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Someone please help me!

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  • Someone please help me!

    I am 17 years old, and really need to get out of my house. My friend and her family already have said they would let me live in their house to get me out of the abusive situation I am currently in. My name is Matt, and I am transgender. My parents, however, are not accepting or supportive of that fact. If there is any way I could run away (like go live with my friend until I turn 18 in January) or get emancipated in Arkansas. Are there rules against running away or anything I should be aware of?

  • #2
    Re: Someone please help me!


    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline and sharing with us some of what has been going on. We are sorry to hear that home is not where you want to be. We are glad that you reached out to us. No one deserves to be in a place where they do not feel safe. We are here to listen and support you in what ways we can.

    Here at NRS we are not legal experts, but we can speak in general terms. Generally you are an adult when you turn 18 and if you were to leave home before then, your parents would be able to file a runaway report with the police. Running away is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense. This means that generally you cannot be arrested for running away, if you are found then the police will bring you back home to your parent’s home and remove the runaway report. Generally those that are helping you leave home without your parent’s permission, they can criminally be charged. The severity of that varies from state to state, but it can become more sever once you cross state lines. Generally it becomes a federal offense at that point.

    17 is a tricky age and police departments vary from state to state and city to city on how they handle 17 year old who do not want to leave home. Some police departments will force you to return home until the day you turn 18, while the others may check to see if you are in a safe place and able to support yourself. If you are, then they may not force you to return home. It all depends on the police department that takes the runaway report. You can always call your local police department and generally ask them how they would handle someone in your situation- someone who does not want to return home and is 17 turning 18 in January.

    You had mentioned emancipation, that is an option but generally (as we are not legal experts) that takes about 6 months and is very costly. You may already be 18 by the time you go to court.

    We are sorry to hear that your parents are not supportive of you identifying as transgender. We would like to offer a hotline, Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860, that you can call if you want to talk about some issues that may arise with you and your parents regarding what you identify as. Everyone who answers this hotline identifies as a transgender individual. We hope you find this helpful.

    Also we would like to add that you have no right to be mistreated in any way. If you feel you are being mistreated and would like to make an abuse report you can call Child Help USA at 1800-422-4453 and they can take the child abuse report. If you do not feel comfortable doing it yourself you can call us and we can do it for you.

    We hoped this helped and if you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can always give us a call on our hotline or chat with us on our website. We are 24/7. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing from you.

    Last edited by ccsmod15; 09-26-2016, 02:54 PM.
    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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