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17 years old, New York

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  • 17 years old, New York

    I will be 17 years old next month, my current living conditions with my mother is extremely stressful, and I don't feel comfortable living here at all, i'm losing my mind. Ever since I was little my mother has been crazy, the week after I was born, I believe she was hospitalized for trying to kill herself or something weird, I'm not sure of what, but it was for something crazy. Also, there are reports of her abusing me as a child, they are on file, I believe.
    My mother is honestly insane, she doesn't know when to stop at all, I nicely ask her to leave me alone so I can collect myself, so I don't lose it on her, because I know when I'm about to or not. Yesterday I was about to, so I left the house and spent the night at a friends without her permission, and she called the police apparently, and filed a runaway report, even though I told her that I would be home the next day, even gave her a time.
    This household is an extremely stressful environment, the stress is eating me alive, and honestly I feel as if that's the reason why i'm not doing so great in school. I try to not be home at all if shes around, I don't like to be around my mother at all. I know she's had CPS called on her multiple times, and I remember she specifically told us to lie to CPS and make them believe nothing was wrong, but I know that everything is, and was. I was too naive to tell the truth, and get my mother in trouble. Is there anyway I could move to my grandparents in California? From NY
    If anything I will run away, because I can't keep living here like this

  • #2
    RE: 17 years old, New York

    Hello there –

    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It certainly sounds like you have been dealing with a lot with your mother, especially if it’s getting to the point where you can’t stay there any longer and living there is causing a lot of stress. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on and thinking about what would happen if you did run away. No one deserves to be treated that way. Just know that you always have the right to report any abuse (physical, mental, sexual, or neglect) to your local police department or child protective service in your state. It has sounded like that is something that has happened multiple times in the past and that is very frustrating to reach out someplace and not get the help that you were looking for. You have also stated that you were forced to lie about what was going on, but now that you are older and more aware of what has been going, it might be something that you can explore again.

    Like we tell a lot of our callers, the laws on that specific subject of running away vary from state to state. Generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states except Alabama and Nebraska [19 or upon marriage], and Mississippi [21]), what generally happens; your mother would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you did leave your house. Since it’s only considered a statues offense and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home. If you tell them what is going they might not take you back home right away, but take you someplace where you can receive services.
    It can be a little tricky at the age of 17, but there are some cases in which a police officer won't take a runaway report for someone that is 17. Especially if there are a little closer to turning 18 years old or if they have graduated high school. This is not the case all the time of course, but it is something that we have heard of happening before. The only way to know for sure of that would be to reach out to your local non-emergency police and asking them hypothetical questions about running away. Knowing some facts about the subject can help you formulate a plan of action and you can see for yourself what would be possible and what isn't possible for you to do.

    If your mother did end up making a runaway report with the local police and you are planning on staying with someone else, your mother can press charges on that family for harboring a runaway when they are not giving accurate information on your whereabouts. That could lead to a number of different legal issues such as misdemeanor charges. So that might be something to keep in mind as well. So it really does depend on how willing your mother would be to let you leave and being okay for you to live someplace else.

    If you give us a call on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help you find resources in your area and could potentially help you brainstorm a possible solution to the issues you are having. We would love to talk to you about what has been going on recently. We also have an online chat service available every day.
    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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