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17 year old girl, graduating in 2 weeks

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  • 17 year old girl, graduating in 2 weeks

    I'm a 17 year old girl and I'm graduating on June 11th. I live in North Carolina and I'm pretty sure you have to be 18 to move out, but I want to know if the age changes under different circumstances. Since I'm graduating from high school, I was wondering if that pretty much means I'm an adult and can move out.

    My parents have been verbally, physically, and emotionally abusive throughout my entire life. It's gotten worse in the past 2 years and I've been brushing it off for the past 2 years. I almost can't bear it anymore. I know that in order to save my sanity and to feel emotionally and mentally safe and comfortable, I need to move out.

    Yesterday, I got home a little bit before midnight because I was at work and then went to my friend (who is a girl and co worker) to watch a movie...just me and her, so it's not like I was with a bunch of guys or anything...and when I got home my parents made me sit on the couch in the living room to tell me that they were taking my car away and to tell me that I'm never allowed back at work and that I have to walk to school for the rest of high school. Then they went into how i'm irresponsible (obviously not if I have a job....and how is taking my job away going to make me "more responsible"?) and selfish and I blame me getting in trouble on them.

    I honestly just can't take it anymore...I turn 18 on July 19th, but I can't wait that long. It's 7 weeks and I know that a lot of things can happen to me emotionally, mentally, and physically within that time and I don't want to hurt myself like that. I just want to know if the laws in North Carolina will bend since I'm graduating in 2 weeks.

    Any help would be appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: 17 year old girl, graduating in 2 weeks

    Hello Sarah,

    We thank you for reaching out to us for ideas on how to better your situation. We imagine this is a very tough time for you and for that we certainly empathize. We are not in a position to tell you what to do. We also cannot give you advice because we are non-directive but we are here to explore options with you. We will always be here for you during the difficult and not so difficult times also.

    What your parents has done to you and seem to think they can continue to do is not your fault. You deserve to feel safe and protected in your own home. We recognize that some families take different approaches to parenting and for what they define as values. It may at times be seen by some as culturally acceptable to some extent but we do not excuse this sort of behavior even if they thought it was in your best interest. If their approach to "discipline" has left you feeling hurt and unsafe, we take seriously your fear for what the next 7 weeks may bring. We consider your safety our number one priority.

    Have you ever thought of filing a report for abuse? It sounds like you continue to survive in a very stressful environment. Have you talked to another adult such as a teacher or school counselor? We imagine the hardship you face going through these stages on your own must be discouraging but you seem resilient despite it all. It was encouraging to hear you recognize the conflicting messages you are getting from your parents as they try to make you "responsible." We wonder if this was their way of saying that you are growing up to fast by taking away your car and work. But you have a valid point on how proves they want you to be responsible?

    Do you usually go to friends after work? Why do you feel they were so upset at you for that? Do you think that it might have made a different if you told them were you were going and seek permission? It sounds like you are making the claim that they lack trust in you and you feel it comes from how everything is all tied into their way of parenting methods. However, there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel. It sounds like you are close to 18 although we understand why you fear staying home any longer. It is not to say that you have been through it and can push through to the end because only you can know for sure what you can bare.

    Although we cannot tell you what to do we are also mandated reporters. We can report abuse if that is something you like to do. It is one option if you were to call us directly or use our chatline available from 4:40 pm to 10pm daily. We have to report abuse if you gave us your parents name, address, number and your name and date of birth. We cannot guarantee the outcome but we can explain the pros and cons of going through with it with you when you call.

    Emancipation can be another but you are so close to 18 and it takes a long time. Have you thought of staying with another relative or friend? We are not legal expert but what we know of general laws pertaining to leaving home if you are not 18. In some cases, your parents may still be able to file a report but in some counties or states it may prove difficult for them to do it since you are close to 18. This is something the police may be able to answer for you. However, if your parents filed a report the police do not always come looking but it is not always guaranteed that they will not come looking.

    Have you thought of giving the police a call to find out what they generally do? It is usually at their discretion. However, your point about graduating from school and leaving home is not something we know much about since we are national and schools may have different take on the same issues. Have you thought about seeking guidance from a school counselor or teacher about his matter?

    We hope that this info has been helpful to you in some way. We are a 24 hour a day crisis hotline and website. You can reached us at 1800RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our chat line on the website at As stated we are mandated reporters but we are also confidential and anonymous. If you are simply seeking someone to speak with to talk about feelings we are here for that too. We can also offer resources to counseling, etc. We hope that you continue to find ways to remain safe. Good luck.

    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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