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  • Almost ready but not quite...

    First off I'm 15 currently in school and have one tight knit group of friends who know about my situation and I know will not even speak of it to anyone.

    I've been living in Apple Valley, California with both of my parents and my somewhat mentally impaired grandfather for almost 5 years(with my grandfather only 1) now and am currently working on getting myself in shape for when I leave during summer break as my parents will both be at work during the day and my grandfather takes frequent walks to keep in shape. Nevermind some of this pointless information but I feel I need to say it lest I forget to point something out. I will be leaving to Vancouver, Canada for (what I hope to be) the remainder of my life. I have been researching every nook and cranny of that place for the past year and am fully prepared to leave when the time is right but have a few questions before I decide to leave.

    First off,

    1.) I will be carrying most of my stuff in a bag similar to a duffel bag or sports bag. Is that to big and noticeable?

    2.) I will also be bringing about $500 dollars with me. Would you recommend more or less?

    3.) I plan on leaving a note for my parents, telling my friends via phone and then possibly bringing my phone if I can get a different sim chip for it in time. Is this a risky move?

    4.) My dad works for the military and has bringing home MRE's which could prove a very vital source of nutrients if needed but I would only be able to take one. Should I? Or should I save space for other things?

    5.) I currently have braces and don't know what problems I would have without them... Should I take them off or leave them on?

    If you could please answer these questions and leave a few of your own I would largely appreciate it.

  • #2
    RE: Almost ready but not quite...

    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have been exploring options of independent living to escape from something happening at home. You asked some very important questions that we unfortunately cannot answer. It is great that you want to prepare as best as you can to ensure your safety and well-being if you plan to leave home. However, an important thing to keep in mind is that since you are a minor, your parents could file a missing person or runaway report. We are not legal experts on this, however, if you left home and a report was filed, the police would generally bring you back home. Until you reach the age of majority (18 in most states), your parents are legally responsible for you meaning that you are not allowed to leave home. The act of running away is not a criminal offense but considered a status offense. Additionally, where ever you may stay other than with your legal guardian(s), such as a friend or other family members, those individuals may be charged with harboring a runaway and face legal problems. It is often best to contact your local non-emergency police department to inquire more about how they handle runaway cases as well as individuals who may be involved with assisting a runaway in your area.

    You mentioned sharing your situation with friends whom you trust which is great to hear that you have a support system close to home, but it also sounds like maybe talking about it with someone else may be beneficial to you. We are always here 24/7 to talk about what you are going through and maybe explore some alternative options. We provide a confidential and non-judgmental space. Canada is quite a distance from home away from trusted support. It seems like you want to cover all bases and thoroughly explore your options before leaving which is very important. Leaving home is a big step that can be thrilling but scary as well. It is important to think about your safety and how you will survive which is something that you have already been exploring. Some questions that you can ask yourself are:

    What else can I do to improve my home situation before I leave?
    What would make me stay at home?
    How will I survive (food, money, shelter, bathroom, clothes, etc)?
    What will I do about school?
    Is running away safe? How will I keep safe if in a dangerous situation?
    Who can I count on to help me?
    Have I given this enough thought?
    What are my other options?
    If I end up in trouble, who will I call?
    When I return home, what will happen?

    It seems that you were looking for concrete answers, but again we unfortunately cannot tell you what you can/cannot do or should/should not do. We are here to help explore ways to better your situation and how to keep you safe if/when you needed to leave home to ensure your safety and well-being. You know your situation best and what is best for you. As stated earlier, we can provide you the space to talk about what you are experiencing and explore some options more. You can contact us directly by phone 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY or by our live chat service every day during the hours of 4:30pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time. You can access chat and other important information at http://www.1800runaway.org/

    We hope this helps and look forward to hearing from you.

    Best of luck and take care,
    NRS
    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)

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