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Leaving at 17

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  • Leaving at 17

    I am currently 17 years old and I will be 18 in 2 months. I have been having family problems from when I was 9. I want to leave but have never been able to. I have a job and a car I pay for on my own. I also pay for everything I need currently. I also attend school everyday. I want to move out before my 18th birthday so I can get setaled before school starts up again. I have a safe place to go. Can i leave 2 months before my 18th birthday?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Guest View Post
    I am currently 17 years old and I will be 18 in 2 months. I have been having family problems from when I was 9. I want to leave but have never been able to. I have a job and a car I pay for on my own. I also pay for everything I need currently. I also attend school everyday. I want to move out before my 18th birthday so I can get setaled before school starts up again. I have a safe place to go. Can i leave 2 months before my 18th birthday?
    We're thankful you're looking out for your own wellbeing and are giving yourself what you need. It's good you reached out to us to form a plan.

    It can be hard to give a definite answer because it can vary from state-to-state and even from police department to police department.

    Technically, even if you turn 18 in 2 months, you would still legally be under your parents'/guardians' custody, and they could report you as a runaway if you left. However, how different law enforcement enforce that can be different. Some will investigate where you are and try to bring you home no matter what, others will listen if you explain you feel unsafe and will let you remain where you are.

    One thing you can do is look up the non-emergency number for your local law enforcement and ask them what they would do if you were to leave home at your age to live somewhere safe, and of your own will. Additionally, if whomever you are staying with calls law enforcement beforehand to let them know you are staying there, it can prevent them from receiving any negative legal consequences.

    We are happy to talk with you more about this; we can give more specific information if you share more details with us. Feel free to live chat us at 1800runaway.org or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here to help as best we can; you do not have to figure this out on your own.
    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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