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My mother has full custody but her husband is abusive- how can i get out legally?

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  • My mother has full custody but her husband is abusive- how can i get out legally?

    i (f16) live full time with my mother, stepfather, and brother in texas. my stepfather is abusive and makes me feel unsafe and very uncomfortable. for example, he will touch my ass and make inappropriate comments towards me like “i know u like it”. about two weeks ago, he was calling me a whore and i raised my voice to defend myself. he responded by throwing a bottle of soap, a metal paper towel holder, and a spatula at me, before coming across the kitchen, grabbing me by the neck and slamming me repeatedly into the wall. this is just recent examples.
    my father lives in colorado and has been given visitation rights to me (he is not allowed to contact my brother) but does not often use them. i have lived with my father before and it was still ********ty but much much better than living here. i am very unhappy where i am and wish to move out but cannot get a job so i cant get emancipated. i have a friend (1 who has her own apartment and said i can live there if i pay half the rent. i know my stepdad will not let me move out but my dad said i could finish junior year in texas if he has custody of me and stay with me friend and then move back to colorado after school ends. is there any way i can prove to the courts that living with my dad is the best option? can i run away and live with my friend??

  • #2
    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing a little bit about what you are going through. Please know that you absolutely do not deserve to be abused in any way. Your stepfather's behavior is absolutely wrong -- deplorable, even. You have the right to file an abuse report against him for both physical and sexual abuse. In Texas you can do that by calling the Texas Abuse Hotline at 1-800-252-5400. You can also file through us if you call or chat with us or through (1-800-422-4453).

    Whether you decide to report or not is completely up to you. If you decide to report this will lead to an investigation by child protective services. They would likely talk to you, your mom, stepdad, and anyone else in the family that might know what is going on. While there is no guarantee, it is possible you would be removed from the home and placed in a safe environment.

    You may also find it helpful to talk to other people you trust about what is going on at home. That could be a teacher, school counselor, religious leader, mentor, or any adult you feel comfortable talking to. If you don't have anyone you know that you can talk to about this it may be helpful to reach out to confidential hotlines like ours where you can freely discuss what is going on. You may find it helpful to reach out to (1-800-656-4673). They are trained to talk with people who have been through the sort of abuse you have endured. Please think about getting whatever help you need. Opening up may take some courage, but it is well worth it. You are very brave to already share what you have. Sometimes talking to another voice helps, so please consider calling if that is an option for you.

    As for your question about living with a friend or with your dad: The easiest way to do this would be to simply get permission from your mom. If that isn't an option remember that filing an abuse report about what is going on at home may be a factor in the courts placing you to live with your biological father. Or it's possible your dad can go through the court system to obtain sole legal guardianship of you. We are not legal experts, but you can reach out to the following legal aid organizations for any legal questions you or your dad may have: 1-713-376-4902 1-800-733-8394

    If you ran away to live with your friend it's possible your mom could file a runaway report on you and harboring charges filed against your friend. We can't say for sure whether that would happen or not, but it is a possibility at age 16.

    We hope this information and these resources can help. Remember that we are here for you and you don't have to face this alone. The best way we can help would be for you to call our 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us via the chat button on our website: We hope to hear from you soon!

    Good luck and stay safe,

    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
      Hi there I am mother that has a teenage daughter that is extremely wanting and is set on the whole emancipation thing but absolutely you are of legal age to do so and yes it would be beneficial for police report and child & family service do take report so if & when you ever get hurt or threaten even just have the slightest mark on you REPORT THE INCIDENT AT THAT GIVEN MOMENT when your Abel to do so this way it is documented and you can request the reports to take to the family judge who is handling your custody case so it further gives you more reasoning to get out of an abusive environment but it the meantime your friend whom you want to live with I would have them right a statement which it I's called an AFFIRMATION legal document that you can present to the courts to help support your over goal in you do have support & another friends would be beneficial for you as well starting that you have wide availabilities in support at anytime and even letters from any of your school teachers would differently help just to show how you are in your crucial role show your grades and so forth but I'm not sure in your state of Texas but in Nevada we have emergency motions for change of custody that your father could do but as for the emancipation that does take some time and make sure your ducks are in a row when you do see judge but you can call your local court house law library to ask what motions they have that are available to file for a minor for emancipation or even emergency situations start there hun and go from there the form are pretty straight forward & simple to do I am not a lawyer but I have been studying for my rights as a mother trying to protect my daughter & it's been a mothers worse nightmare to know there child is being abused I feel for you sweetie and i wish you all the best & a safe outcome i hope this little bit of info helps stay strong & continue to voice your rights because you do have legal right being a minor just remember that ok & Great resources from the previous post Thank you


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for your response and sharing your own situation with us. If you would ever like to talk with us in detail please call or chat.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, please call 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
        We hope to hear from you soon.

        Be safe and take care,
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