“I’m 16 and I left home due to emotional and mental abuse.”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

I’m 16 and I left home due to emotional and mental abuse. I was also tired of not being able to be myself and I found myself always faking around my parents. I was never happy and one day we got into a fight and I left. My dad and my step mom haven’t come looking for me and it’s been almost a month. I need to get Ontario works but I’m afraid I do not meet the requirements for it. I have a job but I don’t get many hours, plus I am unable to work at the moment due to back to back concussions. I need help getting the assistants. I am also jumping from my friends houses almost daily so I am basically homeless. I need help. Please help me, I really need it right now.

Answer

I’m really glad that you decided to write to Kids Help Phone to get some information and support because it sounds like you are in a very tough situation right now. I hear that you left home due to “emotional and mental abuse”. I’m sorry to hear that you went through that. Although you are currently away from that environment it sounds like you are still facing challenges – now it’s financial and not having a place to stay. Shortnessbell, I just want to check in with you for a minute. If the age in your profile, by chance, is not correct and you are under the age of 16 you can be reaching out to the Children’s Aid Society (CAS) about what was happening at home – the mental and emotional abuse. CAS is a service that helps to ensure children and free of abuse and neglect. If the age in your profile is correct then CAS isn’t an option for you – but if you have younger siblings at home that are exposed to what you were, CAS can be called about their welfare. If you are over 16 it is your legal right to have left home and to continue living away from home, but I hear that you are struggling with that. When you left home did you have a long term plan for where you would stay or how you would support yourself? How much longer are you able to stay at friends houses? Do their parents/caregivers know about the situation that you are in? If you give us a call (1-800-668-6868) we can provide you with the number in your area to see if you would qualify for financial support. They would be able to talk to you more about the requirements someone would need to meet in order to get Ontario Works. Ontario Works is generally for those 18+, but in special circumstances youth who are 16 or 17 and in full-time school may qualify for support. If you call we can also provide you with the contact information for shelters in the community that you are living so that you can look into this if you are unable to be staying with friends. We can also talk to you more specifically about the sitaution that you are in and how you are doing. We are here 24/7 so I hope that you will give us a call soon to get more information and support. 1-800-668-6868.