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  • Leaving Home

    Hi.. I live in Florida and I am 17 years of age about to be 18 in July. I just moved back home, I lived with my boyfriend for 8 months (which they allowed me to do) and my household is very toxic. I am ready to get out of here but her response is “if you leave, I will call the cops and let them know and you will be brought back home.” I’ve tried everything to get kicked out, to leave and she will not let me. I don’t know what to do at this point. I am almost 18. I live in Walton County Florida and I was wondering if you guys could call my county local police and ask if I leave home (I have a stable job, stable income, a car that I pay for, a phone that I pay for, etc...) if I will get in trouble or be brought back home?

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to us, we understand it takes great courage to talk about what’s going on. It sounds like things have been difficult at home and that you have been working to make changes in your life.
    Although it sounds like you are making great strides in becoming independent, 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian.

    We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. Which is sounds like you are already familiar with that, since you were told by your mother that they would do. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home.

    However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway.

    One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. If you want help contacting the police or would like to talk further about your options, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
    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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