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15 and worried about running away troubles

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  • 15 and worried about running away troubles

    I'm fifteen and no longer want to live at home. I've tried to talk to my parents to let me live at my friends house but they won't listen to me because they think i'm not serious. i read somewhere that if you runaway and are fifteen or older, the cops won't take you home if you refuse and are in a safe environment. i want to know if that is true but i'm worried that my friends mom will get in trouble for harboring a runaway. of course i don't want that to happen but i need advice on what i should do. i've already written my parents a letter telling them i will be safe at my friends house but i don't want to come home in case i do decided on leaving.
    Ive also thought about legal guardianship but i believe that the parents have to agree to that. is that true too?

  • #2
    re: 15 and worried about running away troubles

    Hello and thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Switchboard through our bulletin boards. It sounds like you have a lot going on at home and that you are really wanting to live without your parents. It must be difficult trying to talk to them about how you are feeling and having them not take you seriously. That’s great that you have tried talking to them though, it can be hard to do.

    You have some really good questions about running away. We are not legal experts, but we can tell you that in most places running away is considered a status offense. What that means is that if you are under 18 and your parents file a runaway report, you would be returned to them if you were picked up by the police. While running away itself is not against the law, in many places, harboring a runaway is. So if you decided to stay at your friend’s house, their mom could be at legal risk if your parents chose to press charges.

    If you want to contact us via live chat 4:30-11:30pm CST or at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day, we can look up some resources in your area. With your specific location, we can connect you to legal aid resources that might be able to better explain your rights as a 15 year old youth seeking independence. You mentioned changing legal guardianship and one option you might have is emancipation. Every state is different with what they require, but that is certainly something we could talk about if you wanted further information. It sounds like you are considering many options of what you can do and we want you to know that you are not alone. We are so glad that you found us and hope to hear from you soon.
    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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