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Can I run away from my dad to live with my mom ?

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  • Can I run away from my dad to live with my mom ?

    Hey, I’m 17 years old and I live with my dad I’ve never felt comfortable living with him he has bad temper problems and gets mad at me all the time I’m constantly scared of him I’ve always wanted to live with my mom but he wouldn’t let me. My Dad took my phone away and hit me because I did something stupid. If I run away now to my mom and let him know that I’m with my mom can he still file a run away report am I allowed to run away to my mom ? And if I go to child protective service will they take my little half brother away From him? Because I don’t want that to happen it’s only me there are no problems between my half brother and my dad and I don’t want him to go through anything bad like being taken away from his dad because of me.

  • #2

    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. By sharing your situation on the Family Issues forum, hopefully other forum participants of will be able to get insights on how to handle similar family situations they are dealing with as well. First of all, no one should have to live in a household where fear and threats of physical violence is a constant. There are several choices you mentioned which will hopefully make yourself feel safer. Here are some action steps to consider:

    Living with Mom: The first option you mentioned was seeking additional support from your mother. If your mother shares your legal custody with your father, your father filling a runaway report would most likely not have any legal impact on you or your mom. A possible next step is to make sure your mom is fully aware of your circumstances that you currently are living in fear. You also might want to consider before taking a step like this is to discuss what the rules would be if you decide to live with mother. Knowing this information will help you decide if choosing to live with mom would actually offer a safer living situation. If mom is not legal guardian, running away to live with her might put her in some liability and would probably be a short term improvement to your situation.

    Child Protective Services (CPS): Usually the goal of CPS organizations is to keep families together. Rarely would their first step in a child abuse situation is to take all the children from a legal guardian’s home unless there is clear evidence of child endangerment. One suggestion we often make to youth who have been physically abused is to consider keeping a journal to log every time they feel threatened or physically impacted. One way to make sure this journal is both secure and private is to create a new email account that you send messages to that includes the date, time, circumstances, witnesses and pictures of any injuries you might suffer. By having such a journal – you will have documentation to show any CPS case managers or other professional staff who might be asked to review your situation. You might detail in these email messages the lack of impact suffered by your younger brother.

    Other options to consider: The legal landscape will change once you turn 18. Once you are legally considered an adult you can choose where to live without threat of police intervention. That does not solve today’s problems but now is a good time to discuss living option with other family members or friends so you have a safety plan defined and resolved on what you’re going to do after your next birthday. You may also get further insights by contacting the national child abuse hotline called Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 via internet access

    Hopefully this forum has given you some next steps to consider. Of course we are available to consider other options with you either through the National Runaway Safeline through our online chat services at or our 24 hour phone support at 1-800-Runaway (1-800-786-2929). Best of luck on whatever your next steps you decide to make. Thanks again for sharing! Stay safe!

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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