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  • I need help.

    Hi. I am a 16 year old who will be 17 in a few days. I live in an emotionally and mentally abusive home. I need to get out. It’s been going on since I was 7 or 8 and it has caused me to have depression and severe anxiety. I have a place I can go. My plan is to go stay with my boyfriend for a week while things settled and then go to my dad’s. I need to know if I can leave my house without getting sent back. I live in Grayslake Illinois. Someone please help me figure this out. I need to get out of here and I don’t think I can deal with this much longer.

    Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-19-2020, 01:10 AM.

  • #2
    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

    We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. You don’t deserve to be abused and it is not your fault that this is happening. It sounds like you would like to get to your dad’s house but have some concerns about being sent back to your mom’s. We are not legal experts so you might consider speaking with your dad about the plan you have and also if he is considering getting transference of custody.
    In general when it comes to someone running away or someone assisting/aiding a person running away.
    Someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics about the runaway laws in your state, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.
    If you would like to talk more in detail 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 should ever be at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    For assistance in locating help in Illinois. Contact the Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services hotline (1-877) 870-2663

    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
    Take care,
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-19-2020, 01:22 AM.
    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!


    • #3
      Hi, I’m 17 years old going to be 18 at the end of October. I live in an emotionally and mentally abusive home. My mom passed away when I was 11 and my dad has not been the same since. He has anger issues that he went to therapy for. He is 45 dating a 27 year old. They use me for babysitting and money. They treat me like I am a roommate, renting out a room. I’ve wanted to move out since I was 15. I have somewhere to go, I can financially support myself. But my dad will not go to court to get me emancipated. If I leave will the police bring me back? Will they listen to my story? I live in Montana. Thank you.
      Last edited by ccsmod15; 05-21-2020, 04:11 PM. Reason: removed a bit of ID info for confidentiality.


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,
        Thanks for reaching out to NRS. It seems like you are in a tough situation and are feeling taken advantage of instead of supported there. It is understandable to feel frustrated that you are helping to support your family but don’t have the independence that usually comes with being an adult. It seems like you have been under a lot of stress for a long time too.
        Emancipation doesn’t necessarily need your parent to initiate the process. In Montana any person over 16 may petition for emancipation. You will need to show: 1) its in your best interest, 2) you are aware of the consequences, 3) you have a way to support yourself financially, 4) you want to become emancipated. As such you could reach out to the Montana Legal Services Association for how to start that process at 1-800-666-6899.
        If you were to leave now without parent permission your dad could file a runaway report and police would be able to bring you back home. They might listen to your story and decide you are safer in your new place but it’s no guarantee. In addition those you stay with would be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway which is a misdemeanor. For more information you may want to reach out to your local Police Department non-emergency number. You can find yours at
        Hopefully this information is helpful. If you need someone to vent to, or have more questions please reach out to our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or use our online chat at
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