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Can I leave?

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  • Can I leave?

    I hate being at the house, I get to stressed out and want to cry because I hate it. I want to move out, I have multiple places I can stay and people who will financially help me. The problem is, I just turned 17 four days ago. My brother even moved out, but he was 18. I hate living here because I have to, I can't express myself, I can't do anything. My parents are very controlling as well, and I hate it.

  • #2
    Re: Can I leave?

    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline -- we’re glad you found us. It takes a lot of strength to reach out for support. It sounds like things have been tough at home for some time and you’re feeling unhappy and restricted by your parents there. It’s understandable that you’d be looking at your best options to keep yourself safe and happy.

    We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but we can speak in general terms about some of your options for living outside the home. In most states, the age of majority is 18, meaning that until you turn 18, your parents are legally responsible for taking care of you and have a right to keep you at home. Generally speaking, there are three ways to legally live outside the home before you reach the age of majority: 1) child protective services involvement; 2) emancipation – which can be a lengthy and costly process in which you have to prove self-sufficiency to the courts. If you like, we can refer you to a legal aid resource in your area so you can learn more about what that process is like where you live – just give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY and we’ll connect you with a legal expert in your area; 3) parental permission, which can really amount to your parents not calling the police to bring you home. Outside of these options, it is within your parents’ rights to file a runaway report with the police. Running away is a status offense, so unless you were doing something illegal when they found you or are on probation, the police would simply bring you home if they found you. It’s important to note that police across the country handle cases of 17-year-olds differently. You may consider calling the police on their non-emergency line to ask about how they typically handle runaway reports filed against 17-year-old youth. If you’d like support in making this call, we’re here 24/7 and would be happy to make the call with you or on your behalf to help you get the answers you need. We could also facilitate a conference call with your parents if you’d like to further explore the option of going to stay with a friend or family member you’ve already identified as being willing to help. Sometimes having a third party on the phone to facilitate can be helpful make sure conversations are calm and productive. We’re on your team and are here to support you in making the best plan for you.

    Again, it takes a lot of strength to reach out for support, and it’s clear from all your efforts to explore your options that you’ve got a good head on your shoulders. Don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss your plan further. Stay strong!

    Best of Luck,
    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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