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i’m about to be 17 and i want to leave home.

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  • i’m about to be 17 and i want to leave home.

    i’ve struggled with issues at home for as long as i can remember, whether it’s regarding my parents or siblings. sometimes i feel as if i’m gonna be a burden to them no matter what i do or say. my real dad passed away right before i was born, causing her to now be super protective over us because of the way he died.. but sometimes it seems like it’s simply too much. shortly after (maybe a year or 2) my mom met another man who is now considered my stepdad and has basically been in the picture ever since. i wouldn’t necessarily call anything domestic abuse although things have gotten physical and pretty violent (with my mom and stepdad, sometimes us) but obviously never too bad to the point where my mom drew the line in a serious matter. growing up in a household like this has affected me in ways i wouldn’t wish on anyone else. long story short, i have the opportunity to leave and live with my boyfriend in chicago. i currently live in indiana. i’ve been there quite a few times before, my mom flipped out and tried to file a police report for a runaway or missing child (all while having my location, hence the over-protectiveness) but they said there was nothing they could do. i know i will be okay because we both have jobs and even with the fact that i’ll have to find a new one, i honestly think i will be able to handle it just fine. but my boyfriend is of age and i don’t want anything to happen to him if she plays it out to be that way, anything i do is 100% because i wanted to. i’ve looked up the laws and although the can’t get in trouble unless it’s been/more than 72 hours, that’s not the time period i’m planning to stay there for. she tells me once i’m 18 i could leave and go where ever i want, which is understandable and i respect that of course but she doesn’t realize how much living in this environment affects me. i just want to know if once i turn 17 and i still want to leave, what is the risk of us getting in any legal trouble?

  • #2
    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.
    While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions. However please know if you are experiencing any type of abuse please do not hesitate to gather evidence and report whatever may be going on. We also help with reporting so that you do not have to feel alone.
    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); (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
    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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