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19 year old "running away"

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  • 19 year old "running away"

    I don't think running away is the right term because I'm 19 years old, so legally I can leave whenever I want. My question is this: because I live with an abusive father, if I decide to leave (like, for a dramatic example, just left in the middle of the night), I know that he would call the cops and try to say I was missing or something. What can the cops do?
    I have a debit card and I would be using it because I'm not trying to stay off the grid or anything, so if they wanted to they could track me down that way. But would the police actually do anything like this? Since I'm not a minor, and there wouldn't be any reason/physical evidence to suggest I was in danger (besides possibly my dad assuming I was).

    Sorry for the longish post, but I really want to make my question clear. The last thing I would want is for me to leave, my dad to freak out to the police and claim something bad happened even though nothing did, and then have them track me down and tell him where I am (even though they can't make me go back home). Also I feel the need to put this in here: I've already thought it through, I understand my situation fully, and yes leaving like this is the only way I can get out of this situation. He will not let me leave in any kind of normal, sane way.

  • #2
    Reply: 19 year old "running away"

    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

    It sounds like you are planning to leave home without notice but you don’t want the police to consider you missing should your father try to file a report.
    You might consider leaving a note to your father explaining that you decided to be on your own.
    You might also check with the police after 24hrs or more have elapsed to see if indeed there is a missing person’s report. You at that time could let them know that you are safe and not missing.
    If you would like to speak more about your situation please contact 1-800-Runaway (786-2929)

    Take care,

    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
      Hi,so I’m planning to run away this Sunday I am 19 years old well would you actually call it running away? And could I catch a charge if I’m 19? I don’t want the police thinking I’m missing I just seriously can’t be here with my parents anymore they still treat me like I’m maybe 14-15 on top of tht my boyfriend just got out of jail and my parents hate him but I love him so my only way to be with him is to pack everything up and leave with him.....i know I’ll be hurting my parents but this isn’t the first time I actually ran away ...I first ran away at the age of 16 of course I came back home but this time it’ll be for good .because I never heard of your parents holding your ID in there Wallet along with my debit card ....this is why I can’t be here I still get treated like a child I love my parents to death but I cannot be here anymore what should I do, because I am leaving Sunday night ?


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello There,
        Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time, being treated like a child is unfair. We are not legal experts but we do have some information on the laws.
        In most states the legal age of majority is 18 years old, to find out the age of majority in your state you can look it up by going to If the age of majority is 18 then it would not be considered running away, if the age of majority is greater than 19 then it would be considered running away. Running away is not criminal offense it is a status offense. What that means is if you leave and the police find you they most likely would bring you home. If the age of majority is 18 or 19 the police nor your parents could do anything and you would legally be allowed to leave home.
        You know your situation the best so only you would know what the best decision for you is. If you are worried about safety you could always call the police for an escort while you leave home. A police escort will make sure you are safe until you leave your parents’ home,
        We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. We wish you the best of luck!
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