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17, Can I?

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  • 17, Can I?

    So, my father is borderline abusive. He has never continually hit me, but he has his girlfriend and I have put up with his emotional torment for years. (So no evidence except my word and texts he sent his gf.) He sent me to live with his girlfriend, and this summer I stayed at my mom's house, got a job, etc. Well summer is almost over and I'll be 18 in 30 days, so I want to stay with mom.. But when telling him that he threatened to call the cops, have mom arrested, and me brought back. Can I fight this?

    A lawyer we called said by time he gets a court date I'll be 18. But can my mom be arrested? Does he have any power?

  • #2
    re: 17, Can I?

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out today and posting here. It sounds like you’ve been through so much with your dad. You never deserve to be treated that way. Your dad is wrong to treat you like that. It sounds like you’ve found support in your mom and got a way to support yourself and feel safe. We’re glad to hear that.

    We aren’t legal experts here. It’s good that you have already contacted a lawyer. That’s a great first step. In general, if you are under 18 and a runaway report is filed and then you are found at your mom’s house, THEN your dad could charge your mom with something called harboring a runaway. The consequences for that range from fines to jail time – also the police might not do anything about it.

    It’s difficult for us to say exactly how the police will respond. If you told the police that you don’t feel safe at home (if you are found), then that improves the likelihood that your mom would NOT get into trouble. But again, it’s difficult for us to say for sure. Contacting that lawyer again to ask them might be your best next step.

    We hope that this is helpful for you. If you’d like to talk more about this please call or chat with us. You can call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us through our website ( from 4.30pm-11.30pm.

    We look forward to your call or chat.

    Best of luck to you,

    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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