Re: Some unfortunate things as a Teenager... READ!
That this young man may be being treated poorly is possible. I ran away at 8 for a bloody good reason. I was worried about my survival. Parents and certainly step parents can be monsters.
As far as I can see there are two obvious choices. 1, visit the authorities. But this entails its own problems. 2, run away.
I ran to the bush. But I had already learned how to hunt and fish. I was lucky. I also had a pristine country to escape within. And a slack government that never cared to chase me. This was 1972 Australia after all.
Were I to run away today I would call cattle stations and search out jackaroo positions where a live in position was offered. There must be something like this in the US.