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What are my options ?!

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  • What are my options ?!

    I live in Virginia and my mom is currently going through a terrible divorce from my abusive step father. I love my mother dearly but over the past two years she’s become unbearable. My older sister moved out at 17 to live with a friend because my mom told her that if she did not pay certain household bills and help pay the mortgage, she couldn’t stay. I am now 17 and my mom is threatening me with the same thing ! My best friends mom has agreed to let me live with them but I don’t want my mom to recant on her statement and out of spite, get my best friends mom in legal trouble. Does she have the right to do that ? When my sister left home, my mom filed a police report but they never found her or brought her home ?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

    We're sorry to hear about how things have been going with your mom. We are not legal experts but generally speaking, if you leave while still 17, your mom could file a runaway report and you could be returned home. There could also be legal consequences for your friend's mom or whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a minor. One thing you can do is reach out to your local police to inquire how they handle runaway reports for 17 year olds. Some cities and departments treat them differently because a 17 year old is so close to becoming a legal adult. The way to get the most accurate information would be to call your local police non-emergency number and anonymously inquire about their practices. If you need help finding this number or you want to walk through this option with a liner, we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Let us know how we can best help,


    We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: We care what you think
    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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