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14 and wanting to run away

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  • 14 and wanting to run away

    So, I have a special needs sister I take care of practically 24/7. I change her, feed her, dress her, tend to her news and i'm homeschooled so I stay home all day. It's been like this for years and CPS won't do anything and you can't get emancipated here until 18. My mom is now starting to restrict me from letting me leave the house and I have mentioned moving out several times and she's always said I could and she had kicked me out when I was 13. But, she's bipolar and I'm afraid if I go stay with a friend, she'll change her mind and get them in trouble. And now my brother and his 2 kids and girlfriend are coming here to stay with us and his girlfriend is very rude to me and it's way too chaotic when they stay with us. When they stayed with us before my mom was calling the cops to the house everyday for a week. There is atleast 10 arguments between my
    Brother and mom or mom and his gf or my brother and his gf. And I ended up even more emotionally unstable than I had been before. Right now i'm off my meds and i'm in a good state of mind and i'm trying to keep it that way but my mom is making that impossible. So, I'm considering running away.

  • #2
    Re: 14 and wanting to run away

    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline – we’re glad you found us. It sounds like there’s a lot going on at home (and soon to be more with your brother and his family moving in) and it’s really taking a toll on you. It’s impressive that you’re considering ways to take control of your situation to preserve your safety and well-being. Running away is a big decision, so it shows you’ve got a great head on your shoulders that you’re reaching out for support as you think this through.

    We’re not legal experts here at NRS, but we can speak generally about some of the things that could happen if you decide to run away. It sounds like you’re in a state where the age of majority (when you become an adult in the eyes of the law) is 18 (you can confirm that on this website:, just click your state and add +1 to the age of minority). This means that until you turn 18, your parents are legally responsible for taking care of you unless a) you are emancipated by the courts (which can be a lengthy process in which you need to prove to the courts that you can support yourself) b) child protective services gets involved or c) your parents give you permission to live elsewhere. Otherwise, if you were to leave, your parents would have a right to file a runaway report with the police. Running away is a status offense, which means it’s only against the rules because of your age this means that if the police found you, they would simply bring you home (not to jail/juvie). You noted that CPS won’t do anything – have you had involvement with them in the past? If you’d like to talk through reporting options, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 to talk about engaging CPS in your area. In regards to parental permission, it sounds like your mother relies on you heavily for care of your sister, and like you say, she might give permission only to take it back later, which would be within her rights. Do you think she’d entertain the option of you staying with a friend or family member for a few weeks, just for a break from the hectic household?

    There are many things to consider when running away – how you’ll have access to your meds if you need them; what you’ll do for food and shelter; how you’ll keep going to school, etc. If you’d ever like to talk through a plan for these factors, please don’t hesitate to chat/call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY to work through a plan that works best for you.

    You’ve been so strong through this ordeal so far. Let us know how we can support you as you make your plan to keep yourself safe and well.

    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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