going through a difficult time and our hotline is available 24/7 to talk. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We can further discuss your options or provide you with support that way.

    We hope to hear from you soon.

    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)


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