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Missouri 17 YO Runaway Laws

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  • #61
    Hello i am 17 years old in Missouri my mom told me get out then when i left over to my girlfriends house proceeded to threaten to call the cops on her parents my question is if i’m 17 can i choose where i want to stay legally without them getting in trouble

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 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

  • #62
    Hello,a friend's kids ages (13 and 14 I believe) are being physically abused. There were even multiple witnesses as of last night,the cops arrived and the child had an obviously swollen face.they left after the child was made to state 'everything was ok' which wasn't the case. I'm terrified as one of the adults is rumored to be using hard drugs and my concern is something really bad will happen. These children to get out of their house. Their family is in the south and is more than willing to assume rights if at all possible.please help asap

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thank you so much for reaching out and sharing a bit about what's going on. It is extremely concerning to hear that these kids are being abused a. Safety is our biggest concern here at NRS and we encourage you to call 911 if you think any of these young people need immediate medical attention. It is quite worrisome that the police did not appropriately respond to this situation. The kids (or you) have the right to contact child protective services (CPS) to file an abuse report. If this is something you are interested in you can go to childhelp.org for more information on abuse reporting and how to file.

      It may be beneficial for the kids to reach out to us as well so we can go over the situation in depth and explore other options and resources that they may have available to them. We can be reached by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY, or via the chat button on the top of our home page.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • #63
    My bfs mom is driving him so crazy that he wants out so bad he calls and texts me crying because of the way she treats him. He said he is gonna move out at 17 ( in May he turns 17) and she thinks he's gonna move in with me. He's not, but he wants out so badly. Is there anyway he can move out without her making him so miserable, and forcing him to go back home?

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thank you for reaching out to NRS and sharing this with us. It sounds like this is a stressful situation for him to be at home with his mom, especially if he feels that his home environment isn’t a good one due to the way his mom is treating him.

      We aren't legal experts here at NRS, but, in most states, the age of majority is 18, meaning that if a person is 18 or over and is trying to leave their home, they can do so at their own free will, and his/her parents would not be able to force him back home. To make sure your boyfriend isn’t forced home, you and him could consider making sure what the age of majority is in the state he lives in. If he does decide to leave even though his age is under the age of majority, his mom could have the police go to find him and to bring him home to her again. His mom could also file a runaway report, which is like a Missing Person’s report, and have the police go find him through that means. If the police do find him, they would likely bring him back home to his mom again. Depending on his situation, another option he could use is seeing if there is a family member or friend who is willing to take him in who his mom would approve of. This way, he wouldn’t have to worry too much about his mom forcing him back home through the use of the police.

      It is understandable why he wants to leave his home, especially if his mother is making him feel this way and is treating him poorly. It may be beneficial to have him reach out to us directly if he needs any other information or wants to explore other options to fix the situation. He can feel free to reach out by calling 1800RUNAWAY (1800-786-2929) or chatting us at 1800runaway.org. We are here to support you and listen to you.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

  • #64
    im 16 planning on leaving home at 17 i will be moving in with my cousin who will be 20 when i move in with her. i live in missouri and my parents can be physically and mentally abusive. we have had dfs called many times and nothing has happened. i have been to a mental hospital twice for trying to kill myself. can i get in trouble?

    Comment


    • #65
      Hi there,

      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to be vulnerable, and we appreciate you reaching out. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.

      It sounds like you are in a neglectful and abusive living situation, and we’re glad you’ve come to us. Everyone deserves to feel loved and respected in their home. Suicide is not your only option, and you’re very brave to seek an alternative to death by suicide. If you ever feel at risk of hurting yourself again, we encourage you to reach out to a friend, family member, or hotline such as NRS or National Alliance on Mental Illness (1-800-950-NAMI).

      If you ever feel unsafe at home, it’s always within your rights to report any abusive behavior. www.childhelp.org can be a great resource when looking to report abuse, and we can also assist you in filling out an abuse report if you call or chat us. While running away is not illegal, anyone that you are staying with could potentially be charged with harboring a runaway. However, if you file an abuse report when you leave home, and since you have documented abuse before, the police typically will at least conduct another investigation before making any decisions about making you return home.

      If you would like to further discuss your options, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. If calling is not feasible, you can also chat us at www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

      We hope this helped and take care!

      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


      • #66
        I am 16, turning 17 in August of 2022. I live is Missouri. I have a job, but I want to move out of state with my dads brother soon after I turn 17. My uncle "dads brother" and his wife is perfectly okay with it. But my mother and father are both against it. They feel like I am not responsible enough to do that, but my uncle and his wife both hold very steady jobs , and are obviously legal adults, and own their own house. I have spoken to both my uncle and his wife about the situation and they said they would would be more than happy with me coming to live with them. I am going to finish high school and try to go to college. My mom's husband is physically abusive and my mom doesnt do anything about it. My biological mother and biological father were teens when they had me. They were never married. my dad's house is not stable in any way he is very bad at money management and my mom and step dad Are always fighting about my moms spending habits. my mo has 2 other children with special needs and my dad has 3 other kids with his ex wife that are not special needs. my dads other 3 children live with their mother, all I want to do is get away from my toxic family and make a better, more stable life for myself now and in the future. I have talked to other family members about it and they feel like I should do what is best for myself. I Dont know what steps I need to take to get away.

        Comment


        • ccsmod8
          ccsmod8 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks so much for reaching out. It sounds like there is a lot going on at home. We’re sorry to hear that you’re going through all of this. We’re especially sorry to hear about the physical abuse you mentioned- you don’t deserve that at all. It can be really hard to talk about these things, we’re really glad you reached out to us, it takes a lot of strength.

          We’re not legal experts and custody laws can get really complicated, especially when it involves crossing state lines. In Missouri you’re a minor until the day you turn 18 years old. If your dad is your legal guardian, and you left to go live with your uncle- your dad could file a runaway report and if the police find you they can bring you back home. A minor who is brought home by the police usually does not face any major legal repercussions. However, there could be charges filed against your uncle for harboring a runaway, especially since you mentioned that your uncle lives in another state. In other word’s: you’d likely need to have your guardian’s permission to go live with your uncle.

          Another option worth looking into would be emancipation. Emancipation is a legal process that determines if a minor meets certain criteria to be independently responsible for themselves before becoming a legal adult. However, in the interest of transparency, this can be a very time consuming process. If there is abuse occurring in your home, you can file an abuse report and Child Protective Services may be able to assist you in arranging an alternative living situation. We understand there is a lot to consider and a lot of information at once can be overwhelming. We’d encourage you to reach out to us via phone (1-800-Runaway) or via live chat (1800Runaway.org) so we can provide you with the most appropriate resources/information possible. As we mentioned, we’re not legal experts but we have legal resources we can connect you with via phone or live chat. We’re also available if you just need to talk. Our live chat and phone lines are confidential and operate 24/7.

          We’re wishing you the best of luck and hope to hear from you on our phone lines or live chat.

      • #67
        Hi. Im 15 and I wanted to know something. If I run away from home in Missouri, will I be forced to come back?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for reaching out to us with your question. No one can say for sure what exactly would happen if you ran away, but until you are 18 you are considered a minor and if you run away your parent or guardian could file a runaway report on you and police could return you home.

          If you'd like to talk about what's going on we are here 24/7 at our confidential hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You can also chat with us via the chat feature on our website: www.1800runaway.org. We hope to hear from you soon!

          All the best,
          NRS

      • #68
        I'm turning 17 on the 26th if November and I would like to leave my father's house. Can I legally run away and would I have a place to stay if I worked to get my own place? I dont know the laws with this all that well and would not like to go to juvenile detention or anything. I just wanna leave with no issues other then emancipating myself. How can I do this and how fast can I do this?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like you have questions regarding leaving home at the age of 17 outside of emancipation and you have concerns about possible being sent to juvenile detention if you decide to leave. While we cannot tell you what to do, we can share information that may help you figure out your next steps.

          We are not legal experts, but from what we understand, if you are considered a minor in your state, you need to consent of a parent or legal guardian to leave home, otherwise they can report you as a runaway to your local police department. From what we understand, running away is considered a status offense in some states. This means that you are not allowed to leave without consent because you are a minor. Whether local police will take the report and if they actively look for you is at the discretion of your local police department. Typically, if they do find you, they would take you back to your legal guardian. One option you have is to call them at their non-emergency number to find out how they handle these reports. You can make this call anonymously. If you need help finding out how to contact your local police department, feel free to give us a call or send us a chat.

          Another option is to discuss moving out with your parents to see if they would consent. Sometimes, having a neutral third party to help mediate the situation may help with this conversation, and if you have someone in mind, it may help to bring them. We also offer three way calls between youth and legal guardians to help mediate any conversation you might want to have. If you are interested in exploring other legal options, including emancipation, your local Legal Aid office might be able to provide guidance specific to your state.

          Whatever you decide, please know that we are here to support you. Although we cannot tell you what to do, we will do our best to help you explore options that can keep you safe. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

          We are here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!

          -NRS
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