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  • #16
    Hi, I am 16 years old. I live in South Carolina. I currently live with my dad and step mom and two siblings. I am not happy living with them and I have made arrangements to live with a family member. I have researched online that I can leave at 16 and not be forced to go back to my house as long as where I go is safe and I am not in danger there and I can still do school and stuff, which is the situation with my family member. Is this true? Can I leave and not be forced to go home at 16?

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,
      Thanks so much for reaching out and taking the time to share. It’s great that you’re being proactive about your living situation, and it’s great that you’ve already made arrangements to live with a family member.
      Regarding your specific question about being forced to go home, we want to stress that we are not legal experts here at the NRS. That said, our understanding is that, as a 16 year old, your parents could file a runaway report, which could result in you being sent home. However, if your parents are okay with the arrangement, and you know they won’t file a runaway report, then you should probably be alright.
      Thanks again for reaching out to us. It takes a lot to ask for help, and you are trying to figure out what’s best for you which is good to see. I’m sorry if we couldn’t answer your specific question, but if you’d like to talk further about your situation, please don’t hesitate to chat or call with us. If you do choose to chat or call, we have some numbers available for legal resources within South Carolina that may be able to help. We’re here to listen and here to help.

  • #17
    Hello, im speaking on someone else's behalf due to them being afraid of their parents.
    The person in question, my girlfriend, is living at her home with her parents and younger brother. Whenever I am in a call with her or in an Xbox party with friends with her, we can always here her parents shouting at her daily, her brother and father mocking and and jesting at her, swearing at her and poking fun at her ability to play games. Calling her "Trash, Garbage, F**king moron" etc. the comments against her is very vulger, and this morning upon writing this, she called me saying that her dad had flipped out and threw a book, yelled at her, at her brother and then their mother, but all three blamed it on her. For the last year its been constant emotional abuse, which myself and at least 6 other people have heard. She is scared to go home anymore and wants to run away. She will be 17 this year and plans to run away to a friend of ours in illinois, since im in Britain. Im aware that in some cases it can result in legal reprecusions, but the amount of abuse is.. horrifying. She plans to continue her education after running, but will she, or we, face any criminal issues if we do so? Thank you

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thank you for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like your girlfriend is in a very difficult situation with her family. It must be very hard to watch someone you care about be mistreated in this way. She really deserves to feel safe and cared for in her own home. You say that she wants to go to Illinois but you don’t say where she currently lives. If she ever fears for her safety or wants to report abuse, she can call 911, or she can call Child Help (the National Child Abuse Hotline) at 1-800-422-4453. It’s important that she knows how to keep herself safe.
      You ask about the legality of her running away at 17. While we are not legal experts, we can say that the age of majority in most states is 18 (again, you don’t say where she lives). You can check the age in her state by going to the website www.sexetc.org. This is age at which a young adult can legally leave home without their parent’s permission. While running away is not considered a crime, (it’s a status offense) if you girlfriend’s parents report her as missing, the police can find her and take her home. If she were to be kept from the police or her parents by an individual, there is a possibility that they could be charged with harboring a runaway.
      She is very fortunate to have you to support her; you sound like a very good boyfriend. You can give her our number here at NRS, and either of you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and we’re here to listen and help. We hope to hear from you soon.
      Take care,
      NRS

  • #18
    I live in a house gold where I don’t feel loved or at “home” I was adopted by my aunt and her wife years ago, and fight with them frequently, I’ve ran away before and am thinking about it agian, I’m 16 and don’t know what to do, I want to go live with my boyfriend.

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now and we hope to be able to help. We want you to know that no one deserves to feel like they are not loved or at welcomed in their home. You should not have to go through that. We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for harboring a minor. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

      If you don’t feel safe and feel like you need to get away Nationalsafeplace.org provides a safe location for you to meet a staff member who can take you to a designated place where you can discuss all options about how to stay safe. You can text 44357 the word “safe,” and your location to find a safe location in your area. Once you arrive let someone who works there know you need help connecting with a staff member.

      One service we can offer is to conference call with your parents. This way you could have a conversation with your parents but you would not be alone. For example, it may be hard for you to explain to your aunt how you feel about living with her and why you want to go live with your boyfriend. Sometimes those conversations go better in a conference call because we can advocate for you. If you want to reach us, you can chat with us anytime at 1800runaway.org or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re here 24/7, and we are ready to listen and help however we can.

      Wish you the best
      -NRS

  • #19
    I’m 16 and live in South Carolina. I wanted to know if I can runaway.? Would I get in trouble? Or go to jail? Is it illegal running away?

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your parents/guardians can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned to your parents/guardians.

      It’s important to consider all the possibilities that can occur if you leave home. You will need to plan out how you will cover basic necessities like travel, food, clothing, etc. If you have a place to go in mind, it’s good to see what the expectations of the living arrangement will be like; rules, the amount of time you’re allowed to stay, if you’re expected to contribute financially, etc. This can all influence your decision to leave.

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      All the best,
      NRS

  • #20
    Hey I'm 17 yrs old and live in SC. I was wondering if I could move out without my parents permission or a parent consent. Without them calling the police and making me go back home. My question is can I move out at 17 legally?

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • #21
    Hi. I’m going to be 17 in three days. I live in an abusive house and mom won’t leave. My brother isn’t moving in with my biological father but I’m going into much senior year so I don’t want to move into another state. I plan on moving into my aunts house near my school after my birthday. DSS hasn’t helped us at all. Do you think they would make me go home if I can prove I’m safer there?

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      We are glad you reached out to us, it takes a lot of courage to ask for help. It sounds like you have a really tough living situation. Any kind of abuse is not ok, you do not deserve to be treated that way. It also makes sense that you would want to graduate in the same school that you have been attending. It would be tough leaving your friends for that last year.

      If you can get your mom to agree to let you live with your aunt that’s called an alternative living situation. If you do that you might want to get your mom’s permission in writing, or check with you local police station to see if they have more formal documents she can sign.
      If you decide to leave without you mom’s permission, she could file a runaway report with the police. It is really up to your local police station to decide what they will do with it. It might be beneficial to have your aunt call your local police station to tell them your situation and see what they would do or suggest for your situation.

      Another option would be to file an abuse report. A good resource that could help with that is Child Help (1-800-422-4453). It sounds like you have tried to get help before, so they might be able to give you a little insight to help get something to work. They can also walk through the process of filing the abuse report with you.

      If you would like to discuss your situation any further we would be happy to talk with you 24/7, 1-800-RUN-AWAY, or chat from our website, 1800runaway.org.

      Good Luck,

      NRS

  • #22
    Im 16 and lives in South Carolina so if i ran away would I go to jail

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS! We understand you are going through a rough time Know that we want to help. As far as running away from home some things to keep in mind are that usually the legal age to leave home is 18. While running away isn’t a crime your guardians/parents have the right to file a runaway report with the police. From there they would be on the lookout for you. Anyone who you stay with might be charged with harboring a runaway. This can be something that differs in every state. It might help to ask your local police station’s non-emergency number and ask what would happen. You can remain anonymous and just ask questions. If you are already decide to leave home we can offer help with finding shelters/ transitional living programs to give you help as you are on the streets.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • #23
    im currently 15 i turn 16 on may 2 ive thought about running away multiple times but i never really went through with it because i have younger siblings that look up to me and i dont wanna just leave them like that without them knowing where im going. I get fussed alot by my parents they took my door off i dont have a tv no more all my headphones are gone no phone or anything. Its becoming overwhelming evrytime my parents fuss with me they always call me names that i shouldnt be called then they act as if they care and when i try to tell them to take me to counseling they never do it and they act like me having anxiety and depression is a minor promblem and doesnt need help and they always wanna know whats bothering me but never wants to take the steps to help me out. i currently live with my mom and step dad i honestly dont like living with them at all im in 10 grade right now and live in south carolina but i used to live in ohio. i moved to sc at the end of my 5 grade year ever since I moved down here its when all my promblems started happening i used to live with my mom and grandmother and my dad would get me every weekedn but i only see my dad like once a year now and its hard on me. My mom is sick of me and she tells me that all the time my step dad has really bad anger issues all he does is take his anger out on me. i curently cant live with my bilogical dad because he has alot going on and doesnt have a house rn because of unemployement and i really dodnt know what to do i do want to live like this anymore is there any suggestions? on what i can do in this situation im in now (legally)

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot for a long time now, and it’s understandable you’d be feeling overwhelmed and looking for a break from a tense environment.

      No one deserves to be called names or put down or be the target for someone’s anger issues. The behavior you describe from your mom and stepdad could be considered emotional abuse. Childhelp, an organization we work with that focuses on preventing child abuse, defines abuse as: when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. All forms of abuse are against the law, and you have the right to report it to the authorities. You can do this by telling a teacher or nurse at school, calling the police, or calling your state’s reporting hotline. If you’d like to ask more questions about abuse or the reporting process, Childhelp has an anonymous hotline you can call at 1-800-422-4453.

      You also have the right to get the support and treatment you need for anxiety and depression. A good first step could be checking if your school has a counselor you can meet with. We at NRS are also happy to help you find free or low-cost mental health resources in your area if you want to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929. The National Alliance on Mental Illness also has a hotline during weekdays at 1-800-950-NAMI, or you can text “NAMI” to 741741. It can also be helpful just to have someone to be able to talk to and get things off your chest, like a friend or a family member you trust. Even parents of friends can be helpful. Activities like writing your feelings out in a journal, exercising, or finding ways to spend less time at home (like joining a club or team at school) can also make things a little easier on you.

      We are here for you 24/7 if you’d like to talk more about your situation or brainstorm other options. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help, and it is smart of you to research your options before making your next move.

      Stay strong,
      NRS

  • #24
    Hello. I am 16 and have left SC to another state. Can I stay in the other state? I have family I can stay with but can they get in trouble if I stay with them? They want to get custody of me.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for taking the time to write us here at NRS and for sharing a bit about your situation. It was really responsible and resourceful of you to seek out some more information about your current living arrangement.

      We are not legal experts by any means, but we can share the relevant knowledge we do have on your circumstances. Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18, so they can decide where you live. If you do choose to leave without permission, your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your parents know where you are staying then they can have the police assist with returning you home. In some cases the people you are staying with do risk being charged with harboring a runaway or a similar charge. This is usually a misdemeanor and not very common. It is usually up to the police department where your parents/legal guardians live. You can call the non-emergency number for the police department where your current legal guardians live to ask about their harboring protocols. You might also be able to ask if a runaway report has been made on you. If your parents did not report you as a runaway then there would likely not be any police intervention due to you "running away."

      Child Help is an organization that advocates for young people in abusive and unhealthy situations. You can contact them at 1-800-422-4453 or go to childhelphotline.org as they might be able to help for talking through some strategies for having your family members acquire custody.


      We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

  • #25
    I live in sc. I'm 16 but i'm turning 17 in 7 months which is this year. i'm adopted but my bio family wants custody of me and i want to know if i can go live with them without getting in trouble with the law.

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, it takes courage to reach out and we are so glad that you decided to reach out to us.
      We are not legal experts but we do have some information on what could happen if you were to leave. Because you would still be considered a minor if you were to leave without permission your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back to your legal guardian. Also whoever you were to stay with could potentially get in trouble for harboring a runaway. One option to consider is talking with your adoptive parents about how you feel, they may allow you to live with your bio parents or at least visit them.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to talk please chat with us or give us a call. We are here 24/7 to help and support you.
      NRS

  • #26
    Hey I hate living at home my mom mentally and emotionally abuses me can I leave home know I am 16

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are wanting to leave due to your mom's emotional abuse. That has to be very hard to deal with. Here at NRS, we truly want to inform you and support you the best we can.

      18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

      Unfortunately, emotional abuse does not mean you can automatically become an adult before 18. However, you do have the right to report any abuse to child protective services. Unfortunately, it is harder for them to intervene in emotional abuse cases since it is harder to prove to be dangerous, even though we know it can be just as hurtful. You might reach out to the expert child advocates at Child Help if you have questions about reporting 1-800-422-4453.

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation. We are always here for you.

      1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org

      Best,

      NRS

  • #27
    I'm 16
    I want to go to my mom to live with her and she has visitations rights but the lady I'm staying with wont let her and I just wanna know when I turn 16 can I leave to go with her like what's all I can do

    Comment


    • #28
      Hey there,
      Thanks for reaching out to NRS. It seems like you have been through a lot and are hoping to live with your biological mother rather than your current guardian. It seems like your guardian has full custody of you and you bio-mom doesn’t, as such if you were to go live with your bio-mom before turning 18 and without permission your guardian can report you as a runaway. This is a status offence and the police would be able to force you to go back to your guardian. Your bio-mom could also potentially face charges of harboring a runaway if you were to stay with her as well.
      Other options would be to try and ask the courts to give your bio-mom full or partial custody of you so that she has more guardianship rights over you. Another options would be to try and become emancipated which in some states means that the state recognizes you as an adult in the legal sense and you can live with who you want.
      If you have more questions or just need someone to talk to please reach out to our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us through our online chat.
      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)
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • #29
        How do I get a emancipation form without my gaurdian knowing and I want to live with mom who has visitation rights but gaurdian wont let her my gaurdian is driving me crazy, she uses manipulation and lies and she physically abused me when I was young and I didn't know and now it's like shes mentally abusing me she gets pleasure off my misery and she treats me as if im a bad child I do the best I can in school I rarely get c on report card and never get into trouble but she treats me like I've done wrong all my life and she restricts me of.being a normal teenager I'm 16 in South Carolina and I wanna get away without the chaos and drama my mom is on probation but almost off I really want to stay with her but my guardian wants to control everything she would never let me go to court to emancipate so is there a way I could do this discreetly and let her find out when I hand the form to her because I'm really in the blind and dont know what to do I hate her with a passion and need to get away when I was younger she had pushed me so far I took meds to kill myself but it didnt work she doesnt know but I do if I dont get away soon I fear for my mental health and life because I dont know if I can take anymore

        Comment


        • ccsmod3
          ccsmod3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services.

          Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.

          It sounds like you are interested in emancipation. We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18. Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. The court will also factor in the mental and physical welfare of your parents in order to establish your best interest. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. Once you are emancipated, you can legally choose where you live, but you might still find that you cannot sign a lease or build credit until you turn 18. The emancipation process can take several months or up to a year, and may cost money in the form of court fees and other expenses. Usually, the best way to learn about emancipation in your state is to contact a lawyer. You may also find information at your county family court. We can look up legal aid resources that may be able to help you with the process. Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need legal resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

      • #30
        Can my parent give me consent to emancipate like my biological mother or does it have to be my legal guardian who is my grandma

        Comment


        • ccsmod0
          ccsmod0 commented
          Editing a comment
          It sounds like you are interested in emancipation. We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18. Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. The court will also factor in the mental and physical welfare of your parents in order to establish your best interest. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. Once you are emancipated, you can legally choose where you live, but you might still find that you cannot sign a lease or build credit until you turn 18. The emancipation process can take several months or up to a year, and may cost money in the form of court fees and other expenses. Usually, the best way to learn about emancipation in your state is to contact a lawyer. You may also find information at your county family court. We can look up legal aid resources that may be able to help you with the process. Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need legal resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
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