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17 years old in Texas, need to leave home

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  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.
    We hope this information will help you in your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. We wish you the best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I’m thinking about moving in with a close friend that will take care of me. I’m 17 years old and I want to start living my own life and not be controlled all the time. I will stay in school also. I don’t want any police involved what should I do?


    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to us with this. That sounds like a really scary situation but we are glad that you and your siblings are doing your best to get the help you need. It’s unfortunate that CPS responded in that way. It might be helpful for you to keep track on when that report was filed and what you shared with CPS. Sometimes it can take a few tries to get the attention of CPS. If you would like to file another report or discuss further how you can get CPS to intervene, we would be able to help you out with that. Also, if you are in school and share that you are being neglected with a teacher, they would be legally mandated to file a report on your behalf. Filing multiple reports might be helpful in proving the urgency of your case. If you are willing to reach out to us at 1-800-RUNAWAY and share some more details of what is going on, we could help you file a report.

    We are not legal experts but it might be helpful for you to know that if your mother is your legal guardian, your father cannot legally prevent you from living with her. However, even if she is not your legal guardian, running away is only considered a status offense. That means that it is very unlikely that you running away could actually lead to you being put in a juvenile correction facility. As your guardian your dad would have the right to file a runaway report with the police which might lead to them looking for you and your siblings. If they found you, they would return you home to your father. However, if you are able to get CPS involved, it is possible that you could be relocated to foster care. We hope that some of this information has been helpful to you. You can always reach out to us again at 1-800-RUNAWAY or using our online chat service to talk more extensively. We are here 24/7.

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am 15 I have a 17 year old sister and an 11 year old brother we are being abused and neglected and being treated like slaves and my dads house we want to runaway but he told us he will put us in juvenile and our mother will not be able to get us since we want to live with her. We need help ASAP we tried to tell cps but they said nothing was wrong. We live in Texas and want to know what we can do for help.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. You mentioned that you have been abused by your mother, stepfather, and biological father within the past year - absolutely no one deserves to be abused. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering. Additionally, if your mom ever does throw you out of the house it can be considered neglect and you have the right to contact CPS in that situation.

    Regarding your question about your research, we aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned to your parents. Often times, the closer you are to turning 18 the more likely it is that the police will not make you return home if a runaway report has been filed. This can differ a lot from town to town and it may be beneficial to call out to 311 (nonemergency police line) to verify what local police policy is regarding older runaways.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hey, so I’m 16 turning 17 in 5 months. I live in Andrews, Texas. My mother and stepfather along with my biological father have abused me mentally and physically in the past year, and when we fight they tend to threaten me. My mom has told me to move out multiple times and when I try to, she immediately changes her mind. I’ve asked to move in with other family but they refuse to. My boyfriend who is 17 says that when I turn 17 I can move in with him and his family. They are good people who care about my safety.
    i have done research the past few days on the legal rights a 17 year old has in Texas. What I learned is although I can’t legally move out without parents consent, if I run away nothing bad will happen to me. I’m planning on doing so as they treat me without respect, hit me, and worse. I have been sexually abused by someone close to me and they did nothing about it. My mom yells and verbally abuses me so much that I no longer feel safe at home. But I can’t move in with my biological dad as he agrees with anything my mom says or does. What are my options, and am I right about my research?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story. We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there without your mom’s permission. Some police departments don’t accept runaway reports for 17 year olds, but the policies may vary by each department. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.
    If you don’t feel safe and feel like you need to get away

    Nationalsafeplace.org provides a safe location for you to meet a staff member who can take you to a designated place where you can discuss all options about how to stay safe. You can text 44357 the word “safe,” and your location to find a safe location in your area. Once you arrive let someone who works there know you need help connecting with a staff member.

    One service we can offer is to conference call with your parents. This way you could have a conversation with your parents but you would not be alone. For example, it may be hard for you to explain to your mom why you want to move in with your boyfriend. Sometimes those conversations go better in a conference call because we can advocate for you. If you want to reach us, you can chat with us anytime at 1800runaway.org or call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re here 24/7, and we are ready to listen and help however we can.

    Wish you the best

    -NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello I am a 17 year old from Texas I have already graduated from high school and I turn 18 in a month. My parents are separated and my mom has full custody of me but I have been living with my grandparents for 5 going on 6 years now! I have a boyfriend who had a job and live with his mom I want to move out because of the stuff I have been going through , my boyfriends mom is totally okay with me living there but I just want to know what could happen if I try to move out without my mom knowing. I haven’t lived with her for years. So I feel like there’s nothing she can do.

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  • ccsmod9
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your guardian’s 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 guardian. 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.

    Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Be safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    ok so I live with my grandparents I'm about to turn 18 in December but they mental abuse me and my grandpa is sick and we can't afford anything and I wanna go live with my dad but my grandparents are my Legal gardians will i get in trouble if I leave home

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi and thanks for reaching out! Sounds like you care a lot about your brother and want what is best for him. We are glad he has someone like you who cares! Thanks for reaching out on his behalf.

    We are not legal experts, but in general, the legal age in Texas is 18. Leaving before 18 means he could be filed as a runaway if he leaves without permission. Generally, police accept the runaway reports in Texas until their 18th birthday. You mentioned your brother is in an abusive home. He always has the right to report the abuse, which is sounds like he did but nothing came of it. That is really disappointing, to say the least. Generally, CPS has a last resort of separating families, which can seem very unfair and harmful when a child is being abused. Child Help (1-800-422-4453, childhelp.org) has crisis counselors on staff 24/7 to talk about abuse and help in next steps, such as filing another report (sometimes having multiple on file shoes CPS this is a pattern and any programs they have put into place is not working, abuse is continuing) or getting legal custody transferred to a safe adult. We can also help file another abuse report, if that is something your brother wants. Have him call us anytime, 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 if he wants to pursue that.

    Another option may be emancipation or petitioning the court for custody to be transferred to another family member. Again, we are not legal experts, but if you and your brother want more info on this, we have many resources nationwide so reach out anytime!

    We are here by phone (1-800-786-2929) and live chat (at the top of the page here) 24/7 and can best help directly, so feel free to reach out there.
    Thank you again for advocating for your brother. You and he are both welcome to call or chat us anytime. We are anonymous and confidential!

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My brother is 16 going to be 17 in one month he is in an abusive house hold so bad he ran away 3days ago scared he called the cops and CPS...and they still sent him back to that house..when he turns 17 in the state of Texas can they still make him go back if he runs away again ?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod9
    commented on Guest's reply
    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); 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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am 17 years old. My parents are always fighting and taking it out on me. The way they grab me and touch me is basically abuse in a way. I dont feel safe here. I dont feel like a belong at all. That may be a stupid reason but I wanna know if I can leave. I live in vidor Texas. I wanna know if the cops can do anything at all if I leave and move in with someone else.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod8
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there –

    Thank you for reaching out to us here on our public forum. Hopefully by helping you through your crisis, there are others in similar situations that can find it helpful as well. It can be hard not to know what do to in this situation. Looking at your questions you can see that they have been answered a few times throughout this forum thread. So for more information please look through and read some of the other responds that we gave to the same or similar questions.

    Best of luck!
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