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Runaway 17-18 Alabama

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  • Runaway 17-18 Alabama

    I am living with my mom and her bf tthey are very controlling and her bf is turning into someone who wants to control me working and getting my own life on the road. Her bf who is a sheriff says that I'm not an adult till 19 here. We just moved here. If I ran away at 18 or 17 and moved to Florida would the police come after me? They would not emancipate me or anything. Is there any options? I am 17 years of age.

  • #2
    Re: Runaway 17-18 Alabama

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like you’re in a stressful situation feeling as if your mom’s boyfriend is trying to control you. It’s good that you are being resourceful and trying to educate yourself on your rights and figure out what your options are.

    It is true that the legal age of adulthood in Alabama is 19, however that doesn’t necessarily mean for certain that you can’t leave home until that age. It might be worth contacting your police non-emergency line to find out what your local laws are where you live. You should be able to ask the police questions on their non-emergency line without disclosing your name or address. If you don’t feel comfortable calling out to the police yourself, especially with the close connection your mom’s boyfriend may have with them, you can definitely call our hotline and we can call on your behalf.

    It’s possible that because the age of adulthood in your state is 19, that your mom may still be legally responsible for you until you are that age and have a say on where you live. If you leave home before you are legally allowed to, your mom could file you as a runaway and the police would be authorized to return you home, regardless of whether you leave the state. Runaway cases tend to be handled how the police district of where you leave from handles such cases. It’s unlikely that Alabama police would follow you to Florida, but because runaway reports are nationwide, a Florida cop would only need to run your name to see that you’ve been reported as a runaway.

    All that being said, running away isn’t a criminal offense, if you don’t have a history of breaking the law and you don’t do anything illegal while you are away from home, it’s likely the police would return you home without charging you with anything. Unfortunately, anyone you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway if you are reported as one by your mom.

    Another resource that you might be able to look into if you’re looking for a safe place to go and talk to someone, would be to visit The National Safeplace website ( This organization provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. You can look up your city and state to see if there are any safe places near you listed. They are usually places like designated agencies, shelters, fire stations, libraries, etc. So that is always an option if you feel like talking to someone in person about what has been going on or if you just need of a safe place to stay.

    We would love to talk with you in more detail about your situation. We are here to listen and talk through some of the options you have in mind. We aren’t here to tell you what to do, but merely be a resource you can turn to when things are rough at home. We’re here 24/7 by phone and we have online chat in the evenings.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      I have a 17 year old that wants more liberty than he gets at home. I think he's planning to leave. Can we let him leave and stay gone? Or can we make him stay?


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are here to listen and help as best as we can. It sounds like you are going through a really tough time not having your youth home and being unsure of their safety. They are lucky to have someone that cares so much about them.

        One of the first options that can be important to explore is contacting your local law enforcement to file a runaway report. We are not legal experts here, but typically it is not illegal to runaway or leave home without permission. However, if a runaway report is filed, police that encounter a runaway youth will work to return them home when found. Keep in mind though, that the efforts made to search for runaway youth can vary from state to state or even within districts. Often it is up to the parents to advocate for themselves and keep track of the steps taken to find their youth.

        If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe and stay strong,

    • #4
      I know a 17 year old runaway that has ran away from social services in Alabama and came to Virginia to be with family. Can anything be done about that?


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello There,
        Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen.
        It seems like you are concerned about this youth, which shows you are a supportive person. Usually their legal guardian would need to report them as a runaway to the local police. You can also call your local police and ask them what your options are.
        We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any more questions please call us at 1800-786-2929.
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