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Legal issues

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  • Legal issues

    Hi, I am 16 years old and will turn 17 later this year in October. Recently, I got in trouble and my mom won't let it go. I've thought about running away before but this time it seems like I might actually do it. I have my bags packed and my best friend already offered a place to stay at his house. The thing is my mom works at my high school and worst of all shes the attendance clerk. My dad is never home and i barely have a relationship with him. I just don't know what to do my mom is constantly getting mad at me and does not treat me equally. My mom said if i wanted to run away she would help but i wouldn't be able to come back. Is there any legal things wrong with this?

  • #2
    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.

    It’s great to hear that your best friend supports you. 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 you go to stay at your best friend’s house without prior permission from your parents (or if your mom changes her mind and does not support you leaving home), your best friend and/or the legal adults in their household could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and situation.

    It’s important to consider all the possibilities that can occur if you leave home. You will need to plan out how you will cover basic necessities like travel, food, clothing, etc. It’s a good idea to see what the expectations of the living arrangement at your best friend’s will be like; rules, the amount of time you’re allowed to stay, if you’re expected to contribute financially, etc. This can all influence your decision to leave.

    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.

    All the best,
    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)

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