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Leaving Home at Age 17 In Louisiana

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  • Leaving Home at Age 17 In Louisiana

    I am in need of some advice, I need to know if I can legally leave home at 17 here in Louisiana. I face verbal abuse every day, and sometimes physical abuse as well at home by my mother, who is a very bad alcoholic and I was once raped by my grandfather whom I also live with in the same home, but nobody had believed me about that, and it has been this way for years now. I was kicked out a few nights ago, but returned home. The officer at school says I cannot be kicked out, but my mother makes me leave anyways. I have a way to get to school and work every day, so that is not a problem if I were to move out, and the people I'd be staying with are more than capable of taking care of me. They want me to get out of my home, because I honestly do fear for my safety. But I don't want to get into trouble with the law for leaving, and my mother cannot be reasonable because she is almost always drinking, every day when I come home from school, and the only wants me living there because she gets my child support, which she has told me even when she was sober. I just want to know, can I please just leave and stay with a family friend? They know that my mother isn't in her right mind sometimes, and they know that she's abusive. I'm just afraid I'll go to jail or Juvenile Detention or something for being considered a runaway. Is there some kind of outreach program or something that can help me? My birthday isn't until December 29th 2014 so, I will be 18 then. I just cannot stick this out anymore. I want to be sure I can leave now. I also graduate in May of 2014. Thank you.

  • #2
    Leaving Home at Age 17 in Louisiana

    Hi and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. I am sorry to hear this is your life currently and no one should ever be hurt in that way and have to live with the reminder of it either. It sounds like you do have people in your life that care about you and want to see you do well in life and to help you get there. While this may be an uncomfortable or scary thought, have you considered reporting the abuse and the environment in your home? The officer is correct that she cannot kick you out, despite her continuing to do so. Running away is not illegal, it is not a crime or felony, which means you will not get arrested or put in juvenile detention for running away. In regards to being able to leave home at 17, the police may or may not force you to return home, it is not a guarantee. If you want to know the legal age in Louisiana you can look it up online, some states vary with their legal age ,or you can call a local police station and ask questions without providing any identifying information. If you stay with a friend, your mom could press charges if she knows where you are and wants to take legal action if she is not willing to give you permission. We are also available through our 24 hour hotline 1-800-RUNAWAy (1-800-786-2929) or our online chat services 4:30pm-11:30pm daily. I hope this helps and best of luck to you. Thank you for contacting the 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

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    • #3
      running away at 17

      I am 17 I live with my mother and she has domicile custody but she is abusive to me emotionally and physically she's on drugs and doesn't work I want to go and live with my father because I just can't deal with this anymore I want to know if I can go and live with him without my mother's permission?

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      • #4
        RE: running away at 17

        Hello there,
        Thanks for posting on the National Runaway Safeline forum today.

        It sounds like things are pretty hard at mom’s house right now. Dealing with a parent that is abusive and on drugs can be a really trying time. We want you to know that we think you’re really courageous for sticking up for yourself and reaching out for help. It sounds like things are very overwhelming.

        Since you mentioned abuse, we want you to know that abuse of any kind is NOT ok and is NEVER your fault. There’s no pressure to do this, but if you were interested, it sounds like you have the right to report what is happening to you. If you wanted to know more about abuse reporting please visit www.childhelp.org. If you wanted someone to help you file a report, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly here at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we’d be happy to conference you in with an abuse reporting hotline and help you file a report.

        Unfortunately we’re not legal experts. We can speak generally about custody. As we understand it, if you left home without permission it sounds like mom could call the police to get you returned home. If your father doesn’t have custody he may encounter legal trouble as a result. It’s hard to say if he’d be charged for sure, but there could be certain charges associated with letting you stay at his house without your primary guardian’s permission. However, sometimes if CPS (child protective services) intervenes, there could be the option to stay with him or another relative if the report is found to be credible (after an investigation).

        This is a lot of information to take in. It can be confusing. If you’d like someone to talk to that can help you make sense of this or just need someone to vent to, we’d be happy to help in any way we can. We’re 24/7 and confidential here, so we’re safe to talk to and always available. If you ever feel like you’re in immediate danger, please call 911.

        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

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