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  • 17 year old in Maryland

    Hello, thank you for making this resource available, I really appreciate having it in this time of need.
    I am a 17 year old resident of Maryland. On the surface, it appears as if I would have no need to runaway. I am not your standard runaway.
    I attend an expensive private school, am a straight-A student, and will be hearing back on my application to Yale University in two days.
    However, while my parents have gone out of their way to provide for me, I am extremely unhappy in my home. I know it sounds like I have first world problems, but my parents do not give me anything. They use everything they give me as a way to make me feel guilty. They constantly remind me that everything I am, I owe to them. They accuse my of selfishness for studying instead of "helping out the family." They want to exert complete control over every aspect of my life, and do not want me to think for myself. Anything I say that is completely properly aligned to their opinion is rebellion and me "not thinking" because I do not agree with them. They are also extremely religious, and believe that as a daughter I should submit to their every whim. My mother also believes I should be subservient to men and that "feminists are crazy because they believe in abortion."
    I don't mean to ramble. In short, I wish to live my own life. If I go to college now, on their financial support, they will still have an iron grip over me. I cannot get them to listen or understand any of my feelings because they refuse to listen and their hearts are hardened. I think if I cut off ties with my family for a while, they would be further convinced that they are right and that I am a selfish, horrible, evil rebellious child, and try to exert further control over me (likely) but in time they would miss me and be willing to finally listen to what I have to say. Then we might be able to resolve our issues. I do not wish to run away from this problem. I have exhausted all possible options. The only way to get them to listen is to show that I am serious about my anger and that I am willing to cut off all ties if they do not wish to listen to their daughter and let her live her own life.
    I have thought this out extensively, this is not a rash decision. It's a decision years in the planning. I will be turning 18 in a few months, and I plan to talk to financial aid advisors to resolve college financing. I will likely get a very good scholarship to the university of maryland due to my good grades. I also have plenty of families willing to take me in, and I am willing to get a job so as to be able to earn my keep. My private school will likely be willing to support me for my final few months in school. (I am planning to talk to the advisors). I could take out a loan and pay for the rest of my schooling, or I could just go to public school. I'm already going to be in college soon anyway.

    My question is legality.
    My parents are, again, control freaks. They are the type to walk into school and drag me home. Or file a law suit against my new "host" family. They'd have a case, too, because they've always provided for me financially above and beyond what is required, and they haven't really physically abused me. My reasons are probably not strong enough to withstand legal separation status.

    What are the laws in Maryland? Can my parents "reclaim" me? When I turn 18, can they reclaim me? Can they file a lawsuit against my new family? I do not wish to bring anyone trouble. Legally, what will happen to me if I leave my home? What are my options?
    Thank you.
    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

  • #2
    RE 17 year old in Maryland

    Hello,

    We are really glad you decided to contact us today. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time with your parents, and we definitely want to help in any way we can.

    Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are not legal experts. However, generally when you turn 18, you become a legal adult, and your parents no longer have rights over you. If you call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we can further discuss this issue and provide contact information for organizations that provide free or inexpensive legal aid. These organizations may be able to answer your questions in greater detail.

    It is clear that you have thought long and hard about your situation and your relationship with your parents. It also sounds as though you have come up with a plan to obtain some freedom from your parents and improve your relationship, as long as your parents cannot take legal action against you or your host family. It might be helpful to consider additional options to move your relationship with your parents in a positive direction. For example, it sounds like you and your parents have very different values and perspectives about many issues, but perhaps they would be willing to try family therapy to facilitate communication and productive discussions about your future and freedom. If you would like to talk about these options or generate additional options, you can call us 24/7 at our confidential and anonymous hotline. Again, that number is 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat online with one of our crisis counselors via our website from 4:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

    We hope that you will contact us for additional information or resources. We are also here to listen if you are feeling overwhelmed and just want someone to talk to. Thank you for reaching out to us.

    Sincerely,

    The Staff at the National Runaway Safeline
    Last edited by ccsmod2; 12-27-2014, 01:01 PM.
    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
      17 year old

      Hi, I'm 17 years old and don't want to live with my parents anymore because I have been hit on by my mom and I don't feel, loved or welcome there. I am on probation and I get off probation in February. I am a senior in high school and am graduating in may. I have good grades. What will happen if I runaway? Will I get arrested? What will the police do?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 17 in Maryland

        Hi there,

        We are sorry to hear that you’re having a rough time at home! You especially do not deserve to be hit on by your mother – that’s simply unacceptable and you always have the option of making an abuse report. The number for child abuse reporting in Maryland is 1-800-332-6347. You can call or we can make the call for you if that’s something you’d like to do. But that’s your choice. We never tell anyone what to do.

        You ask what will happen to you if you run away at 17. No one can tell you for sure what will happen, though we can give you some things to think about.

        Since you are under your parent’s supervision till you are 18, your parents always would have the option of filing a runaway report on you if you do decide to leave. Running away is not a crime, but it is a status offense. We aren’t legal experts, but it is possible that running away while on probation could be a violation of your probation. On the other hand, 17 is often considered a grey area when it comes to whether or not police will take runaway reports. Some police departments will not even take a runaway report, some will. The best thing to do would be to call your local police non-emergency number and ask them.

        However, again, because you are on probation running way might be considered more serious even though you are 17.
        We hope this helps. If you’d like further support we are very willing to talk to you to see how you can stay safe and get your needs provided for. We hope to hear from you. 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)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi I'm 17 and I grew up in a religion of Jehovah's witnesses and I don't want to be one so I break the rules of sex before marriage, cursing and boyfriends..etc.. But I was sexually abused by my step dad,cousin,my dads girlfriends son and i was attacked and almost raped by my close friend a year ago ,I've attempted suicide 2 times. I won't do that again BTW but lately my family just have been showing me no love or attention its like they hate me because I'm not doing what they want me to do, I got a call the other day from my detective saying she's ready to start this case and I was gonna have to go to court and whatever happens after that happens, but I told my aunt and she was trying to tell me that its basically my fault that he tried to rape me that I led him on, I'm furious I didn't have any interest in this boy he was 19 I was 15 and I had a boyfriend.then my other aunt called me a hoe and I'm not a hoe, I don't even do anything.I have a boyfriend we been dating for a month aand 3 weeks now and I really love him and I go over his house everyweek to get away from my family bbecause his family they listen and understand me I can tell his mom anything but now I can't go over there anymore until he gets a job that's what his stepfather said so now I'm really angry Cuz that was my runaway place,I just can't stay in this house anymore and I want to runaway but I don't want to runaway and then get caught and have to come back here is there anyway I could leave the right way legally?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 17 year old in Maryland

            Hello, Thank you for contacting NRS. Sounds like a very tough situation, no one should ever feel unsafe in their own home. We are here to help you as much as we can.

            Suicide is a very serious issue, and if you do begin feeling like you want to harm yourself again we encourage you to call the National Suicide Hotline at 1800-273-TALK right away. Some options that we can help you with is child abuse reporting. We can help you make a report to child protective services about the abuse that you have mentioned, or we can make the report ourselves. If you have already made a report, you can continue to make reports to help with the situation. We are glad to hear that you are working a detective to help you with the incident that occurred. It sounds like you count on your boyfriend a lot for support, we are glad to hear that you have him to count on. One thing to think about is if you decide to leave the home, your parents can file a runaway report, and whoever you are staying with can get in trouble with the law for harboring a youth. We can help you with some options that you have, as well as help you any way that we can. Some resources that we have our referrals to counseling services in your area. Another way that we can help is conference calling, this option helps if you feel like you want to talk to your parents about what is going on but would like someone to help you mediate the conversation. We encourage you to call us or Live Chat with us to continue discussing your situation. We are here to help.
            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


            • #7
              17 year old in maryland.

              Hi, i wanted to know about what i can do about my current situation, i'm 17 and i live in Maryland i have recently ran away from home for many reasons one being the fact that my mother has involved her self with an abusive boyfriend and constantly takes it out on my family and i, although i have tried to encourage her into the right direction, there is nothing i can really do. I'm tired of having to live at home because i feel no longer appreciated for the help i give (such as pay the water/gas bill) i currently have a job and can provide for my own. I stay at a friends house my mother does not know where i am because the last place i stayed, she threatened the family to call the police, i want to know my legal standpoint on the situation. I have been avoiding school for the last couple of days do to threats of reports issued to the school by my mother and i do not want to be forced back into my home. This is not the first time i left home. But it is the first time the police has been involved. What are the legal right i have and what can i do to help my situation.
              Thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: 17 year old in maryland.

                Hello there –

                We are glad you reached out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline, it sounds like you are in a difficult situation. We will try to support you and answer your questions the best we can. We are sorry to hear that your mom is in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, that isn’t an easy thing to go through. It sounds like you have tried to be supportive by paying the water and gas bill, and trying to encourage your mom to go in the right direction. While we are not legal experts at the National Runaway Safeline, we can try to speak generally on your situation.

                For the state of Maryland, and age of majority is 18, so anyone under 18 is considered a minor. Running away is a status offence, meaning that it is illegal to do because of your age- but it is not brought to the courts. One concern it seems like you have is for your friend and there family. If your mom chooses to file a runaway report, whoever you’re staying with could be charged with harboring a runaway which is a misdemeanor offence. Police departments handle runaway reports at age 17 differently, so the best way to see how your police department would react would be to contact them directly where you can speak generally on your situation.

                We would like to provide you with the number for the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which is 1-800-799-4636. This may be a good resource to give to your mom, as well as to contact yourself if you ever want to talk about the abuse happening to your mom or your family.
                We are sorry to hear that you are going through this, and we are here to support you in this situation. If you would like more resources or information, or need someone to talk to about what’s going on, you can reach out to us online, or the best way to reach us is to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY where we are available 24/7 and you can remain anonymous and confidential.
                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


                • #9
                  17 Maryland

                  I am a seven teen year old living in the state of Maryland me and my parents don't get along at all and offer words are exchanged that hurt very much well both my parents told me that if I don't like it here then to just leave and pack my bags I was wondering the legal stuff involved with it I was going to go stay with my boyfriend and his mom and I would still go to school everyday and I was wondering since my parents told me to leave could the police still put me in jail as a run away and could my boyfriends mom go to jail even though she was giving me a place to stay and food and clothes and was not holding me there just wondering

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    17 Maryland

                    Hey there,

                    Thank you for reaching out to us and we're sorry to hear that things aren't going well at home with your parents. We're here to help you the best we can and to provide helpful resources. From what you shared it looks like you are looking for more of a legal aspect, we would be able to give you some general information.

                    Unfortunately, here at NRS we are not legal experts which means that we would not be able to accurately tell you what would happen. But speaking in general terms, I can let you know a little about information that we do have. So, running away is not illegal, it is rather a status offense which means that you are not allowed to do it because you are still a minor. Your parents are still allowed to file a runaway report and typically if you are found, you would be forced to go home. Also, if you did stay with your boyfriend and his mother and they knew you ran away, they could be charged with 'harboring a runaway'. If you had any specific concerns you can always call your local police or sheriff department and ask how they handle runaways in your area. As I mentioned, we are not legal experts here but the best way you can find out the is by contacting your local police department and asking some general questions or reaching out to a legal aid which we can provide you with if you were to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

                    We can always look up legal resources for you more specific to your area and help you explore more options, we are confidential and anonymous, so please do not hesitate to call us here at the National Runaway Safeline. Our number is 1-800-Runaway. We are here 24/7 and feel free to chat with us also at www.1800runaway.org. We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.

                    Stay strong,

                    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


                    • #11
                      Help

                      I'm 17 I am going through a lot, a week ago I had a job, a phone and actual friends . But my parents didnt know about my phone or my boyfriend, the only way they found out was going through my stuff and finding it on their own. Ever since I feel alone and hated, I'm constantly talked down to and all I do is cry, they try to make me eat more than I actually can and get mad when I don't eat when they eat because I don't feel hungry. When were not eating my weight is still a constant issue I'm told I need to gain weight or I will be put in a hospital or physc ward that people think I'm too skinny, I am 110 pounds so I really don't see what they're referring to. I don't feel wanted at home they constantly say they wish I weren't there and tell me how bad I make the situations at home. I can't look them in the face and they get in my face and yell at me I really feel hurt and I honestly want to run away. I want to stay with my boyfriend but if something happens I don't want to get him or his family involved and I honestly just don't want to go back. I also don't want to be taken because again I would try to leave there too.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        re: Help

                        Hi there,

                        Thanks for reaching out today and posting your story here. It sounds like you’re going through so much with your family. It seems like they went through your private things and that you feel a bit violated because of that. It must be frustrating to feel that way. It also sounds like you and your parents get into disagreements about your weight. It must be difficult to constantly be talked to about that. It’s understandable that you’re thinking about leaving home. It’s smart of you to reach out and get some guidance. So let’s see how we can help you out.

                        It’s clear that if you leave home, you don’t want to be brought back home. That makes sense. We can’t say for sure what would happen with the police if you left, but potentially you could be brought back. The reason that the police might bring you back is because your parents are legally responsible for you until you turn 18. In some places across the United States, if you leave at 17 and are staying at a safe place, then the police would not make you go back. You can contact your local police department to find out for sure how they would respond.

                        If the police would make you go back or if you don’t want to get his family involved, it might be helpful to spend some time before you live to think through how you can make things better at home. Thinking about what steps you can take to make that living situation safe for you can be a good way to improve the situation and to make it livable for you.

                        One good resource that might be able to give you some guidance is the National Eating Disorders Association. They have a lot of experience talking with people who have disagreements with their parents or friends about their eating habits. You can call them at 1800-931-2237.

                        We hope that this is a helpful start for you. If you’d like to talk more about anything else or to explore more about your situation, please call or chat with us. You can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm central time.

                        We look forward to your call or chat.

                        Best of luck to you,

                        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


                        • #13
                          17 year old in Maryland

                          Can I be 17 and nine months and just walk out

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 17 year old in Maryland

                            Hi there,

                            Thanks so much for reaching out. It sounds like you’re thinking about walking out and you’re wondering what would happen. We’re not legal experts, so we can’t say for certain what may happen if someone was to leave home at the age of 17 and 9 months. Generally speaking, if you leave without consent from legal guardians before the age of 18, they would have the right to make a runaway report. If that report is made, and the police find you they typically would just bring you back home. However, anyone you stay with could potentially be charged for harboring.

                            We’re not here to tell you whether you should or should not leave, that is your decision to make. We can help weigh your options and come up with a plan, though so please do not hesitate to call or chat with us so we can talk a bit more about your situation and see how else we can help.

                            Best,
                            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


                            • #15
                              I'm a 16 year old girl. It all started when my mother found out I dated a girl. So she put me out and told me she wasn't claiming me no more. I went to my dads house and he was made I was still talking to the girl. He started abusing me(have pictures and witnesses) I left to go to her house. Ever since then my mother keep trying to get me fired and fight me and so more other stuff I called the police and all no one ever showed. She even tried to put a missing report but I was thinking how's that possible if people see me everyday and I'm always at work? Like technically I'm not missing you just want me back and I don't want to come back. I'm a well educated girl with a 3.8 gpa and work, etc. I just need some advice on what to do next. I'm tired of looking over my shoulder. Ps. It's more to the story of course I just don't feel like typing it all.

                              Comment


                              • ccsmod15
                                ccsmod15 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Hello,

                                Thanks for reaching out to us. We are so sorry to hear that things have been so rough at home. It is never ok for anyone to be abusive towards you, and it sounds like between your mom putting you out & your dad making it unsafe for you to stay with him, you’re concerned that your mom has filed a missing person’s report. We’re not legal experts, but we will share as much as we can to help you figure out your next steps. We want you to know that you have the right to report anyone that has been abusive. You have the right to report to your local Child Protective Services agency if someone has made you feel unsafe. If you do not know how to reach them, agencies like Child Help, USA, available at 800.422.4453 can help connect you with your local agency. If you’d like to talk to someone about how that might work, or if you’d like someone to help you make that call, just reach out to us. We are also here to support you.

                                In your message, you talk about how your mom put you out after finding out you dated a girl. Because laws can vary from state to state, you’d have to confirm with your local police department, but from what we understand, if your mom has put you out, you can go to your local police department to let them know that she is refusing to let you live with her, or locking you out. What the local police would do at that point really depends on where you live. With that said, if your mom is your legal guardian, and the police are unaware that she has put you out, she would be able to file a runaway report with her local police department. Depending on how your local police department handles runaway reports, they may actively look for you and, if they find you, they typically either take you home or have your legal guardian pick you up. To get more information on what your local police department might do with a runaway report, and whether it changes anything that you’re still attending school, going to work, etc, it’s a good idea to speak with your local police department directly.

                                If you don’t know how to reach them, feel free to reach out to us and we can help you figure out how to contact your local police department, and even help you make the call if you’d like us to. We can’t tell you what to do, but we will do our best to support you in whatever you decide to do. You can reach us by phone 24/7 at 800.RUNAWAY, as well as chat every day from 4:30pm – 11:30pm CST. We wish you the very best of luck. Stay safe!

                                -NRS
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