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Leaving home

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  • Leaving home

    I'm 17 years old I live in jacksonville Illinois and I want to move out because my parents are sometimes abusive and I just can't deal with it anymore but I don't know if I can legally move out I have friends that are over 18 willing to let me move in I have a job and am planning on helping pay rent but I want to make sure my parents can't force me to come back

  • #2
    Thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you’re in a very stressful situation and it’s not okay that your parents have treated you like this. No one ever deserves to be abused. We are not legal experts, but we can give you some general information and hopefully help you think through some options. If you find that email isn’t sufficient to answer your question, please also feel free to give us a call. Our hotline is open 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929.
    You mention that your parents are “sometimes abusive.” As we mentioned, this is never okay and you have the right to file an abuse report with child protective services. You can do this a couple ways. One way is to talk to a teacher or guidance counselor about what’s been going on at home. They are considered mandated reporters, meaning they must report any abuse they hear about to cps. Another option is for you to call the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. This hotline can help you file an abuse report and can also give you general information about the process and what might happen if you do report.
    It sounds like you’re thinking of options for leaving this situation, which takes a lot of courage. Since you are under 18, you are still considered a minor in the state of Illinois. If you left without your parents’ permission, they would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police find you, the may return you home. Since your friends are over 18, there is a small possibility that they would be charged with harboring a runaway. That being said, if the police are able to locate you, you can let them know that there’s abuse going on and they’re supposed to investigate that situation. It’s also a possibility that your local police would choose not to pursue you depending on how close you are to turning 18. If you’d feel comfortable doing so, it is an option to call your local non-emergency police line and ask if they accept runaway reports for 17-year-olds.
    Thank you again for reaching out. We hope that this was helpful and we welcome your feedback of our crisis forum services at the following link: . Again, please feel free to reach out to us by phone if you would like to talk about your situation more specifically.
    Stay safe, stay strong!
    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!


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