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17 and leaving home.

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  • 17 and leaving home.

    I'm 17 and a rising sophomore in college, and I'm currently home for the summer. My family is very emotionally/verbally abusive and after tonight I can't handle it anymore, so for my safety I'm leaving tomorrow. I turn 18 in August, but by then I'll be living in a dorm again on campus at my university. Are there any shelters that would take me? And would my family be able to call the police to drag me back? I live in Columbia, SC, and I know that in South Carolina there are some grey areas about rights at 17. Worst case scenario, I can find a friend to stay with for a bit while I look for a job, but I would hate to have to burden them for the next 2-3 months.

  • #2
    RE: 17 and leaving home.

    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out and posting on our bulletin board. It sounds like things are really tough for you at home. No one deserves to be abused in any way and we're sorry to hear you're suffering from emotional and verbal abuse. You sound like a very mature young woman who knows what she wants.

    We're not legal experts here at NRS so we can't comment on the "gray areas" you spoke of, but we can tell you that the age of minority in SC is 17, so until you're 18, you are legally considered to be your parents' responsibility. This means that the police may be able to take you home if you leave; however, whether they will or not considering your situation is another thing. One way to find out how the police would respond is to call your local non-emergency number and ask them these questions hypothetically. The shelters in your area in our directory do not appear to cater to your age; however, if you're able to get to Charlotte, there are two shelters that accept youth. They will inform your parents within 24-48 hours, however. They are The Relatives (phone: (704) 377-0602) and Alexander Youth Network: (phone: (704) 377-3602). If these don't work out, we can brainstorm other options with you.

    We're here to listen and to help in any way we can. If you'd like to talk further, give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We're available 24/7. Or you can chat with us from 4:30 to 11:30 pm by going to and clicking the red button in the corner. We hope to hear from you soon.

    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!


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