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Can you leave home at the age of 17;

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  • Can you leave home at the age of 17;

    I'm 17 years old but turning 18 in seven months is it possible for me to leave my home in Katy, Texas to live with my girlfriend in Amarillo, Texas. My parents doesn't allow me to keep any of my money that I make at my job even though my mom was the one that wanted me to get one but when I got one she was complaining that we were holding her back from getting a job herself, even though none of was and all of us could take care of ourselves and they locked my bank account so I can't withdraw from my bank account anymore since I withdraw money from it every week since they don't allow me to have some money in my pocket anymore, so does that make that a crime to withhold someone else money against their own will and right? Plus when my mom gets mad at me and my sister for doing something that we didn't do she starts threatening to kill us or kick us out of the house, and my step dad used to come in and help but now he doesn't cause she became such a control freak and a tyrant in our house. I want to move in with my girlfriend but my girlfriend's mom is making up her mind about me staying with them or not at the moment cause she is a couple years younger then me, but if she doesn't I'm gonna try and rent an apartment near her and find a nearby job so we can be close by and still be able to pay off my rent but I don't know wats the legal age to rent an apartment in Texas. So basically I have three questions to answer. Also the only reason why I was thinking about doing this was cause my brother was forced to leave cause of what my mom is doing so now he's living with our grandparents in New York, but my mom went up there during spring break to see if he would come back down even though he is already 21 years old already and I been thinking about doing the same thing ever since he left and my mom always forcing her tyrant grasp on me and my sister.

  • #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 all that has been going on and want you to know that you deserve to feel safe and happy in your home. You don't deserve to be threatened or not have access to your money. If you want support and information surrounding child abuse reporting and your rights as a minor in regards to your money and safety, you can reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453.

    You also mentioned wanting to leave your home before turning 18. We are not legal experts but generally speaking, if you leave while still 17, your parents could file a runaway report and you could be returned home. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a minor. One thing you can do is reach out to your local police to inquire how they handle runaway reports for 17 year olds. Some cities and departments treat them differently because a 17 year old is so close to becoming a legal adult. The way to get the most accurate information would be to call your local police non-emergency number and anonymously inquire about their practices. If you need help finding this number or you want to walk through any of the options listed above with a liner, we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Let us know how we can best help,


    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: We care what you think

    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!


    • #3
      The thing is my mom has been thinking of kicking me out for the past couple months so does that make it legal or illegal for me to leave?


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline. We are not legal experts, so we cannot say for sure. If you are under 18, it is illegal for your mom to kick you out and she could be charged with neglect. Running away in general is not illegal, it is a status offense which is something you aren't suppose to do because of your age. You cannot get arrested for leaving home. However if your mom decides to file a runaway report and the police find you, they would return you home. We hope that this information helps, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat if you have any other questions.
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