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NSW 15-year-old Sister-in-law Running Away and Taking Drugs - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Michelle1611, 9 March 2016.

  1. Michelle1611

    Michelle1611 Member

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    So my 15-year-old sister-in-law is constantly running away. This isn't the usual running away situation.

    She originally started running away because her parents wouldn't buy her cigarettes. She is now running away to a person's house just down the road from her parents and everywhere all over town taking drugs, living with a drug dealer and having sex with 30+-year-old men. She has accused her father or raping and beating her (which is a complete load of crap). The only time she comes home is around holiday times to get presents or when the drug dealer she is living with kicks her out.

    We have been there multiple times to collect her and she just screams at us and says that me and her brother (my husband) are assaulting and harassing her. We have phoned the police multiple times who usually don't show up to the scene or don't remove her from the premesis even after we have told them (and they know) that the owner of the house is a drug dealer and she is having underage sex (which we believe is forced). No matter what we do, the police think we are the problem.

    She comes from a nice family and we are all well respected. We just want her home and safe and not using but the police won't listen. We believe she is also bipolar but nothing. The drug dealer's brother pinned my husband up against a wall by his throat and when we reported it, they did not say a thing. But as soon as my father-in-law got angry and pushed the drug dealer he was charged with assault.

    We need help desperately because I don't want my daughter to grow up not knowing her aunty and, unfortunately, her parents aren't ready to let her hit rock bottom as they could never turn their back on their child.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    This is essentially a social issue however there are a few legal issues which arise:

    Firstly the law recognises that as children get older, they have the right to make decisions for themselves. 15-year-olds can legally leave school, get a medicare card, get full time employment, apply for Centrelink benefits. They cannot legally have sex, get prescription contraceptives or consent to medical procedures without parental permission until they are 16. Therefore, the fact that she has moved out, is not living at home and not going to school is nothing you can legally prevent.

    However, if she is sexually active, taking drugs or engaged in other illegal behaviour, criminal law issues arise both for those who are involved with her and she herself. However finding proof of the sexual activity without her testimony is difficult, and you may not wish to dob your family member in to be picked up by police for drugs which may drum some sense of reality into her but may also leave her with a criminal record.

    As I said, there are legal issues scattered within this problem but at its heart it is a social issue and should perhaps be primarily dealt with from that angle.
     

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