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Leaving home

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  • Leaving home

    My parents are controlling, they show up to work to try to get me fired, they insist i quit and say as my parents the can force me. Our house has roaches and animal fecal matter everywhere. I just want to leave, i have a had a job for over a year, i have paid for my food, my own phone, which my parents have decided to take the liberty of going through, my parents are unstable, and my mom, i suspect is on drugs, recently she followed my gf home, after their parent asked them to not come over, and has threatend her with rape charges even though we are both seventeen the age of consent. I DO NOT wish to file a social services report, my younger sister does not have any problems with them, even though she engages with sexual activty with her boyfreind, i am the one who gets hell from them. I know running away is a drastic offense, but i have a job, a stable job, and a chance for a management postion, i also have the money for rent and a car. a bus pas, mostly due to gas prices, i have and mantain my own food, and have for the past year and a half, paid for my food clothing, and ect. i plan on staying in school or getting my G.E.D under these circamstances, is this considered implied emancpation, or what steps could i get for empancaption, and as long as im in school and supporting myself, and my away life is better than the home life i could have had, will the police force me home.. and if they force me into an unstable enviorment is that child endargment. also my gf is ill, and stress causes her to become really sick, and my parents showing up put her in the hostpital, personally i believe a parent is someone who cares about my happiness over there personal gain.

  • #2
    Re: Leaving home


    We’re glad you decided to reach out to the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like you are going through an incredibly difficult situation right now. We are sorry to hear of the conditions of your house. Everyone deserves to live in a safe environment. We are not affiliated with Child Protective Services, but they may see roaches and animal fecal matter in a home as neglect. Even if they got involved, they do not always remove children/youth from the home, but may require mandatory counseling, contracts, etc. You mention you do not want to file a social services report and we respect that; however, if you ever change your mind we are also here to help you through that process.

    We are not legal experts, but we can provide some general responses to some of the things you mention. Some states do offer emancipation which would most likely involve you and your parents going to court.
    Since we do not know your state, we cannot be sure if you state offers a formal emancipation process or not. However, the most common requirements are: 1. Be at least 15 or 16 years of age. (This can vary.) 2. Maintain a legal source of income/show you are financially secure. 3. Live separate/ apart from parent(s)/guardian(s) with their acceptance/acquiescence. 4. Obtain (or be in the process of obtaining) a GED or High School diploma.

    It sounds like you’ve taken on a lot of responsibility to meet your own needs. You seem like a very intelligent and resourceful person who is just trying to figure out possible options. We cannot tell you what to do, but we can discuss what might happen if you choose to leave home. Most states still recognize 17 as a minor, but some states see it as more of a gray area. If your parents are able to file a runaway report and police do come across you, they typically would just take you home. However, if you insist you do not want to go, they may give other options such as shelter or another family member. Still, we cannot say for certain since it would ultimately be up to them as law enforcement.

    If you’d like to continue discussing your situation, you are more than welcome to contact us directly either through our Live Chat (big red button at from 4:30 to 11:30 pm CST or 24/7 by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We hope that helps and that you’re able to keep yourself safe in the meantime. Best of luck!

    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!


    • #3
      further for above

      My biggest issue is, if i call i do not want them to know it was me.And my little sister doesn't want dfs involved. i live in missouri, and i have heard that since i am 17 they can't force me home because runaway is a status offence


      • #4
        My biggest issue is, can they legally force me to quit my job, and if they refuse to transport me to work,can i legally find a ride without the person driving me to work getting in trouble, also how would i start a legal emanciption process. i do reside in missouri....i personally would rather not have to run away, but become my own legal gaurdian


        • #5
          Re: ADVICE

          Hello, and thank you for getting back to us about your situation. It sounds like you are concerned that your family will know if you choose to call us. Just so you are aware, it is free to call us from any phone, including pay phones. One option may be to contact us from a phone your family does not have access to, in order to preserve your privacy and confidentiality. Another option may be to use our online chat program, which is open every day from 4:30pm to 11:30pm (Central) at – look for the big red button on the home page to get started.

          It also sounds like you are wondering about your legal rights. We are not attorneys, so we can’t offer legal advice. Generally speaking, a person is a minor until they reach the “age of majority” in their state (usually 18 years old). If a minor leaves home without the permission of their legal guardian, they are typically considered a runaway, and the police will usually return that person to their legal guardian’s home. However, the laws may be different where you live. One way to find out what the laws are where you live might be to contact an attorney. We have a database of resources which includes attorneys who donate their time, and social service agencies that provide legal advice too.

          In addition, you mention that you want to become emancipated. Missouri does not have a formal statute for the emancipation of a minor, but a minor at least 16 years old may be considered emancipated when he/she meets the following conditions:

          1) Married with the consent of parent or legal guardian
          2) Has been declared emancipated by the court
          3) Is on active duty in the armed forces
          4) Has written consent of emancipation from parent or legal guardian

          In Missouri, an agency that provides legal advice to people in need is called Youth Services. They should be able to discuss your questions about becoming your own guardian, as well as other legal issues. They have 4 offices in Missouri. You don’t have to live in the same city to call them.

          Youth Services Lawson: 816-296-3571
          Youth Services Poplar Bluff: 573-840-9540
          Youth Services Springfield: 417-895-6485
          Youth Services St. Louis: 314-340-6904

          Hopefully, if you choose to contact them, they can help you answer your questions.

          Finally, you can always give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929). We can be reached 24 hours a day, every day. If you are concerned about privacy, you can try and find a pay phone, or borrow a phone from someone. Our chat program is open every day from 4:30pm to 11:30pm (Central) at too.

          We’re glad you decided to contact us today. We wish you the best.

          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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