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17, abuse happening at home and wants to legally stay with another family until 18

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  • 17, abuse happening at home and wants to legally stay with another family until 18

    My friend is 17 and she's been verbally and emotionally abused at home, she graduates in January (201 and can't continue being in her home anymore it's too much. There has been threats of physical abuse, it's a hostile environment and dangerous. My family has agreed that she can live with us and finish school with us and be safe, how can we legally do this without being in trouble for runaway laws? Our schools social worker told us it was a personal matter and they can't do anything about it and its up to my friends parents to let her leave.

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thanks for reaching out to NRS via our forum. We appreciate you looking out for your friend and being a support for them. We hope our response will be helpful.

    It sounds like home life for your cousin is really stressful, due to emotional/verbal abuse. Abuse is never okay, no one deserves to be hurt in any way, no matter the situation. We’re sadden to hear that the school social worker didn’t step in and help, school personnel are mandated reporters, it is their duty to step in when youth are being abused. It’s good that she has you to look out for her and try to get her help. A minor (18 and under) who is being abused at home, always has a right to report that abuse. If your friend ever wanted to make an abuse report or explore more what the reporting process looks like, Child Help is the National Child Abuse Hotline (800) 422-4453, can walk her through that. NRS is also able to make abuse reports, if you wanted to pass along our information to her, so she can call into our safeline.

    You mentioned that your family are willing to step in and let her live there, which is great. As far as runaway laws go, we’re not legal experts. Usually, minors are not able to leave their home without a parent’s permission. Running away is not something that minors can be arrested for. The charge of ‘Harboring a Runaway’, happens when adults let runaway stay in their home. It’s not a common charge we hear about and in some situations, we have heard of police not accepting runaway reports on 17 year olds. Since we’re not legal experts, we have a service were we can call out to local police, with youth. That way we can ask them exactly what their protocols are. If you or your friend are interested in that service, don’t hesitate to call into our safeline. We also have a database and can find legal aid resources, if your friend would want to explore any legal ways to be able to move out of her home.

    Again, thank you for reaching out to us and looking out for your cousin. It sounds like you’re doing your best to be supportive. Unfortunately, we’re non-directive at NRS, so we can’t tell you what the right thing to do in this situation. If you’d like to talk more about the situation, don’t hesitate to call out to our 24/7 safeline or use our chatting services.

    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)

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