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turned 18, doesn't help

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  • turned 18, doesn't help

    look, i know that since i am eighteen i wouldn't technically qualify as a runway and therefor this service is probably not designed for me, but things at home have gotten really bad. the situation has gotten worse and worse and worse as the yes have gone by and i seriously don't know what to do. i live with severe emotional abuse from my parents, which will occasionally turned physical. i have tried to seek counseling without my parents knowing, but it didn't help at all. i've tried everything to change my already to my knowledge perfect behavior but nothing works. i get straight a's, no drink, no drugs, no sex..... barely any friends cause i don't have time...i don't know why they do this to me....even when i don't say a word, don't flinch, don't react. what i want to know is what could happen if i leave, if i leave a note can they still report me as "missing"? what about getting a job? i don't have my ssn or passport or anything, and all my (quite a bit) of money is locked up in their bank accounts and even if i could get that money, would the police be able to arrest me? i'm almost done with my senior year in high school, already into college, could i re-enroll myself at a differnt school in order to finish up the year? if i did manage to make it to a shelter, in maryland, would they be able to help me? would they have to call my family? how long could I stay there for while I found a job and got myself into school and an apartment? i would talk to my parents about leaving but im deathly afraid of what my parents would do to me if they thought i was leaving...i'm so sick of letting them do this to me, and sitting here a lame duck not being able to do anything...when it gets bad I start to loose control and ill push him off of me when he is holding me down but then he just calls me the violent b**** (edited for language)......i just want this to end.

  • #2
    Re: turned 18, doesn't help

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear that you have been dealing with emotional and occasional physical abuse from your parents. No one deserves to be abused regardless of age and you sound like a very strong person for enduring everything. We hope you are able to keep yourself safe while contemplating your decision whether or not to leave home.

    It sounds like you already realize that at 18 you probably wouldn’t technically be a runaway (if the age of majority is 18 in your state.) However, even at 18 it can often by helpful to come up with a plan before leaving. In terms of reporting, usually Runaway Reports, Missing Juvenile Reports, or Missing Children’s Reports are reserved for the under 18 population. These reports allow police to return youth home to the parent/legal guardian if they come across a minor who has been reported. However, oftentimes police will take a Missing Person’s Report after a specific amount of time – usually 48 hours. In this case, the police may notify the missing person, but wouldn’t have to necessarily return the person home since they are an adult. More specific information can be found by calling your local police or sheriff’s department.

    You ask about getting a job and re-enrolling in school. Jobs generally require different forms of identification before starting (i.e. social security card, birth certificate, driver’s license or state identification card, etc.) Without those forms, it might be difficult to secure employment. In terms of school, homeless youth have a right to education under the McKinney Vento Act. Each state has a liaison and that person could probably help you with specific questions.

    You also ask about shelters and whether they would be able to help you. Like reports, shelters are generally divided into a couple of different groups. Under 18 shelters house minors and would need parental consent/notification within 72 hours. There are sometimes shelters or Transitional Living Programs (TLPs) for youth between the ages of 18-21, but in areas that don’t have these adult shelters are often the only other option. Adult shelters are usually divided by family, single males, single females, females with children, and domestic violence shelters. Adult shelters usually require some form of identification to ensure that you are an adult. Likewise, youth shelters (under 1 may ask a person to leave if they discover that you are 18 or older. We are not experts, but to our knowledge these divisions/rules are there to legally protect shelters.

    It sounds like you have some concern as to what would happen if your parents found out you were thinking of leaving. If you would like to continue talking to us about possible options or need additional resources, you are welcome to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are anonymous, confidential, and are available 24/7. We wish you the best of luck and hope you come up with a plan where you feel safe.

    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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