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running away at 17 in sc or emancipation, please help.

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  • running away at 17 in sc or emancipation, please help.

    My situation is that I'm currently 16 and living in South Carolina. I am able to graduate high school in January 2023. I want to know what could be my best course of action. I'm trying to plan things out on my own so when I do graduate I can leave my house. the problem with my home life is that I am emotionally abused and I do sometimes get into physical altercations with my mother. I have called cps before in a different state but they closed my case, At the time I didn't do myself a favor since I lied to the social workers out of fear, and lack of privacy when they interviewed how I was doing every week. I moved into a different state shortly after. By the time January 2023 would come around I would be 17, 4 months away from becoming 18 (my birthday is in May). So I'm taking it on myself to get my first job and license so I can leave my home as soon as possible. I would emancipate myself but I feel like the process would take too long and I kind of think it's pointless if I would be 18 in 4 months. I am desperate for an answer as I also have many mental issues I can't fix with my toxic environment and trauma. I have a home I can go to but that is a few states away. I read around the internet that if I were to run away sc officials won't look for me as they can't force me to come home. I am not sure how I'm going to make this work but I'm planning to get to one of these homes I've been welcomed to. I want to know whether it's better to run away when after I graduate or if I should emancipate myself. if anyone can help me figure out my plan that would be great, thank you for reading this.

  • #2
    Thank you so much for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline! It certainly sounds as if you have been going through a lot over the past few years but even with that, you should be commended for continuing to look to the future and are making plans. Hopefully you understand the way your mom has treated you in the past is not appropriate…ever. While unfortunate you were not able to continue with the Social Workers where you were living, things are hard to communicate with little or no privacy. Everything here at NRS is completely confidential so what we hear is between us and us only.

    Good for you for getting a job and your license as it provides a true sense of security as you begin to become an adult! Though the laws in South Carolina are hard to understand on a basic google search, it does say that your parent(s) are responsible for you until you become 18. (Please note we are not an organization with affiliation with Attorneys or Legal Services.) You should know also that depending upon what state you have homes to go to, many states have laws that detail the illegality of ‘harboring a minor’ so the people you would be living with might be in jeopardy for taking you in should your mother file a missing person’s report.

    With regards to the mental issues you made mention of, there actually might be ways to look into working through them if you are able to reach out to us either via chat or on the phone. National Runaway Safeline has a huge database of resources ranging from local shelters and Transitional Living Programs to the possibility of looking into therapy opportunities for you.

    Speaking with you and getting a bit more information about what you’re going through and your current living situation will allow us to look at our resources. We can be reached at for chat capabilities or at 1-800-786-2929 to speak to someone personally. We are available 24/7 so there is always a way to get in touch with us.

    Thanks again for reaching out to NRS. As mentioned before, you are doing all the right things by looking forward to how bright your future can be so give yourself a pat on the back for that. Hopefully we can help you get to where you want to go!

    Take care,
    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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