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Is it legal for me to runaway to a shelter without parent consent?

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  • Is it legal for me to runaway to a shelter without parent consent?

    I don't want to live in this place anymore. My mom always mentally and physically abuses me and there's nothing I can do about it or else she'll just get even madder and the punishments will get worse. She punishes me for not having "good grades" and not "doing chores." The reason those are in quotation marks is because my grades are all A's and 2 B's. I'm taking honors classes and one more class than normal. I'm also in a sport. My "chores" are to cook breakfast and dinner, wash and dry the dishes, clean the whole house, and do 4 people's laundry including my own. Oh, and take care of HER baby. While she does what? Sit on the couch and tell about this one great kid she found out about on Facebook and criticize me. I'm just tired of being punished for what most would consider excellent grades and doing what should be mostly her job. She also favors my brother over me. He's sick so he doesn't have to do his share so I end up doing more. When I was sick and I vomited, I still had to do my chores. He has a minor cold. I'm a freshman in high school and I've already gotten a lot of scholarships from several colleges. But she doesn't care because I have 2 B's and I "don't help out around the house" She's already taken away most of what I enjoy and this laptop is next. That's why I want to run away. I can't tell my counselor because then we'll just have a meeting and when me come back you can bet she'll beat me up real good. In her mind I'm supposed to be perfect just because I got identified as gifted when I was little and I've been getting invitations from several
    "prestigious" programs. Therefore, it's impossible for me to get B's and A-'s. B's are considered a fail and A-'s are B's. I've found a shelter that accepts drop-ins but I'm not sure if they'll accept me if I run away because I wasn't originally homeless or an orphan. Also I don't know if I would still be able to go to school even if they did accept me. My mom obviously won't give consent for me to stay at the shelter and my dad probably won't either(but maybe with enough convincing since he sides with me?) so if one parent gave consent could I still live at the shelter? Or is there any possible way I could live by myself?

  • #2
    Re: Is it legal for me to runaway to a shelter without parent consent?

    Thank you for reaching out to us. We’re so sorry to hear that you’ve been mentally and physically abused at home. It sounds like the combination of the abuse that goes on, along with the academic and household requirements at home have made really tough for you to want to continue living at home. You asked some really great questions and, even though we’re not legal experts, but we will certainly do our best to provide you with information that might help you decide how to approach your situation.

    We want you to know that it is never ok for someone to be mentally or physically abusive with you. It sounds like you’ve been contemplating telling your counselor, but you’re concerned that you’ll be physically hurt if you say something. If you feel unsafe at home, one option is to reach out to your local child protective services. This may or may not remove you from your home, but it informs protective services that you’re being hurt while at home. If you don’t know how to reach your local agency, you can call Child Help USA and they can help you find that information. It’s important that you understand that many people that work with minors are called mandated reporters. This means that if they have identifying information about you (name/phone number/address/city and state that you live in), they’re required to file a report even if you don’t want them to. If you have questions about making the call, you can reach out to us and we can talk to you about your concerns, and even help you make the call if you’d like to.

    You asked about the possibility of staying in a shelter that accepts drop-ins. As a general rule, shelters that accept minors are required to obtain parental consent to allow you to stay there. Some may require it before agreeing to house you, others may take up to 24 hours before contacting your parents. Whether or not it’s required that you’re homeless/orphan/runaway also depends on the shelter. In addition, whether having only your father’s consent would be enough also depends on the shelter. For all of these questions, you would need to speak with the shelter directly. It sounds like you already have a shelter in mind, but if you need help finding other resources, feel free to reach out to us.

    You also asked about the possibility of living by yourself. Again, we’re not legal experts, but from what we understand, a minor has to live with a legal guardian until they reach legal age of majority/adulthood. In most states, that’s considered 18. There are some instances where you might be able to live independently, and that would involve something called emancipation. The ways that you might need to qualify for emancipation could include being able to support yourself financially, proving that you can take care of yourself, there may be an age minimum, as well as possible requirement that you be in school. Not all states have emancipation as an option, so you would need to find out if your state offers this. We can help you find this information, as well as direct you to other legal resources if you would like to speak with someone about living independently.

    It sounds like there’s a lot of really difficult things going on at home. It is never ok for someone to make you feel unsafe at home, and it sounds like you’ve had a tough time keeping yourself safe, as well as keeping up with the demands that your mom puts on you. We won’t tell you what to do, but we will try our best to make sure you are as safe as possible regardless of your decision. We’re available by phone 24/7 at 1800.RUNAWAY (786.2929). We’re also available every day via chat from 4:30pm – 11:30pm CST. We’re here to listen, we’re here to help. We wish you the best of luck. Stay safe.

    -NRS
    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


    • #3
      Re: Is it legal for me to runaway to a shelter without parent consent?

      How could I get emancipated then?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Is it legal for me to runaway to a shelter without parent consent?

        Thank you for using our bulletin service
        It is great that you decided to post here to try to get some answers to your questions about emancipation. Unfortunately we here at NRS are not legal experts and we cannot say definitely what the emancipation process will be like for you. If we were to give you any general information we would need to start off with where you are located.
        We understand that the process of getting emancipated can be intimidating and we want you to know that you are not alone and we are here to help you. It is strongly encouraged that you contact a local legal aid in regards to finding out exact information for your specific situation. If you would like to give us a call we can locate a local legal aid for you so that you can have your questions answered by a professional. You can call us anytime 1-800-RUNAWAY
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Hello, is it possible to live in a homeless shelter with a parent's consent? For context I am fourteen years old and I've been living with my father for nearly two years. I hate living with him. I never wanted to be here, and in our latest argument he said that I could go back to "sleeping on the floor in your mother's house." If I could I would have long ago because the living situation was horrible but at least she never made me feel like crap regularly. In all reality living with my mother again is not an option but she would do what she knows is better for me. I'm able to get a job and support myself but neither of my parents are in a good position to care for me. If it's possible to live in a shelter with my mom's permission, what would I need? Would I need ID? Would this need to be brought up in court or could we just go to a shelter and explain our situation?

          Comment


          • ccsmod8
            ccsmod8 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi,

            Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Safeline. We’re very sorry to hear that you are experiencing such a difficult situation at you dad’s. You really deserve to feel cared for in your home. You ask about staying at a youth shelter with your mother’s consent. You don’t say which parent has custody. This would be an important factor. Youth shelters are required to notify and/or get consent from either a legal guardian, or, if this isn’t an option for safety reasons, then they must contact social services. Many shelters have an age range of youth they serve. If you have a trusted adult in your life, they may be able to offer you a safe place to stay, if your parents agree.

            If you want to give us a call or contact us via digital chat (available through our website), we can help you look for resources in your area and also strategize about your situation. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), and our website is www.1800runaway.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

            Take care,

            NRS

        • #6
          Hi.

          I find myself in a similar situation as everyone else. I want to run away and live at a shelter but my parents would never give me consent. I have tried to reach out to many resources on how I can do this without parental consent but there seems to be nothing. Do you know of any ways to do this? I have recently thought about emancipation but I fear that this will tear my family apart since my older sister moved out in the middle of the night and is refusing to contact us. My parents are not exactly abusive but they continually try to make me follow a certain religion I don't want to follow. They also are super strict and overprotective and won't let me do anything. My siblings also are constantly putting me down and making me feel like trash all of the time. They are also super annoying and rude. I have a couple of months until I am 16 which is the age I could get emancipated, but a month after I turn 16, we are moving out of state. I don't want to go with them and I want to stay with my sister. She won't contact us, so I have no idea what her living situation is, so I cannot live with her. I can't find anyone that could help me with the emancipation process. I have never lived outside my house, so I would have a hard time getting emancipated in the first place, but I am mature enough for emancipation. What should I do?

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,




            Thank you for writing us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We’re glad you reached out, we understand that it takes great courage to do so. It seems like there is a lot that you are facing right now and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. While we are not experts of the law, 18 is usually the age 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. You mentioned staying with your sister but not sure where she is staying or her current living situation. It’s important to know that those that a reported runaway stays with, may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in your local area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject. It sounds like you’re definitely in a tough situation and would like to know about emancipation. To be emancipated, the age requirement is different depending on the state and you must be able to prove that being emancipated from your parents is in your best interest. Emancipation can often be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering. We are here to listen and help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) Thanks for reaching out!

        • #7
          Can you look into those legal resources? That would be so helpful! Thank you!

          Comment


          • ccsmod0
            ccsmod0 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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. In order to look up legal resources in your area, you would need to reach out to us directly. 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.

            Be safe, NRS
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