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Three months until I'm 18, but I can't keep living with my parents

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  • Three months until I'm 18, but I can't keep living with my parents

    So I live in Illinois and I am planning on running away once I get my high school diploma. I am three months from turning 18, so what can the police do if my parents call them? Will they find me and take me back? Is it a great risk to take my phone with me because they might find it? I have waited all year to finish high school so I can be ready to leave my house, I work and am planning on going to college. I know my parents won't be able to pay for college even if I stay, and I have been awarded scholarships that are helping me pay for my education. So is it that bad that I am planning to live with a friend for about two months and a half before I turn 18 and start college?

  • #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.

    You mentioned wanting to leave your home before you are 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. We can't be sure about your phone, but it is a possibility that they could track you on it if your parents have access to that. 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 this option with a liner, we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We could also talk through how you might be able to make it until you are 18 so that you could not face any of these possible legal consequences.

    Let us know how we can best help,

    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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