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I could use some help.

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  • I could use some help.

    I am almost 17 years old. I am not necessarily running away, I just would like to move in with my friend. My mother is kind of verbally/ emotionally abusive and I would like to not live with her. When I try to leave she threatens to call the cops and say that I ran away, to get me sent to juvie, or to say that she is unfit to be a parent and have me sent into "the system" for foster homes. I would not like either. I have friends here, a school, sports, and a job. Can she call the cops? Is this illegal? Also, I have almost $4000 in the bank and she is incharge of my account until I am 18. If I do end up leaving can she hold my money? Can she make me stay here legally?

  • #2
    Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have a few questions about being able to move out of your mother’s house and in with your friend. We want to say that abuse whether its physical, sexual, emotional or verbal, it is never okay and you do not deserve it and do have the right to report it. We want you to know that you do have the right to make a report with Child Protective Services. Child Help USA is an information and referral line that can connect you with your local CPS abuse hotline. That number is 1-800-422-4453. If you ever felt like making a report or needed help, we are here to assist with that. We can even talk more about the possible outcomes of calling them, since you mentioned that you do not want to be placed in foster care. We understand that making an abuse report can be intimidating so if you like we can call together to provide support.
    We cannot image how hard it must be to be stuck in a situation where, every time you try to leave your mother just ends up calling the police on you. We are not legal experts nor are we affiliated with the police so we can only speak generally about what could happen if a youth leaves home without the consent of a guardian. Leaving home without parental consent (running away) is not a crime, so the police will not arrest you. If you do leave home without permission your guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime it is a status offence (something that only a minor can get in trouble for: truancy, buying cigarettes, etc.) this means that if you have any interaction with the police they will simply return you home. On the other hand the people that you are found to be staying with could face legal consequences that vary depending on state. You can find out more about how runaway’s reports are carried out by contacting your local police department. If you would like we could contact your local non-emergency number for you or with you. Just give us a call and one of our trained liners would be happy to assist you.
    You also asked about some money that you have in the bank. We cannot say what rights she would have to this money being that you are under age. You could try reaching out to your bank directly and seeing what the policies are for your account.
    We want you to know that you are not alone and we will do anything we can to help you with what is going on. If you feel comfortable you can give us a call and one of our trained liner will be happy to assist you.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (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.
    We hope to hear from you soon.
    Be safe,

    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)

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