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needing to leave

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  • needing to leave

    im 17 and i've been diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety and have been hospitalized for it, and ive never thought my environment was the reason, and i dont think it is, but i know now the relationship between my parents and the environment created by our toxic relationship has only disabled any ability to get better or grow and i think now is time i need to go, i love my parents and i dont want to be out of their lives completely, but we and i especially can not keep living like this, i have a very close friend's family i could live with or my girlfriend of a year and her family who both have always treated me like family and have only ever shown me love, and being around them i know they are both environments i would be able to truly be able to live in, and get better. i currently dont have a job as my last one let me go due to closing of the restaurant but i could without a doubt get a solid job and work to support myself and pay rent if needed and im well mature enough and reach every other qualification to be emancipated, im just not sure how my parents would react and i really dont want to make things worse, but i need to leave, not their lives, as i still want to be apart of them, but i cant live with them anymore. please help with any guidance or advice legal or not, i just need help on what to do and how to do it properly

  • #2

    Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that things between you and your parents have gotten to a point where they are unsustainable and harmful to your mental health. Everyone deserves to feel safe and loved in their own home and you are no exception, so it is understandable why you would want to leave.

    While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is not illegal to run away. Your parent/guardian could file a runaway report on you but this would NOT mean that you would get arrested or charged with anything. It typically does mean that the police could return you home if they encountered you and that would be that. Police typically do not actively search for a runaway youth. However, they will go where the parent/guardian directs them if they know where you are staying. Additionally, police can sometimes be more lenient about runaway situations the closer you are to 18. You can attempt to calmly and respectfully deny them consent to touch you or take you anywhere, and they may give up on trying to return you home. They also may not, in which case you should comply with what they tell you to do for your safety.

    With regards to leaving legally, emancipation seems like a viable option for you. Typically they are looking to see if you have a place to live, if you have a job or are in education, and if your finances are in order. We would be happy to provide you with legal references, but, as emancipation works differently in every state, you would have to reach out to us over the phone or online in order to get those resources. If you are interested in doing so or talking more about what options you have, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at

    Take care,

    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!


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