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Family issues and consent

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  • Family issues and consent

    I’m 17 years old and I want to move out. I’ve been reading a lot of these questions and responses to see if they would help me and they haven’t. Me and my mom do not get along and we are constantly fighting. It’s not an environment that I want to be in. It’s not healthy for either of us, my little sister or my grandparents, who have to listen to us. I still want to have a relationship with my mother but I can not live with her. I live in Phillipsburg, New Jersey and I know that the legal age to leave is 18 years old. I turn 18 in about 4 months but I can’t wait any longer. If I left I would live with a family member or a close friend. My grandmother also believes that I get treated unfairly and that Ieavimg would be in my best interest. I would not keep the location of where I’d be staying a secret from my mom. She is always telling me to leave and that I should go live with somebody else but I am afraid that if I actually do, she will call me in as a runaway even if she told me that I was allowed. I won’t have any proof if she actually consented or not. If this happened would I still be considered a runaway even though my grandmother consented? And how do I get proof if my mom consents or not?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We're sorry to hear about how things have been and want you to know that you deserve to feel safe and happy in your home. You also mentioned wanting to leave your home before you are 18. 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 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 we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You could also ask the police about what you could do to document the consent of being allowed to leave so that your mom could not take it back to file a report. Sometimes it can work to get it in writing and have your mom sign it, but the police could give you ideas of what you could do.


    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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