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    Hello! I'm 16 and going to be 17 in a 4 months. I can't take living at home anymore, and I'm seriously considering running away from my home. I feel like a constant disappointment and burden to my family. It would be best if I just left, and they never had to see me again.

    Is it illegal to runaway at my age? If not, where can I go to get help?

  • #2
    Hello,

    Thanks ever so much for reaching out to us. We are so sorry that things at home have become so difficult. It sounds like you are wondering whether running away is an option for you and you would like to explore your options. Although we are not legal experts, we will do our best to share information that can help you figure out your next steps.

    We understand that living at home can feel really tough when you've been feeling the way you have with your family. One option is to talk to someone at school, like the school psychologist or social worker. They may be able to help you figure out a good way to approach your family about how you've been feeling. Regarding running away, we are not legal experts, but from what we understand, it is technically not illegal to run away, but it is considered a status offense in some states. 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions. If you would help finding local resources, or even if you just want to talk about your situation, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.

    Whatever you decide, please know that we are here to support you. We cannot tell you what to do, but we will do our best to help you explore your options. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). We are here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!

    -NRS
    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)
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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