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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"

    Hello,
    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,
    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #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 ?

      Comment


      • 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 sexect.org. 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!
        NRS

    • #4
      I am 19 years old and I have had many thoughs about running away from home, since I was 15 my parents began to emotionally abuse me. And for so long I tried to justify their behavior because even when people treat me horribly I see things from their point of view, but it has gotten to the point where I am getting sick and tired of it. I have applied to at least 30 jobs to try and save money so that I can leave home. But, it is very difficult considering how things are right now. And my mom continues to call a stupid, useless, lazy person: she also constantly tells me she can't wait for me to leave. And my parents are very strict and religious they dont let me go out unless they know who I am going with, and where. And they constantly act like I am still 15, treating me like a kid and calling me irresponsible. I have even confronted them multiple times about how it makes me feel the way they talk to me and it is always aparent that they just dont care and when they do say they will try they always forget and try to guilt trip me when I speak up to tell them. Even when I tell them what they are doing is wrong they tell me it is disrespectful and that I should learn to stay quiet, but I cant take this anymore and I want to runaway and start fresh. I cant keep living in a toxic household where everything turns into an argument with my parents and they almost always blame me even though they usually start the argument. My parents also never left me have my phone on me even saying that it should only be used when I am not home which is usually 8 times a month when they see it fit for me to have my phone. As the oldest brother of three brothers and one sister I want to be able to know that I wont hurt them by leaving.

      Comment


      • ccsmod16
        ccsmod16 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We appreciate you telling us a bit about what’s been going on.
        It sounds like things have been really difficult at home. It would be hard to be an adult but be so limited with what you’re able to do. It sounds especially hard that you’re unable to find a job. Things are really tough right now, it is understandable that you’d be feeling so down.
        We’re sorry you’re having a hard time finding a job. That sounds very frustrating. Once you’re able to secure a reliable income, it sounds like you’d be interested in leaving home. It might be good to start planning now, even if the money isn’t there, but to have an idea of where you’d like to go or who you’d like to live with. Splitting rent somewhere would be a way to save some money. It might be good to start reaching out to friends, if you can.
        You mentioned you don’t want to leave if you would be hurting your parents. While it is clear you don’t wish your parents harm, you leaving your house to start you life is something that you do for yourself, not them. If you need to do it then it is not for them to decide. It sounds like a lot of complicated emotion going on right now and that is ok.
        If you’d like to talk about this further, please feel free to reach out to us! We have a 24/7 live chat on our website at www.1800runaway.org, which might be your best option if you’re unable to use a phone. Otherwise we wish you the best of luck and hope you’re able to find a job soon!
        Best,
        NRS

    • #5
      Hello I was thinking about leaving home I am 19 and I don’t want to be around my family because my family is very toxic. They are also controlling alll the time they tell me I can’t spend my money on whatever I want and they end up spending it themselves. I’m always the one blamed when something comes up missing. I was gone go and live with my boyfriend for a couple of days til I got on my feet and got a job. I was thinking about leaving tonight or tomorrow morning while there sleeping. But I don’t want my mom calling the cops or trying to claim that I’m hurt and missing so they can take me back home. I don’t want them posting on social media that I’m missing and have people looking for me. I was just wondering since I’m 19 Could I leave and not go to jail or nothing or the police have my boyfriend involved for helping me leave.

      Comment


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 commented
        Editing a comment
        Since you are 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.

    • #6
      Hello,
      I'm writing this post for my gf who is 19, but is a senior in High School in the state of Texas. She lives with her mom who treats her like crap. They call her terrible names, like she's a dumb*****, worthless child, lazy, and other stuff. Her mother makes her do all the house work and take responsibility of her little sister and my gf's brother's kids. So the mom doesn't do nothing at home, but just talk down to my gf and get mad at her all day. My gf can't even go have fun with friends or me because her mom doesn't allow it. My gf has been feeling really down as of late because of this and I told her if she's had enough to run away and live with my family. She says she scared because her mother might involve the police or her abusive father(which is divorced from the mother). I'm just wondering if there would be any legal problems if this were to happen. I really want to help my gf and get her out, because she seems more depressed every week that passes by. Please give me information in what we could do to better her situation.

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks so much for reaching out. It can be really hard to have a friend or love one in an abusive situation, and it shows how much you care for her that you’re helping your girlfriend research all her options.

        We’re not legal experts, but since the age of majority in Texas is 18, your gf does not legally need her parents’ permission to leave home. She is a legal adult and has the right to go where she wants. If she left home and her mom contacted the police, there is nothing they could do since she would not be considered a runaway and is not doing anything illegal. One option to think about that might put her mind at ease is to contact the non-emergency number of your local police department and confirm this with them.

        Another resource that may be helpful is the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or via chat at https://www.thehotline.org/. They can help her come up with a plan to leave home safely and keep herself safe from harm while she is in the home. If she is ever in physical danger, you or she can also call 911 at any time.

        Something else to think about is finding support and care for both you and your gf. This type of situation can be incredibly stressful and even traumatic, and having a professional to listen and help process can make a big difference. At NRS, we are here for you 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 if you’d like to look for mental health resources in your area or brainstorm other options. Thanks again for reaching out to NRS, and stay strong.

    • #7
      Hello I am 26 years old and I’m on here to get some advice. My little brother is 19 and ran away from home. Hes done this to us like 3 times already. I’m worried because he has depression and anxiety. I think he disconnected his phone because when we call him it says the number is not in service. He hasn’t reached out to us to let us know he’s safe. Thats all we want to know , my parents are super worried so what can we do about the situation? We never treat him bad , yes we bicker at times like any sibling would but nothing aggressive. I miss Him and hope he’s ok.

      Comment


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there. Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS, and we're sorry to hear that your little brother has left home. It's definitely understandable that you're worried about him. What makes this a bit tricky is that because of his age, he's not technically considered a runaway. If you think he might be more vulnerable due to an undiagnosed mental health concern (or for any other reasons), you can contact your local law enforcement agency to see about filing a missing persons report. During this process, you'll be required to share a lot of information about your brother, including things like his physical characteristics, his date of birth, his height and weight, what he was wearing when he left, any distinguishing marks, if something happened that might've led up to him leaving, etc.

        Aside from this, it might be helpful to try and touch base with any friends that he might have, visit his workplace, or check out his social media accounts. If there is someone in the family that he's more prone to talking to, it could be helpful to have them reach out to him through social media. It might also help to think back on the past few times that he ran away. Do you know where he went or what he did? Did he stay with someone during those times? How did he survive then? As you think about those questions and through those times, you might find something that jumps out at you.

        Please feel free to reach out if you have any additional questions. We're available 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY and chat at www.1800runaway.org.

        Take care.

        NRS

    • #8
      I'm a 19-year-old woman and my mom made an appointment for me without me and told me last minute and I told her I didn't want to take it and she said she will kick me out of the house and make me live with my dad and that I will never see my boyfriend again and if anyone tries to see me she will call the police. my father agrees with her and he was my only other option but he's the same way very controlling and very religious and more worried about his new family and doesn't want to take me in and doesn't believe my mom is crazy nuts. other than that I was planning to go with my boyfriend but I have my dog and I wanna take my phone and computer and she wants me to leave those stuff since she bought them for me so if I leave my house can I take those items or will I get in trouble as well as when I leave is it true I can call a cop to escort me out my house safely or? and if my mom tries to call the cops what do are they gonna ask her or tell her to do. if i do go with my boyfriend and my mom comes after me what do i do if she follows me to my boyfriend's house?

      Comment


      • ccsmod8
        ccsmod8 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway (NRS). We’re sorry you’re experiencing trouble at home.

        You're asking a good question. We aren't legal experts, but we are able to speak generally as to what might happen if you decide leave without your mom's permission. In many states that age of majority is 18 and over. You will have to check with age is considered the age of majority “legal adult” for your state. That means you gain legal responsibility for yourself and that you get to do what you want with your money and you get to decide where you want to live. If you do decide to leave, your mom has the right to file a missing person report with the police, but they would not make you go back home. Usually what you would have to do with a missing person’s report is just call the police station and tell them that you are not actually missing. Your mom doesn’t have any legal rights to make you come back home.

        Now, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any consequences for leaving. Thinking through what that will do to your relationship with your mother can be a good next step for you. It’s great that you’re working through what happens next. Additionally, if there are items that your mother and purchased and you want to take them that will be a conversation that the two of you must analyze to see what the best course of action is. Another option to consider is a conference call. This is service that we provide if you feel you need a third party on the line while having a conversation with your mom. Communicating how you feel to your family is not always easy and we would be happy to provide support.

        We hope this helps you make an informed decision. If you‘d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen support you in any way we can.

    • #9
      im 19 years old, and ive decided to run away from my college. due to the private college i attend, i am not accepted for my sexual orientation. i recently got in a lot of trouble and decided to spill something about someone who hurt me because i knew i was going to leave. i am currently talking to a friend about living with her in another state. i have a friend here who knows where i will be and that i will be safe, im planning to disconnect my phone and ive written a letter that i will leave on my bed here at my college. im planning on leaving tomorrow. my parents do not know and im not planning to tell them. they'll find out through the letter. is there any advice?

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. You made a great first step to finding the help that you may need. It sounds like you are going through a lot, its good to know you have a friend who is being supportive. You deserve to be treated with respect, to experience acceptance and to feel safe.

        We want you to know that you are strong for having gone through so much already. It is perfectly okay to deviate from what others or the common population believe to be “normal”. You’re bravery and resilience is so admirable. You are so strong for having gone through so much without having the acceptance that you do deserve for just being you. Remember that you are not alone. If you ever want to talk more about what you are experiencing or get additional support we are here 24/7 at 1800-RUNAWAY or our live chat service. The GLBT National Hotline at 1888-843-4564 is another option to gain great support from those that are familiar with the issues and experiences of those that are also a part of the LGBTQ community. You can access their website link bellow to utilize all the other possibly useful resources they have to offer: http://www.glbthotline.org/

        You mentioned that you were considering the options that may be best for you. By all means, if you do fear for your safety either now or in the future, do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to regain your safety. This may mean calling the authorities or possibly reporting the things you may be experiencing. Other options to think about may be other family members or friends that would be able to provide you with support or a safe place to stay. It is great that you thinking ahead. Should you feel like leaving your campus is best, it may be a good idea to think about how you will provide necessities for yourself such as food, clothing, showers, healthcare and other basic needs. You may want to also consider how your parent’s will react to you leaving. Since you are 19, your considered an adult in most states so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about runaway laws but we do offer a message service over the phone to leave messages such as “I’m safe” to your parents if you would like to update them indirectly.

        If you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or reach out through Live Chat we can try to find some youth shelters that may be near your city and state by utilizing our database of resources. We can also try to call out to shelters with you or on your behalf to advocate for you.

        Stay Strong,
        NRS

    • #10
      I’m 19 years old and I need to leave home for good. My parents are extremely emotionally and mentally abusive towards me and they are very controlling. They constantly treat me like a child and make all my decisions for me and I’m not allowed to say anything or question them. I’m not allowed to talk to anyone outside of my family, I’m not allowed to wear certain clothes, I’m not allowed to wear any makeup, and I’m not allowed to make any decisions by myself and I mean from little things like what I’m allowed to buy to things like using certain toothpaste. I’m also not allowed to get a job and I don’t have a car because they don’t trust me. They are very very religious and my father has been sexually abusing me for years and none of my family members believe. It has recently stopped but my mother has made me delete the little proof I had. I don’t have friends that I can stay with except maybe my friend from high school but we barely talk because I have to be sneaky so my parents don’t find out. I don’t know for sure if her parents would let me stay with them and I don’t have anywhere else to go. I don’t want to live on the streets because it is very dangerous but since I am 19 I don’t know if there are any youth programs that would help me. I don’t know where to go or what to do is there any advice?

      Comment


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. 
        Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We are so sorry to hear that you have experienced sexual violence. You do not deserve to have this happen to you, and you deserve to be believed and supported. One really great resource for all survivors of sexual assault or abuse is RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). You can call them any time 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673, or go to www.rainn.org to use their online hotline. RAINN is the National Sexual Assault Hotline and has a lot of services, support and resources that you may find helpful.

        Since you are 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live.  We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living.

        You can contact NRS anytime by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY or through the live chat if you would like to talk more or want help searching for housing resources in your area.

        Take care,
        NRS

    • #11
      Hi i'm 19 years old and still in high school this is my last year. I can not deal with my parents anymore they treat me like a child like if i'm 13 years old I need help if I was to leave the house and find a phone can I call the cops and tell them that I want to get the rest of my things for there can they come with me to get my things. I also have another question can I sue my parents at 19 years old.

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws, the police, and legal policies.

        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. Since you are 19, it is technically legal for you to leave home without parental permission. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions, along with questions about getting your belongings from home. In regards to suing your parents, you are able to sue your parents for issues such as neglect or failure to provide food / medical care. In most cases, you will need evidence of their lack of care, and the process can take lengthy amounts of time. Legal aid may also be a helpful resource for more information on this.

        We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

        Be safe,

        NRS
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