No announcement yet.

Is it illegal to move out at 17 in SC?

  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is it illegal to move out at 17 in SC?

    My friend is in a really abusive home situation and my girlfriend (24) and I (1 would like to take her in as soon as she is legally able. Her birthday is coming up and I am wondering if there would be any serious legal issues if she moved in when she was 17.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

    We're sorry to hear about what has been going on with your friend and want them to know that they deserve to feel safe and happy in their home. We are not legal experts, but generally speaking if they run away while they are still a minor, their parent or guardian could file a runaway report and they could be returned home. There also could be legal consequences for you and your girlfriend for what is called harboring a minor. Options you have would be to call out to the local police in their area and inquire about how the police handles runaway reports. Some treat them differently for 17 year olds because they are so close to being considered a legal adult. They could also treat it differently if they find your friend but they report abuse. The way to get the most accurate information would be to reach out to them directly. We can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you want to walk through this option or if you need help finding that local non-emergency number.

    They also have the right and the option to report the abuse. If there is an abuse report on file, that could also effect how them leaving could be treated. If they want to look into that they can call out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. They help with abuse reporting and also talking youth through their rights as minors.

    Good luck, and let us know if we can help more.


    We hope this response was helpful! 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 youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey:
    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 (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      Hello. I am 17 years old and I live in Tennessee. Could I legally move to South Carolina without being forced to go back home?


      • 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); (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,
    Previously entered content was automatically saved. Restore or Discard.
    Insert: Thumbnail Small Medium Large Fullsize Remove