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  • Runaway

    Hello, I am 17 and wish to stay anonymous, I ran away because my mom. We had many issues such as here allowing my father to do very sexual stuff to me as a kid and also abuse me. She knew when this would happen and proceeded to ignore it. She had told me multiple times she wasn’t supportive of me in what I wanted to do with schooling and her mocking me and making fun of me constantly when it came to my mental health issues. I want to know if legally since I am 17 and am somewhat close to being 18 if there is anything she could legally do. She also told me it was ok for me to move out so technically I didn’t run away but I cut her out of my life. Understanding that I am however still in fact a minor would she be able to force me to go home?

  • #2

    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We recognize the courage and strength that it takes to openly speak about certain experiences. Please know that we are deeply sorry that your parents have treated you this way and that it is not ever okay for anyone to treat you this way.

    Though we are not legal experts, it is to our understanding that until you are 18, your legal guardian(s) will remain your legal guardian(s) until the court or the law says otherwise. With that being said, it sounds like in your situation that from now until you turn 18, your mom still has legal rights to have the police look for you and potentially bring you home. It is uncertain whether they would bring you home or not if they found you, but you may also explain to them your reasoning for running away and that could potentially open up further investigation. Another risk could be that whomever you might be staying with could risk getting charged for "harboring a runaway," but please know that these are all only possible scenarios and that we do not know an exact answer of what the outcome may be.

    If you would like to talk with us further about this, we welcome you to reach out through our online chat portal, found on our website at or give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We would be happy to provide you support during this time and potentially look through some resources that may also be of great help for you.

    Wishing you peace, health, and healing.

    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
      I’m planing on running away tonight because my mom got mad that I brought my boyfriend home and we had that but si want to run away because she threatened me to send me to my dads house wich I don’t wana go and she’s taking my phone away and not letting me go out she says I lost her trust and she told me that my boyfriend is it what he seems to be because he came when she was ent home but when my mom is home and I want to see him she says no because it’s “Nothing serious”I’m planing on staying at my boyfriends house for the night I’ll be safe their and then go to one of my friends house her mom can help out but I’m wondering what can my mom do I’m 15 by the way I’ve heard that I can convince the police to let me stay at the place I’m staying is that true?


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. I’m sorry that you are going through all of this, especially at your age.

        Since you have not given us the state you are currently living in, it is very hard for us to determine what the Runaway Laws are and how police look at teenagers who have run away. It some states they are willing to assist, but in others it is considered a minor infraction. You would also have to consider that some states have laws against adults ‘harboring a minor’ which may cause legal issues for your friend’s mother.

        It would be great if you are able to reach out to us via chat at or via phone at 1-800-786-2929 if you would rather speak to someone in person. In speaking to you we would be able to get a bit more about your situation and possibly offer other ideas on how to better deal with what you’re currently experiencing with your mom. We have a database of resources here that we can look into from shelters close to where you are currently living as well as possible Transitional Living Programs (TPLs) where you might be able to live while finishing school.

        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope to hear from you soon!


        National Runaway Safeline
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