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  • Girlfriend wants to run away from home at age 18

    My girlfriend is 17 right now and will be 18 in November. She's planning on running away on her birthday due to overly controlling parents dictating her every action, including where she can get a job if her parents allow her to get a job. They won't even let her have a state issued photo ID card.

    Anyway, if she runs away at 18 but has no way to prove her age, can police force her home? And can her parents continue to withhold her identifying documents such as her birth certificate and social security card? If not, what are the options that she can take to get her stuff back? Would the police be able to help her out? She lives in Florida, by the way.

  • #2
    Hi there,
    Thanks for reaching out to NRS. We appreciate you looking out for your girlfriend, it sounds like she’s been going through a tough time.
    You mentioned that she’s thinking about running away. Running away is not something that she can be arrested for, so if she does runaway, the police will just likely return her home. Her parents are able to make a runaway report with the police and that report goes nationwide. Once she turns 18 and has been on the run the whole time, she won’t be in any trouble. As far as getting her ID documents from her parents, the police may help her do that. We offer to call out to police with youth, if she calls in, we can call and ask them together.
    Again, we appreciate you reaching out to us on her behalf. It seems like you’re a great support for her. Our safeline is open 24/ if she wants to call in herself and talk with us about her situation and her options.
    Be well, 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


    • #3
      Does that mean that at age 18 that her parents cannot do anything to her to force her home if she chooses to runaway?

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi again,

        Yes that is correct, when she turns 18 she will be considered a legal adult.
        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
          Im 18 years old I want to run away but i cant live like this anymore as in i have thought about suicide and attempting it several times because i couldnt take the pain and the sadness anymore i dont know what else to do now. Now i am not allowed to go outside anymore

          Comment


          • ccsmod16
            ccsmod16 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello, thank you for reaching out to us here at NRS. We are here to help. It sounds like home is really stressful with not being able to go outside and feeling suicidal. We are here to listen and offer some support.

            First, we care about you and your safety. Feeling suicidal can be really scary and can make you feel really alone, but you are not! We care about you and want you to be safe. You are really strong for hanging in there so long and you deserve help. If you are ever in immediate danger of harming yourself, you can always call 911 and they will send a police officer or paramedic out to do a wellness check and get you any further support you may need at that time. You can also walk into an emergency room anytime and ask for help when feeling suicidal.
            Another option when those feelings are strong is reaching out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We know it can be a scary step to call or chat but you have already made the brave step of posting a forum here! You should be proud, it is a really difficult thing to ask for help and you have done it! The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255 d online via live chat at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

            As far as leaving the home, we are not legal experts but in most states 18 is the legal age of majority (except Alabama (19) and Nebraska (21)). This means in most states you can leave home at 18 legally and choose where you would like to live. We can provide shelters and transitional living resources as well as helping brainstorm other options for living arrangements. If you would like to do that, please call us 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 or live chat us on our website when it is open (currently open 4:30-11:30pm Central Time daily).

            You mentioned not being allowed to go outside. That sounds really stressful and confining. Again, we are not legal experts but as far as we know you cannot be kept inside against your will and not allowed to leave. You can call the police if you feel you are being kept inside and not allowed to leave freely. We can also provide you legal resources if you would like to call or chat with us. Child Help is another good resource. It is the national child abuse hotline and they can help you better define abuse or neglect, give you information on how to file an abuse report if necessary. You can reach them at 1-800-422-4453, childhelp.org.

            Thank you so much for reaching out today. It really does show a lot of strength and resilience from you. We are here 24/7 so please call or chat anytime if you would like to talk or get any more resources. Take care of yourself and be safe! We are here to listen and help!

            We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
            Last edited by ccsmod16; 03-16-2018, 11:30 AM.

        • #6
          I’ve been extremely depressed lately. I’m 16 years old. I hate living at home. I’ve been having suicidal thoughts. Nothing ever gets better I just want to leave home I can’t take it anymore. Could my parents file a missing persons report?

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you so much for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. We want you to know that you are not alone and that we are here for you, to listen and to help as best as we can. We’re sorry to hear that you’re going through this, no one should have to feel that way, and you are very brave for reaching out and asking for help, it takes a lot of courage.
            First and foremost, we want to let you know that we are available if you feel comfortable to talk on the phone, we are a 24/7 hotline and toll-free. Please know that you are not alone and that you deserve to feel supported and loved. If you ever feel like you’re in immediate danger or hurting yourself, you can always call 9-1-1. Another resource that you may find helpful is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. There’s also the option of therapy/or counseling, whether that be in school, or with your family. In a counseling/therapy setting, a therapist would advocate for you and it’s someone you can share your feelings with in a safe environment. Once again, if you ever want to talk about how you are feeling in a more confidential setting, please feel free to call us at 1-800-786-2929.
            So, with running away, since you are a minor, your parents have the right to file a runaway report. A runaway report means that if the police do find you they would return you home to your parents. Also something to keep in mind, that if you leave home and stay with a friend, they could get in trouble for harboring a runaway. And more importantly to answer your question, yes they can file a missing person’s report, there is no age limit or time frame on that.
            We want to let you know that you don’t deserve to be somewhere that is unsafe, where you feel this way. Thank you again for writing in. You sound like a really strong and resilient person, and we hope things work out. You are worthy, intelligent, and capable of great things. You can get through this. If you ever want to talk, please give us a call.

        • #7
          Hi My girlfriend is 19 and is going through abuse with her mom she is still in school and im 18 in school too can she run away to me we We are in Texas and We plan to get married so that I can take custody and protect her with my life

          Comment


          • ccsmod9
            ccsmod9 commented
            Editing a comment
            Since she is 19 she is more than likely considered a legal adult which means that she can move out if she wants to and she won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, she have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. We can help her make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.

        • #8
          Hey I’m 18 I would like to run away due to abuse and talked about in my mom my mom died wen I was 14 so I really don’t have any family or anything but I’m trying to get away

          Comment


          • #9
            Hello, thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. We are sorry to hear your mom died and you're being abused. Because you are 18 and therefore legally an adult, you can leave at any time. If you are looking for a place to go https://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/ can locate a shelter in your area. Good luck and call us at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
            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


            • #10
              Im 18, I’m really not sure what to do anymore I’m at the point where I’m gonna hurt myself or someone else I feel so alone and hopeless and My life is just really complicated I wouldn’t commit suicide bc my best friend died from hanging herself but I’m at the point where I need a way out of my life and I don’t really give a ******** what happens to me but I was thinking of staying at a homeless shelter but I have no money no car so I’m just done with everything

              Comment


              • ccsmod0
                ccsmod0 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 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.

                Since you are 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.

                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.

                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).
                We hope to hear from you soon.

                Be safe and stay strong,
                NRS

                Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

            • #11
              Hi ,
              i m 17 and will turn 18 in November . my father has decided to get me married soon if I will not able to qualify my nursing exam . he has given me threat that if I elope then he will file a case against my boyfriend . I m helpless . I wanna know if I flew away in November after my birthday ,will there be any legal action taken or will I be forced to go back to my parents ? I live in India .

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation, and we understand it takes courage to reach out for help. The National Runaway Safeline is located in the United States of America (USA). Our knowledge of helpful community based resources and our understanding of youth in crisis related laws is limited to the USA. If you are located in a country outside of the USA, you can use this link to find a youth helpline in or around your country: https://www.childhelplineinternation...pline-network/.

                We hope that by reaching out to a local resource, you are able to get the support you need from an organization that understands the laws and circumstances that affect youth in your country.

            • #12
              hi, i am a 18 year old girl (19 on october 10th) i wanted to runaway for a very long time now beacuse of the current situation in my house. i can’t contain the sadness anymore and they won’t let me go out. i am so sick and tired of this. but my boyfriend’s mom wanted me to stay with her so she could help me heal. my question is will she get arrested for letting me stay with her because i’ve run away? or will she get charges for it? thank you for the answer!

              Comment


              • ccsmod13
                ccsmod13 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thank you for taking the time to share your situation with us here at NRS. It sounds like your family has been very controlling and it is becoming too stressful to stay at home. You would know better than anyone when leaving is the best decision for you. The good news is that the age of majority in most states is 18 which means you are most likely considered a legal adult. Being a legal adult also means you have the legal freedom to choose where you live. Most likely it would not be considered running away if you leave and the police would not intervene. There would not be a risk of charges for anyone because you would simply be making a decision to move out as an adult.

                Now there are a few states where the age of majority is older than 18 in which case you could still be considered a runaway at 18. The age of majority in Mississippi is 21, in Alabama and Nebraska it is 19. If you do live in one of these states your parents could attempt to report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal but it is a status offense. This means your parents can ask police to return you home if they know where you are staying. It would be helpful to contact the non-emergency line for your local police department to speak with an officer. You can ask if they would take a runaway report for someone your age and if anyone you stay with could be at risk of harboring charges.

                We hope this information helps. If you would like to talk more about your situation or you are in need of any resources, please do not hesitate to reach out again. We are available 24/7 for immediate support at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at 1800runaway.org.

                Stay safe and good luck,
                NRS

            • #13
              hello, im 15 years old, im a female. i live in a very toxic/abusive household, where my mother is misusing my SSI benefits. she doesnt know that i know but my sisters have explained to me, i need to know how i can take ahold of my SSI when im 18 and social security card/ birth certificate. i also plan to run away and live with my girlfriend (who lives in Texas,1,038.1 miles from where i am) when i turn 18 since she and her mom offered to help me get a job and a safe home, ive been with her for over a year now and i trust her. my girlfriend even offered to send money for bus tickets when the time comes. but im afraid of the consequences, its hard for me to stay here. i suffer from mental illness, and more- i have been bullied all my life. ive been hospitalized due to suicide attempts. my parents dont believe that theyre a part of the problem.

              Comment


              • ccsmod0
                ccsmod0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey 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 with your mom. Once you turn 18, you will be able to legally decide where you live. If you want to move to Texas to stay with your girlfriend and her mom, you can definitely do that the moment you turn 18. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, 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.
                We hope to hear from you soon.
                Be safe, NRS

            • #14
              Hi, I'm 15 years old and so is my girlfriend.
              My girlfriend us planning to run away from
              Her parents because they're strict and they
              Attack her but she doesn't want to call the
              Police because she's scared if her dad.

              Comment


              • ccsmod16
                ccsmod16 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi,
                Thanks for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like your girlfriend is going through a really hard time at home right now. We hope that she would reach out to us by phone or by chat to talk with us about her situation because she doesn’t deserve to be attacked. She is lucky to have you as a supporter and a good friend.
                From the title of the post, if you girlfriend wants to leave at age 18, that might be legal. To find out, google “Age of Majority” and your state’s name. If the age of majority is 18, she can leave without fear of anyone calling police.
                She can reach us by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or via live chat through www.1800runaway.org We hope to hear from her soon.

            • #15
              Hello I am 16 year old and my boyfriend is 23 years old and we are from Syracuse we love each other so much and want to get marry but my family will never agree about that so can we run away at Scotland and marry there than come back at Syracuse?

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey there,
                Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway safeline it seems like you are in a frustrating situation and are looking for ways around your parent’s permission to get married since they aren’t willing to consent to it.
                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.
                Going to Scotland to try and get married there may be a way around the consent clause of marriage, but you will probably need to be very sure of the process in Scotland to be sure that the marriage would be valid in the United States still. If you were to leave for Scotland with your boyfriend you would probably risk kidnapping charges for him, and possibly statutory rape if authorities had reason to believe you had sex with him.
                The easiest way to leave home is with your parents’ permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
                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
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