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Leaving home at 16 in Texas

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  • #16
    Can I leave home at 16 in Texas? It’s not my parents it’s just me. I feel it’s best to leave home as soon as possible

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      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 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.

      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

  • #17
    I have a friend close to me that is being physically and emotionally abused at home. He is 16 and lives in Texas. Will be turning 17 in April 2020. Can he legally leave the state if he can go to his ex stepdad’s who raised him? Can someone get in trouble for picking him up and taking him out of state?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out. After reading your posting we noticed that it has a lot of similarities as another users post. We have attached a quote from that posting. If you have any follow-up questions we strongly encourage you to give us a phone call. 1-800-786-2929
      Best wishes,
      NRS
      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 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.
      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

  • #18
    Can a parent press charges on her child for running away ? In Texas.

    Comment


    • ccsmod8
      ccsmod8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there -

      Thank you for reaching out to us here on our public forum. Hopefully you have taken the opportunity to explore the responses on this thread to see if they can help you. It is our thought by helping you during your crisis, that there are others out there going through the same situation can look at this thread and find the answers that they need as well. Of course if you need additional support you are more than welcome to reach out to us via our online chat or our 24/7 hotline.

      As you have probably read from our other replies on this page, is that we aren’t legal experts nor can we tell you want you should or should not do. So from what we know about running away from home before the age of majority, is that a parent always has the right to file a runaway/missing person's report with the local law enforcement. The act of running away isn't considered a crime, it's more of a status offense so something like getting a parking ticket or traffic violation. So it's to our understanding that a parent can't "press charges" against their child for running away. If you are worried about it, you might be able to call your local non-emergency police number to get more information on that and be for sure.

      Best of luck!

  • #19
    I am 16 years old and I am very depressed, my home life is ok but I get accused of everything I am always in trouble and when I ask something I always get yelled at. I want to feel like I am not always in the wrong I want to feel like a normal teenager. I am not adopted but I do legally live with other people and I have been told the courts won't let me get emancipated what will happen if I leave?

    Comment


    • #20
      Hello! Thank you for contacting the national runaway Safeline, we appreciate you reaching out for help.
      To begin with, you stated that you’re very depressed due to always being in trouble, and getting yelled at by your guardians. It sounds like you’re going through a lot right now, and want you to know that you are not alone. If at any moment you are having any suicidal thoughts, or have an urge to hurt yourself, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention hotline at 1800) 273-8255. They would be able to talk further with you about what is making you feel this way, and may further assist you in an intervention is needed. Exploring other sources like a friend or another family member to discuss your feelings of depression may be therapeutic, and also bring up the fact that you constantly getting yelled at contributes to it.
      In the same way, you want to know what would happen if you were to leave your guardian’s home without their approval. Unfortunately we aren’t legal experts, but if you were to leave your home without their approval, they have the right to file a runaway report with the authorities, and whoever you end up with may face some consequences. We care about your safety, so if you decide to leave on your own, although not encouraged, you can text the word safe and your location to 44357. The national Safe Place will then text you a safe location to guide you on how to stay safe.
      Again, you thank you for contacting the national runaway Safeline, we appreciate you reaching out for help. Feel free to chat with us anytime at 1800) 786-2929. Best of luck!
      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)
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • #21
        is it illegal to keep my friend who is 15-16 in my house due to her dad hitting her?
        i could really use advice.

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there, thanks for reaching out today.

          Sounds like your friend is being harmed about home and you are wanting to know if it is illegal if she stays in your house. That sounds like such an unfair situation, and you seem like a really caring friend working to keep her safe.

          We are not legal experts but we can speak generally. Your friend has the right to report the abuse to child protective services. To learn about that option you might reach out to the child advocates at Child Help 1-800-422-4453. If your friend is listed as a runaway and is found by police it is possible that she could be returned home. The legal adult who knowingly houses her could be at risk of having her dad press harboring a runaway charges on them; which is a misdemeanor offense.

          We hope that answers your question. Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk more about the situation or if you have more questions. We are always here for you.

          1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org

          Best,

          NRS

      • #22
        I don’t wanna be here anymore

        Comment


        • ccsmod13
          ccsmod13 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for contacting NRS and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you with figuring out your next steps in this difficult situation. Asking for help was really responsible and smart of you. . You deserve to live somewhere that makes you feel safe and supported.

          If you feel like leaving is the right decision for you, we can connect you with youth shelters in your area. You can also contact the National Safe place for somewhere safe to go. All you have to do is text "safe" and your current location to 44357 for the nearest safe place. From there you can be brought to a youth shelter which generally have caseworkers that can help you come up with a short term and long term plan.

          We are here to support you and connect you with resources. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, 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.

          We hope to hear from you soon.
          NRS

      • #23
        im 15 and my family are bipolar when minute they are "acting" like they love me the next they are in my face about how a disappointment. every time my mom get mad she says some harsh things so me and is messes with my mental health causing me to be depressed. is there a ways i can get out of this horrible lifestyle. i just want to feel and be loved and cared for. But i feel like i do not have anyone to talk to or get away. like just last week we get into a fight about someone i was talking to and when they told me to stop talking to them i said "ok and did just that" but that person was the person i talked to about my feelings and basically my safe place ever since we moved to Texas from Wisconsin. But the day after all that happened my mom pulled me out of school just to tell me she dose not want to be my mother no more and continued to call me a bunch of harsh names. And now i am in this house and feel like i am all alone and just want to go somewhere where i can feel loved and wanted or away i can talk to someone that can be there for me through all this.

        Comment


        • ccsmod9
          ccsmod9 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for contacting NRS we appreciate that you have reached out to us. We are sorry you are going through such a difficult situation. You do not deserve to be put through that. From what we can tell you are looking to get out of the situation you are in. Just so you are aware legally you can leave at 18 otherwise your parents have the right to file a runaway report and call the Police. They would be on the lookout for you. Anyone that houses you runs the risk of being charged with harboring a minor. It would be a good idea to call the police non emergency number to ask what they would do if you did The options available to you are you could give us a call and we would be happy to report the abuse to CPS alongside you. That way it doesn’t seem so scary. Another thing you can do is to call Child Help which is another organization that specializes in reporting and helping abused youth. Their number is (800) 422-4453 and you can feel free to call them and get the help you need. We know how hard it can be to reach out for help, so again thank you for contacting us! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chatting with us at 1800runaway.org. We are here to support and help you create a safe plan. We wish you the best of luck!

      • #24
        I’m 16 and I’m living at home with my parents and I just feel like I need more me time like every time I try to relax my mom always wants something and I always feel like she’s neglecting me all the time it makes me feel less of myself I always have to put on a happy face for my friends to show them I’m ok when really I’m not I’m not ok I’m depressed, angry, and frustrated with my life it’s like I’m living in a hell hole like I can’t break free. I just want to leave and do what I wanna do not have to worry about when I’m gonna eat or telling myself not to cry. I just wanna go somewhere where I can be me and not have to listen to what someone has to say to me but I just wanna know of what I’m doing is illegal or illegal

        Comment


        • ccsmod10
          ccsmod10 commented
          Editing a comment
          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

      • #25
        My grandmother got full custody of my when I was 3 ,and I did not understand things at that time of course.But I’m 16 now and in oct I’ll be turning 17.My grandmother has anger fits all the time ,and it scares me because she always brings out her anger on me.For the past 7 years she’s never sat down and got to understand how I feel about things.She still hasn’t but regardless she’s down graded me,told me things that a responsible adult should never tell a teen aged girl,and because of this my grades in school have suffered , and I most likely and going to get held back because of it.Shes always yelling at me to get my grades up ,and I struggle with doing that when in the past 7 years I have developed anxiety and depression. recently I told a friend about my situation and she had told her aunt who is her legal guardian.They told me they want to help and they had gone to a person to talk about if they could adopt me and they told me that I would need to get a video of her arguing with me. I can’t do that because she has taken my phone and all I have is my school iPad and I can’t recorded it on here because she goes through my iPad when I’m sleeping. she’s always trying to accuse me of lying and because of all this I have self harmed and I have had several suicidal thoughts and I feel as if I don’t get away from her then I might do something I’ll regret.And I have seen that the law here in Texas says that I would be counted as a runaway and knowing my grandma she would sue my friends mom because all she cares about is her self and her money.I don’t know what to do in this situation. Please let me know what I should do!

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello There,
          Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, and sharing some of your story with us, it takes great courage to reach out and we are so glad that you have decided to reach out.
          You do not deserve to have your grandmother take her anger out on you, that must be so frustrating. We know you mentioned that your grandmother has never sat down and actually try and understand you. One option we offer at NRS is conference calling, where if you call us we can call out to your grandmother and have a conference call. Conference calling allows you to have a conversation and we are there to make sure the conversation is productive and we are there for support.
          Also you mentioned your grades have suffered due to all of this. One option to consider is to talk with your teacher and a school counselor and they may be able to provide options to help you bring your grades up. Also dealing with depression and anxiety can be hard to deal with alone, and you do not have to deal with these things alone. One resource that may be helpful to you is called NAMI (national alliance for mental illnesses). They can be reached at 1800-950-NAMI. Also if you are ever having suicidal thoughts please contact The National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1800-273-8255.
          Also to report the emotional abuse you can contact Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. That may help you with also being adopted. And we are not legal experts but if you were to leave home your grandmother could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home.
          We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support to you. Best of luck!
          NRS

      • #26
        Hi, I’m thinking about running away..my parents threaten to call the police... I’m 16 about to be 17 in a month and they have threatened to call me in as a runaway and put my 20 year old boyfriend in jail. My sister with me is also considering running away.. I don’t know what to do.. should me and my sister leave together? Or should we leave separately? What kind of legal consequences would I face? What would happen if my sister and I were together?? We are both adopted.

        Comment


        • ccsmod13
          ccsmod13 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thank you for taking the time to write us here on our Bulletin. It sounds like you are thinking about leaving home, but you have some questions about what could happen. Seeking out more information was a really smart step to take!

          While we are not legal experts here at NRS, we can share our knowledge of the concerns you raised. Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18. This means that if you and your sister were to leave without permission then your parents can report you as runaways to the police. Running away is not illegal and you would not be arrested, but it is a status offense. This means your parents can ask that police help with returning you home. There is no universal way that police handle runaway reports, so it can vary based on the police department. In some areas, police do not pursue runaway reports for someone who is 17. If this is the case for where you live then police might not force you to return to your parents. However, if your sister is younger than she would likely be brought back to your parents. You can call the non-emergency number for your local police department to anonymously ask questions about how they handle runaway reports.

          Having a plan in place before you leave can be helpful in deciding what you think is best. Some things to think about before you take the step to leave are if anything could change at home that might make it easier to stay, are there things you have not tried yet to make the situation easier to cope with, and what supports do you have. A helpful step is to start reaching out to friends and family members you might be able to stay with should you decide to leave. Sometimes having an adult on your side to advocate for you can make communicating your needs more effective to your parents. The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parents’ permission. In this case, they would be allowing you to live somewhere else where you are safe and being cared for. Perhaps an adult family member, a friend's parent or a counselor at school can talk to your parents with you about your experience at home and the possibility of you leaving.

          If you are not quite ready or are not able to reach out to someone in person, there is an organization that advocates for young people in unhealthy or abusive situations. If you feel like this applies to you, you can contact Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 or go to childhelp.org.

          You did mention that your parents made threats about sending your boyfriend which must be very concerning for you. It sounds like they might be threatening to pursue statutory rape charges against him. This can depend on the age of consent for the state you live in. The age of consent is the age where you are legally able to consent to sex with an adult. You can go to https://sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states/ to look up the consent age and laws
          in your state.

          We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

          Stay safe,
          NRS

      • #27
        I'm 16 years old and when I was a baby my mom gave her rights to my sister's (she is my half sister)dad's mom. I want to live with my dad and my real Grandma. I have brought it up to my guardian and all she does is yell at me saying that I can't go until I'm eighteen which I've heard that I can live with my dad at 16. Who do I talk to and how to get my opinion out there. My guardian wouldn't let me talk to any cps or Court because she doesn't want me to leave. I think it would be best because I am really unhappy here and I want to live with my dad.

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for reaching out to us. We're sorry things aren't so great at home now. It sounds like your guardian isn't really listening to you the way you would like. That must be frustrating for you.

          We aren't legal experts, but from what we know it sounds like there would either have to be a transfer of guardianship to your dad through the court system, or you would need permission from your guardian to live with your dad. If you left without permission before 18 your guardian could file a runaway report and anyone you stay with could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor in most jurisdictions. So, to avoid any legal problems, you or your dad may want to consult a legal aid agency to see how to proceed with a transfer of guardianship. Assuming you are in Texas (per the thread title), you can contact any of the following agencies:

          1) Justice for Children; 713-376-4902; https://justiceforchildren.org/
          2) Legal Aid of Northwest Texas; 888-529-5277; https://internet.lanwt.org/en-us
          3) Lone Star Legal Aid Agency; 800-733-8394; https://lonestarlegal.blog/

          We hope this information helps. Feel free to reach out to us to see if there may be other options for you or if you would just like to talk about what you are going through. We are confidential and open 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Or you can chat with us via the portal at www.1800runaway.org. Please stay safe.

          All the best,
          NRS
          Last edited by ccsmod15; 04-05-2020, 03:40 PM.

      • #28
        Hi, I just turned 16 the other day. That day my mom mentally and emotionally abused me to the point I freaked out and put a hole in the wall with my head (I suffer from Depression and anxiety and I'm bipolar) but it all happened because I didn't wanna do my homework and wanted to sleep in. Things haven't been like this for about a year but in the past there were numerous police calls and cps reports. My boyfriend offered to let me stay with him, and he turns 20 in 4 months. If I get caught will he go to jail? Or is there anyway the courts will allow me to get emancipated with out a parents consent?

        Comment


        • ccsmod13
          ccsmod13 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for reaching out to NRS and for taking the time to share a bit about your situation. We want you to know that we are here to listen and to be a support for you during this difficult time. Emotional abuse does get overwhelming and it can be tough to cope with on your own. Abuse of any kind is never okay and not your fault. You deserve to be treated in a way that makes you feel safe and supported.

          While we are not legal experts by any means, we can speak generally on laws regarding young people leaving home as minors. Your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18 which means they can decide where you live. If you leave home without permission, your mom can report you as a runaway. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that your mom can ask police for assistance to return you home. Whoever you stay with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway which is usually a misdemeanor. Runaway and harboring protocols do vary, so you can call the the non-emergency line to ask an officer anonymously about this situation.

          Emancipation can be a lengthy and difficult process. The general requirements are that you are living separately from your parents, you are able to financially support yourself, and that emancipation is in your best interest. Parental consent or at least cooperation with the emancipation process is usually required, but petitions can be viewed on a case-by-case basis. The first step to learning the specifics of the process and to file a petition is to speak with a legal advocate. We can connect you with legal aid resources in your area if you call our hotline, 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at 1800runaway.org.

          We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

          Good luck and stay safe,
          NRS

      • #29
        im 16 and i live in a motel room with my mom and 2 of my siblings and my boyfriend with two beds. my mother is very bipolar and verbally abuses me. she even tried to harm herself in front of me and said it was my fault and then pushed my older brother into a door. i want to leave, ive done a lot of research and my boyfriends mom is a social worker giving me all the information i need but im really scared that my mom will be able to take me back in after i leave and make me go back to the motel with her. advice?

        Comment


        • ccsmod16
          ccsmod16 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,
          Thank you for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like your situation is both scary and highly stressful. Your situation is difficult to address here, on a public forum, because it is very specific and we don’t know what information and resources your boyfriend’s mom has given you. It is understandable to feel the need to leave and to want to be safe from the erratic and frightening effects of your mom’s disease and her treatment of you and your brother. You have been very brave and intelligent and we want to help you make a plan that you are comfortable with.

          The best way for us to help you is to have a conversation with you either through our phone hotline or via live chat. You can reach us at 1800-RUNAWAY or chat at www.1800runaway.org We are here 24/7 and all of our services are confidential.

          We truly hope to hear from you soon.
          Sincerely,
          NRS
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