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15, runaway to shelter?

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  • 15, runaway to shelter?

    I'm currently 15 and my parents are extremely physically and emotionally abusive. I've heard about runaway centers for teens but always thought of them as a backup until today when my mom hit me so hard my ear wouldn't stop ringing for the next half an hour. Earlier, she did things like put knives on me and threaten to take my life. Tmr im gonna go to school and not come back home. The question is if I should trust runaway shelters? I dont want to be homeless

    If the police get a missing report for me, can they force me back home? I live in WA state

    If I tell the police and shelter about the abuse, would they believe me, I have no evidence at all.

    If I tell them about the abuse, would the police still force me back home?

    I am an immigrant and I don't have a green card, only a work permit, all my family has an asylum case applied, will I need them for that?

    What documents do I need to grab?

    Can I continue to go to my current school, will they be allowed to see me there?

    Will they still get emails from my school as my "legal guardians"?

    Can I really trust these shelters, I really dont want to go back home.

    Calling cps is not an option, they have already been alerted multiple times and they have ignored it so i expect nothing from them
    I dont want the shelters to turn out like cps did.
    What is the lifestyle for these shelters? I still want to be successful in the future.

    Please help me

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions around topics like pending asylum cases and documentation. For additional information as to how this could affect schooling, it may be helpful to consider talking to a trusted adult like a school counselor, social work, or a teacher that you feel safe with.

    If you’re feeling unsafe and need a safe place to go and talk to someone, you may wish to visit The National Safeplace website ( This organization provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. You can look up your city and state to see if there are any safe places near you listed. So that is always an option if you feel like talking to someone in person about what has been going on or if you just need of a safe place to stay. You can also use their TXT 4 HELP free service offered to all youth in crisis. It’s quick, easy, safe, and confidential:
    • Text the word “safe” and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357).
    • Within seconds, you will receive a message with the closest Safe Place site and phone number for the local youth agency.
    • For immediate help, reply with “2chat” to text interactively with a trained counselor. 
    You are not alone in this. We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

    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, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

    Be 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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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