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Travis County Texas runaway laws?

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  • Travis County Texas runaway laws?

    I'm a 17 year old girl and my situation at home has become unbearable. I'v asked several adult including teachers and they all tell me the same thing, "just run away" or "get emancipated". Here are some details to my situation and i'd like to know the legal issues and consequences if any.
    I'm 17 living in Travis County Texas, i don't have a job, but i have a stable place to live where i can be fed and taken care of. I have a very reliable way to school. I'm also unemancipated.
    My home life is terrible, the house is in bad condition and my family fights alot. The verbal swings aimed at me hit hard and last. i believe that if i live somewhere else i could better achieve my goals. i would tell my parents where i was so they know my whereabouts. i just dont think living in my current household is beneficial to me growing up, at least not in a good way.

    getting emancipated sounds to time consuming. if i were to leave my home voluntarily and go to say a friends house, and my parents knew where i was, could the authority take action and take me home? technically i wouldn't be a missing child since my location is known to my guardian. i read that the police couldn't take me, is that true? and would that friend be considered to harbor a runaway?

    what would happen if my parents came to me and tried to force me to come home with them but i refused? could they do something then? and if they used physical force could i take legal action against them?

    its not like im going to run away and not take care of myself. i do good in school and i plan to keep it that way. i just want a better living situation so i can properly grow and live safely. i dont feel safe at home. my mom always talks of how if my father and half brother confront each other someone would go to jail or the hospital. is that any way for a person to live? to live in fear of going home to something potentially dangerous? i dont think so.

    i would love a response, thank you.

  • #2
    re: Travis County Texas runaway laws?

    We are glad you contacted National Runaway Safeline about your situation. It sounds like you are struggling living at home, hopefully we can clarify some of your questions. You have given us a lot of information about what you are considering which is really helpful for discussing your options. The emancipation process usually takes about six months and the court usually encourages that youth are self sufficient on their own. If you want to consider other custody or legal ways to leave your family's home you would have to contact Child Protective Services in your area. You mentioned that your home is unsafe. If you are being physically harmed or feel unsafe, you can always call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY to file an abuse report with you, or you can reach out to a counselor, social worker or the Texas abuse hotline directly (800-252-5400).

    You had some good questions about running away. Although we are not legal experts, we can tell you that in most palces running away is considered a status offense not criminal; but if you are found, the police would most likely take you back home. Also, whoever you are staying with could potentially get charged for harboring a runaway. It sounds like you are very ambitious and want to live in an environment that is more helpful for what you are going through. Hopefully this gave you a little more information about running away. Please feel free to call us anytime or chat live with us from 4:30-11:30pm CST at 1800runaway.org. Best wishes.

    -NRS
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi

      Im 17 & ive been away from home. for a year and a half now. Ive talked to both my parents and tey agreed on emancipation the problem is can i get in trouble if i go to court will thy take me to jail????
      I want to enroll in school in my area can i do this without trouble?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Hi

        Hi there,

        Thank you so much for reaching out to us we are here to help the best that we can. It sounds like you have been away from home for quite awhile now. Are you staying in a safe place? We want to let you know that if you ever need assistance finding shelter, we are here 24/7 and have a large database of different resources like shelters and we could try to locate the nearest to you.

        It sounds like you have communicated with your parents and they agree on emancipation. With permission from your legal guardians, you can leave your home. We are not legal experts here but it does sound like you have gotten permission from them to do so. Running away is not illegal, runaway reports are made by legal guardians so if your guardians are not making a report, the police should not be taking you to jail. Again, we are not legal experts here, and you would like more legal information we can always get you connected with legal resources as well.

        Under the McKinney Vento Act, all youth are legally allowed to enroll in school. Potential legal resources can help you further with navigating this information, but some information regarding this act can also be found here: http://www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/youth.pdf

        We are here 24/7, and we are anonymous and confidential at 1800runaway. You can always join us on chat 4:30pm 11:30pm CST. Please call or chat us if you would like specific resources or would like to talk more about what has been going on. We are here to support you the best that we can.

        Good luck and stay safe,
        NRS
        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!

        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm 17, and I was at a hospital with my friend cause he was having severe abdominal pain. My mom doesn't believe me and says that it's the "last" straw. She is thinking that I ran away. Even tho it was completely out of my control and i had no way of getting home because my friend has to take morphine for his pain. She is sending me to my dad's. But I hate living there. I don't get abused or anything. It's in the middle of the ghetto and I feel unsafe even walking to school. Please. Tell me there is a way I can leave both of their supervision and live with my friend who is more then happy to let me stay.

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you so much for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. We understand that it takes a lot of courage to share your story and we are glad you are able to reach out. It must be very frustrating that your mother doesn’t believe you. Sorry to hear that you feel unsafe walking to school. One option might be to talk with your parents about living with your friend. We are not legal experts but can provide you with some information. Running away is not a criminal offense, but it is a status offense if found the police would most likely bring you home. Also your friend could potentially get charged with harboring a runaway. If you would like we can provide you with numbers of shelters in your area that you may be able to stay at for a while. The best way to leave home before turning 18 is to try and get your parent’s permission first.
            We wish you the best of luck in your situation. We are here 24/7 and we are here to help and here to listen. So if you would like to discuss more about your situation feel free to call or chat with us.
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