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Need Help For Friend

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  • Need Help For Friend

    I am asking this question for a friend.

    She recently posted this on a web board....I'm going to post it here.

    from the time i was 6 months or so to the time i was 9 and a half i was tortured- i mean literally tortured, i once looked up what was done to me online- by my brother's "father". (started at about 6 months because that's when my "mother" met him.) i was about a year & 3 months old when my brother was born, i assume it started right away for him. we all lived in "his" house from the time i was about 6 months to the time i was 4 or 5. well, "she" & i did, i don't know for sure when "she" got my brother out. but anyway they had a court custody battle, i don't think what happened to us came up, & the judge said "he" had to have my brother on weekends (but not me because i wasn't "his" kid). "she" made me go w/my brother on the weekends, what was done to us as infants and toddlers continued. at about 9 1/2 i hit puberty, so "she" stopped giving him access to me, while making my brother continue to go over there, now alone. i don't remember how the weekend plans change came about, didn't even realize why until about age 14, & even then didn't realize the reasons for THAT until recently. (upon entering puberty i was able to get pregnant- "he" wasn't having sex w/us, but i wouldn't put it past him had i continued to visit while developing...i put it past him because what he did to us was as bad as, if not worse than, rape- & if i got pregnant, especially once someone found out how, "she" would lose custody of 1 if not both of us, then would have to get up & get a job if she wanted food & cigarettes.) so anyway, at 9 1/2 i was free physically, while my brother not only wasn't, but was now suffering alone. i am now almost 18. in december of '07 my brother was forced to move in w/"him". until then the thought of what happened to us, what he was still going through, never entered my mind. never. when we were growing up there were fridays he would beg our "mother" not to make him go over there, i would witness him begging, & still nothing occured to me, despite the fact that the begging never worked. that's how shut down i was mentally from all the trauma. my brother recently stopped by when they were passing through. i asked if he wanted to live w/"him". he just shrugged. what happened to us was so traumatic that to this day i do not put it into words inside my own mind, & i know my brother doesn't. therefore i can't write it sown,& even if i could, no social worker would understand, it was such an unusual form of torture, & used so long ago in history. i thought about having him go to a shelter ot something since he probably can't go into foster care, but not only do i have to get him to take action once in it, what would he do? how would he stay hidden from all looking for him? any other ideas aside from social workers & shelters? any ideas on how to be successful in a shelter? (yes, i know, it's an oxymoron.)
    What I want to know is, if you're under 18, will a shelter let you in knowing you're a runaway & not tell your parents or authorities where you are?

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Need Help For Friend

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. Your friend is lucky to have such a great friend looking out for her. It sounds like she and her brother have been through some pretty traumatic experiences. Your friend (and her brother) are both welcome to contact us whether that is through our bulletin board or by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are mandated reporters so if we get all identifying information (like names, addresses, phone numbers, city/state, etc.) then we would have to file an abuse report with Child Protective Services (CPS). However, because we are a hotline, oftentimes we do not get all that information.

    In regards to shelters, they are generally going to have to contact/ gain consent from a parent/guardian anywhere from immediately to 72 hours. Running away is not usually considered a crime, but harboring a runaway is, so shelters have to protect themselves legally. In situations where there is reported abuse, they may have to get CPS involved as well. We have provided a link if your friend feels that a shelter would be an option for her brother or herself. Runaway and homeless youth shelters generally accept under 18 and a few are up to age 21. If you do not see one nearby you are welcome to give us a call and we can see if there is anything else in the area. ... locate.htm

    If your friend has not had success with social workers, there is an organization that can advocate for children and youth involved with the system. They are called Justice for Children and can be reached at 1-800-733-0059. Another option might be calling Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453, which is an information only hotline for abuse.

    If your friend (or brother) change their minds and want to file an abuse report, we can go through that process with them by either taking down a report or conference calling with CPS. Of course that would be up to them unless we get identifying information as we mentioned above. We are not here to tell anyone what to do or how to face such a difficult situation, but we are always here to talk about things. We encourage you to either call yourself or pass along our number if you have any further questions. We commend you for trying to get some answers for your friend. Best of luck!

    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!


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