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20 and disabled, I want to run away!

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  • 20 and disabled, I want to run away!

    I'm almost 21, live with my parents, I can't go back to college until my bills are paid, and finding difficulty getting a job. My parents have been treating me differently for the past 5 months. They make me feel very uncomfortable. My disability is that I can't lift my arms. I can type and use computers/phones easily though. I need to get out for my own sanity. I really want to go to California, but I don't even know where to get a place to live or how to get a job. I have only $700. There is literally nobody in my family who can help me or that I can trust to talk to.

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. We are very sorry to hear about the way your parents have been treating you. In most states, when you are over 18 you are considered a legal adult so you wouldn't be considered as a runaway. You could try contacting 311 for local resources that you assist you. You could also try applying to housing assistance through the HUD program ( If you have any other questions or would like additional resources, please contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.
    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
      My girlfriend is 17 gonna be 18 in 5 months she has a heart disability and her mother keeps her caged in the house like an animal and never let's her go and do things her mother doesnt want us together but we love each other and my girlfriend wants to run away but we need to know what can happen if she runs away with me I am 18 years old myself and we would like to know what will happen if a run away leaves home with a disability please and thank you


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello! Thank you so much for reaching out.

        You mentioned that you want to run away with your girlfriend, because her mom treats her horribly, and you guys want to be together. Your girlfriend is very lucky to have you as her support system, and we want you guys to know that you’re not alone. Unfortunately we aren’t legal experts, but in most states anyone under 18 is considered a minor, and the legal guardians are responsible for the youth until the legal age in the city and state. Whoever the minor ends up staying with, may face some charges for harboring a run away. An option you guys can explore would be to wait until she is of legal age, and talk to your guy’s parents then about wanting to move out on your own. With her being 17, it is a gray area since she’s still a minor, so you may want to consider reaching out to your local non-emergency phone number to inquire more about runaway laws in your area.

        Another option you guys may consider, would be to reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1800) 422-4453. If there is physical abuse going on in the home, you guys can report it over the phone, and someone will contact your girlfriend within 48 hours. In the same way, if you or your girlfriend ever want to talk to someone like a counselor  about what you both are going through, you guys have options. You can contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at 1800) 950-6264 and speak with a counselor. 

        We hope that these options can be of some help to you. If you need additional help, or want us to reach out somewhere on your behalf, you can call us 24/7 at 1800)786-2929. Best of luck!

    • #4
      Hi I’m 19 years old plus I am special needs and I want to run away with my girlfriend to get married but my guardian won’t let me marry her until I am 25 but my girlfriend doesn’t want to wait that long what should I do?


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thank you for reaching out; we are so glad that you did. It sounds like you are dealing with a lot right now and balancing conflicting requests from your girlfriend and your guardian. That can be an extremely stressful situation to navigate on your own and we want to help you in the best way we can.

        It sounds like you and your girlfriend care about one another very much. While we are not legal experts, we can speak in general terms. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual can leave their home (and make other legal decisions) without the consent of their parent or guardian. Laws vary depending on your location and your and your girlfriend’s statuses as dependents. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

        However, it may be helpful to have a fuller conversation to discuss additional options, so we hope that you will reach out via chat through this website or on our phone hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY to talk this through. We are here to help 24/7. We truly hope to hear from you soon.


    • #5
      Hello, I am 21 years old. I am disabled with a multitude of premature birth defects(COPD, bronchitis, asthma, bilateral vocal chord paralysis). I want to leave home, but I feel like if I do then I will not survive for long. What services should I seek for job placement and housing? I am thinking of running away. My mother does not have personal boundaries and I would like to get out. I'm not sure where to start. I thought I would be in control of my life, but I am not. I have no job. She only allowed me to gain my high school diploma after begging her mercilessly. I can't go to college. I want to be a residential electrician, to be free.


      • ccsmod16
        ccsmod16 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out, we are glad that you did. It sounds like you have survived a lot considering your health issues and your controlling mom.
        Because you are 21, you are an adult in every state, so it's not considered running away. A good place to start is local disability rights groups in your area which you can find through the internet. Your state may also have a department covering your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
        You can also chat us through this website to see if we can find any shelter options that may be able to assist.
        We hope these search ideas help you to begin the research for your independent life.
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