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Kellyanne Conway's Daughter Wants Emancipation After Abuse Allegations

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Editor's Note

If you have experienced emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Following allegations of a false arrest earlier this month, Claudia Conway — daughter of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and lawyer George Conway — shared she is seeking emancipation from her parents. The 15-year-old alleged her parents abused her for years. Her parents announced on Monday they would step down from their respective roles to spend more time with family.

In a series of tweets, Claudia explained that she was seeking emancipation because of the alleged abuse she experienced by her mother and father, which she said included years of physical and emotional abuse.

“i’m officially pushing for emancipation. buckle up because this is probably going to be public one way or another, unfortunately. welcome to my life,” Claudia wrote on Twitter. She followed up by clarifying she was seeking emancipation because of alleged abuse, not because she disagrees with her parents’ political views.

“y’all love to twist everything,” she wrote. “i’m not getting emancipated because of my mom’s job. it is because of years of childhood trauma and abuse.”

Claudia’s announcement was followed by the trending hashtag “She’s 15” on Twitter. Critics said Claudia’s parents should take away her phone, dismissing her allegations as “teenagers being teenagers.” Grown adults also used other derogatory names to belittle Claudia — the same terms used when young girls are sexually assaulted and told they were “asking for it.”

“Already tired of the ‘She’s 15’ as an excuse for punishment or retribution for speaking out against one’s parents,” wrote Twitter user Hiwatt. “I was emancipated when I was 15. Parents can be unfit without being physically abusive. Let a judge decide.”

Emancipation is designed to give minors a path to take over their own legal decision-making before age 18 in cases such as abuse or mistreatment. The laws and requirements for emancipation vary by state. For example, in some states emancipation is available at age 14, while others the minimum age is 16. Often, judges look for proof that you can live on your own, have your own financial resources and are ready to take on the responsibility for your own care.

For those who grew up in a toxic or abusive environment, the decision to emancipate or even later distance yourself from their parents can still be a difficult route, but it can be necessary. Mighty contributor Kimberly M. Wetherell shared that “It’s OK not to have a relationship with [your parents] if you don’t want one.” She added:

You have no responsibility to the people who share your DNA. None. This is as applicable if you’re 14 or 44. If there is a day when you are finally able to throw up your hands and say, ‘Enough!’ it can mean you are taking charge of the feelings and emotions that have been neglected or manipulated or otherwise abused and you are standing up for yourself.

In a video posted to TikTok, Claudia said she wants to officially start the emancipation process in October when she turns 16, and has been in contact with some pro bono lawyers. Claudia also shared on Twitter she was taking a social media break for her mental health, and asked for “no hate to my parents please.”

Kellyanne and George Conway announced their plans to step down from their roles on Monday. Kellyanne will transition from the White House at the end of the month, and will still be speaking at the Repubilcan National Convention. George will step back from the Lincoln Project, a conservative super PAC campaigning against Trump.

A statement released by Kellayanne didn’t address Claudia’s allegations, but highlighted the need to dedicate more time to their four middle- and high-school aged kids starting a new school year online.

“I will be transitioning from the White House at the end of this month. George is also making changes,” Conway wrote. “This is completely my choice and my voice. In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”

Header image via Claudia Conway/Instagram

Originally published: August 24, 2020
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