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I’m 20 and I need help running away

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  • I’m 20 and I need help running away

    Hello I’m 20 and am being forced to live with my family while in college. My parents are discussing divorce and I’ve now been stuck in the middle and I need to leave. My mom currently pays for my college and knowing how nuts she is if I try to escape with my dad she will make sure to take away my car and any access to money I have (she has control over my bank account despite me making my own income). I graduate college in December of 2022 and because that’s not too far away I thought about sticking it out but now I see I can’t. I also don’t want to drop out of school at the moment because of how close I am to graduating and all of my research. I don’t know what to do but I’m scared and I need help.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us and telling us a little about what you're going through right now. It sounds like you are in a difficult place and could use some assistance. We are here to help in any way we can.

    One thing you may want to consider is contacting your bank (and perhaps also your employer) to see how you can gain sole access to your bank account. You should be able to do that at 20 years old since you are no longer a minor. Relatedly, if you left home now you would not be considered a runaway due to your age. But we understand that it still can be a daunting task to move out and might not be easy due to the situation you've described. Some things to consider that might help the process of leaving home (or things that might help in general): finding a counselor or therapist, talking to a school counselor about finding housing, finding a safe and trustworthy roommate, figuring out your budget so you can be in a better position to see what you can afford, and things like that. If you need help in finding a therapist or counselor we can try to help you find one, perhaps even one that will work on a sliding scale that you can afford. You don't have to face any of this alone. There actually is a lot of help out there, it's just a matter of reaching out and seeing what you can find.

    As you start to think about moving out it also might be a good idea to start collecting vital documents you may need -- or at least copies of vital documents that belong to you. These would be things like your birth certificate, your social security card, insurance documents, and the like. You can also think about having things like your phone put in your name. Anything you can do to start preparing to live on your own. It may be good to view this as a process that starts with a few simple steps. Breaking the whole project of moving out in smaller steps might be a good idea.

    If you call us we can also look for transitional living programs in your area. Sometimes these are abbreviated TLP's and they are kind of like a shelter but longer term. Most of them help young people get on their feet as they transition from being a minor to being an adult. Many also offer counseling.

    We would like to help further. The best way we can do that would be for you to call our 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us via the chat button found at the top of our website: We hope to hear from you soon.

    Stay safe and good 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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