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Can I leave my home at 16 without my parents' consent?

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  • i just turned 16 an i need to move out i live in Kentucky and i live with my grandparents and she tells me to leave and everything and iv told her to sigh the papers so i can live on my own but she says the something over and over saying that that isnt real and your to young and she never lets me hang out with my friends or anything i stay at home 24/7 and im able to work right in my town and get a low income apartment how can i move out she tells me to go live with my mom and me and her does NOT get along at all no one in our family does anyway i can life on my own please!!! Thank you so much!!

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

      We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your grandparents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

      It seems like your grandparent's don't fully understand how their restrictive rules and the isolation they've put you in is affecting you. It makes sense that you would want some more independence. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your family so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Im 16 and live in Mississippi. Can i legally stay the night with a friend if my dad says yes but my mom says no?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 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, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems you want to know some information on leaving without parental permission.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that 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. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. From what we understand a legal guardian can still reach out to the police even if the other parent has given permission. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail 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.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • My home situation is okay, I get yelled at for things I don’t do all of the time and I’m constantly stuck in the house like it’s a jail cell I can’t see my friends anymore the only way I can see them is if they come over to my house but it’s embarrassing getting yelled at ever 2 seconds when I’m having people over. I’m about to be 16 in March and want to runaway. I don’t want my dad to get mad at me or anything and I don’t want to just be simply returned home. I’m getting very depressed being stuck in that house all of the time. I live in Maine and I’ve been told and I’ve also looked this up, it’s not illegal. But if I do get returned home I’m just scared of what will happen and what my dad and step mom will do.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 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, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that 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. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail 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.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • i’m in pain please help me

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out, we know it takes a lot of courage and you should be proud of yourself for taking this step. No one should have to live in pain. If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Hi I’m 16 and sometimes I get so mad at my dad could j leave the house and have my mom pick me up without my dads permission.

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for reaching out to us, we hope to help the best we can. It sounds like it’s been a bit overwhelming at your dad’s house. The easiest way to leave home is with your dad’s permission if he has complete custody over you. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your dad. If you need more info about guardianship, we can help find a legal aid in the area if you contact us through call or chat with us. If your mom has no legal custody your dad could report you as a runaway and you may be forced to go back home.

      The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can 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.

      Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

      Be safe,

      NRS

  • I am 16 and I love with my mom I fell asleep at my boyfriends house and she was pissed told me that she’s kicking me out and told me to think of her as dead she said I have to leave I’ve had it. My boyfriends parents are the nicest people ever and offered me a place I can stay but when I packed my bags my mom told me that I’m not going anywhere if I do she’s gonna call the police I was like you literally kicked me out and now I can’t go anywhere she said she’s going to pull me out of school then I’ll be homeschooled. I want to leave but I live in Wisconsin and I’m scared the cops are just gonna tAke me back and it will make everything worse. Help I don’t want to be here.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      We are glad you reached out to us for help. It must be very frustrating to have your Mom telling you such drastically different things. It sounds like you had a good plan to take care of yourself when your Mom threw you out. Just so you know, it is neglect for your Mom to throw you out. As your guardian she is legally required to take care of you until you are 18. She might have found that out and changed her mind.

      If you do decide to leave and your Mom does call the police, the police will take you back to your legal guardian (your Mom) as long as it is safe. You do have some options. We could explore ways to get your Mom to support you going to live with your boyfriend’s parents, to help make living with your Mom better for you or finding you a different living arrangement where the police would not take you back home. You can reach out to chat with us through our website or call our crisis hotline anytime 24,7 at 1 (800) RUNAWAY. Both are completely confidential. We are a non-directive agency-that means we will not tell you what to do but help you come up with a safe plan that feels right for you and looks at all your options.

      We hope to hear from you soon. Good luck.

  • 16 year old and 17 year old looking to run away (Possibility of 16-17 old joining due to their home life as well).

    I'm still concerned about privacy so I don't want to share too much but please trust that we plan this for a good reason.

    We are looking to run away (preferably to another country) but a problem is that we cannot settle on a definite method/destination. There is no one we can go to and don't want to risk anyone a criminal offense. We have little money (100 pounds), and things are looking pretty dim since everything we do is monitored and controlled. We're both getting a bit desperate and are scared of doing something impulsive or never succeeding or going with this plan.

    We are exploring the idea of leaving for Poland (cheap flights and easy way to explain why we would like to travel there) and then travel around europe to our final destination.
    ​​​​We're also considering america, Hawaii which would be ideal due to how many poorer people live in the mofe rural areas and the tourism in the urban areas. (Easier for jobs but cheaper housing etc in the poorer areas hopefully.) Saint lucia was also an option but flights are ridiculously expensive.

    When we leave we considered babysitting as an option (16 year old girls seems like a safe choice, especially with experience.) And possibly renting rooms with 'safe' people, eg families and women. But we also considered cheap motels and shelters.

    Is there any country that is easy to get to and better ideal for runaways? Is there a cheap way to leave the UK? What documents do you need as a minor across borders/flights? How likely is it that the police will find you in the same country versus another?

    Looking forward to your response!!

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi, we are glad you reached out to us. We are here to help youth in crisis especially those considering running away to develop a plan that works for their situation but most importantly that is safe. We are a non-directive agency which means we do not tell you what to do but help you understand and explore all your options while also making sure you know the risks along the way. We are completely confidential on all our communications with youth.

      It sounds like you have been thinking about running away for some time and that you have been working out details. We trust you that you have good reasons to want to run away. Our resources and knowledge is based on programs, laws and youth protective services based in the United States, so our ability to help you is limited.

      In general, we can tell you that airlines all have different rules allowing a minor traveling without a guardian especially across international borders. It is unlikely you will be able to get around their protocols to verify you are traveling with your guardian’s consent and arrangements that you are going to a safe situation with a responsible adult in the destination country.

      It will also be very challenging to get through passport control as the border agents are always looking for youth who are being trafficked or at risk of falling into a situation to be trafficked. Which leads up to the biggest safety concern with your plans and your precautions (like traveling with other youth, staying with families) that this situation is highly likely to expose you to human trafficking. Traffickers are always on the look out for youth from other countries as they are especially vulnerable. You and your friends would be exposed to dangerous situations in countries where governmental services and the police would have limited resources to help you and protect you. Traffickers are extremely good at appearing safe and helpful and making sure you are feeling very comfortable before they reveal their true motives and bluntly put-“trap you”. Unfortunately, there are traffickers and youth exploiters in every country and in every state of USA.

      We encourage you to look at options in your local community where you can get help resolving the problems with your current living situation. If you want to get specific legal advice for international laws on runaway youth in other countries you can contact www.childhelplineinternational.org . They can also help you access resources in your local community to get help for your specific situation.

      You can reach out to us through the forum or chat with us through our website anytime 24/7. Please make sure to let us know in any follow up that you already contacted us and that you need more information or help and that you reside in the UK. Good luck.

  • Hi I am currently 15 right now turning 16 on October 9th I also live in Utah and I have ran away before cuz I live in a toxic household I get blamed, yelled, and hit at for the littlest stuff ever and it’s honestly whatever but it’s been like this my whole life and I’m getting tired of it so tried I can’t take it anymore but when I left they took me home and I got in a lot of trouble with my dad and mom I don’t wanna be returned home or get anyone in trouble but how can I do that tho?

    Comment


    • Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that 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. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email and forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail 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.
      Be 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


      • hey im 16 going to turn 17 in july. Im in foster care and my parents rights are token away. im not allowed to do anything they toke my phone away. I feel like im in a cage i hate living sometimes. I cant hang with friends or anything nor can i text them. I want to just get up and leave with my friends but will i get in trouble by the cops?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,
          Thanks for reaching out to NRS! It sounds like a lot is going on and it is seemingly overwhelming. You deserve to have some sort of freedom and not feel like you are living in a cage. It makes sense why you are feeling that way. Since you are 16, the police can get involved and bring you back to the home you are staying at for foster care. From what we understand, running away is a status offense. We are not legal experts, so we cannot get legal advice. If you are wondering exactly how it will be handled you can reach out anonymously to your local nonemergency police number and ask them. You can also call us and we can call out for you. Another thing we can do is help you make a plan and elicit options of places you can stay.
          If you are interested in talking further you can call us at 1800-RUNAWAY or chat with us at www.1800RUNAWAY.org. We are happy to help is any way we can. You are not in this alone.
          Stay safe,
          NRS

      • Hey my name is Jasmine and I am 16. My aunt has temporary guardianship over me and my mom has never signed off her rights to me. I live with my aunt, uncle, and little cousin. I don't want to live here anymore as my uncle is awful towards us and when he doesn't take his bipolar medication he gets worse and one time he was angry and broke a coffee table with only his hands. My aunt when she is angry has thrown things at me and called me a whore for having guy friends. My little cousin tells me to kill myself and gets extremely mean. He is 8 and I am 16, I know it sounds stupid but my family always babys him and makes it seem like hes in the right for treating me this way. I cant live with my mother because her husband sexually abused me and ive tried living with my grandparents but they were verbally abusive towards me and constantly put me down. My dad is a druggie and i havent spoke to him since around christmas. I live in Pennsylvania btw. My mom said it would be ok for me to live with my boyfriends family but my aunt says no. Does my aunt have a say in where i can live with temporary guardianship or is it up to my mother?

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello There,
          Thank you so much for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are having a difficult time and we want you to know that you are not alone.
          You do not deserve to be treated the way you have been being treated, and we are sorry to hear that you are going through that. This sounds like it can be abusive and you do have a right to make an abuse report. One option would be to contact Child Help at 1800-422-4453, and they would be able to help with a report. You can also always call or chat with us and we can help you with making a report.
          We are not legal experts but we do have some knowledge of what could happen if you left. From our understanding if your aunt has guardianship right now, she can decide where you can or cannot live. If you were to leave without her permission she could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you it is a possibility that they can bring you home. You can always contact your local police department and ask to get the best answer.
          We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore options please give us a call. We are here for you 24/7, we wish you the best of luck!
          NRS

      • hi, im 16 and my parents are extremely overbearing and protective. they have no reason to act like this, since i do everything they ask, i keep good grades and keep up with everything i need to, yet they continue to emotionally abuse me. my friend invited me on vacation with her to florida for a few days, and my parents say that i cant save up enough money to pay for the plane ticket and they think that her 24 year old sister wont be responsible enough. i have a job and will have money for the plane ride, i just want to know if i go and they dont completely consent, could they call the police on me? what would happen? i want to go and have some fun for once without dealing with their judgment every 10 minutes.

        Comment


        • 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 sounds like you are going through a difficult time, and we want you to know you are not alone.

          It can be difficult to have overbearing parents, and you do not deserve to be emotionally abused. We are not legal experts but if you were to leave without permission your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you it is a possibility that they would bring you back home.

          One option to consider for your parents to feel safer about this trip would be to have them talk to your friend’s parents about their concerns. That way your friend’s parents can address any of their concerns, and they may feel better about the decision.

          We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are available to you 24/7, best of luck!

          NRS

      • I’m 16, and i live my dad and stepmom. It’s difficult living with them, because they never believe a word i say. They blame me for everything. They make me clean their messes, and then yell at me and say “do you think someone’s gonna clean up your mess?” when i always clean for them. And not to mention they’re always bugging me about washing my dishes off, when i can’t remember the last time they washed theirs off. And my stepmom likes to hit me, just earlier this morning, about 10 mintues ago from when i’m writing this, she tried taking off my hood, and when i put it back on, she punched my head. She’s attacked me many times, i once tried and called the cops about it but her AND my dad LIED to the cops. I suffer from depression and anxiety, along with PSTD and ADHD. I try to get med’s for it, but everyone gets mad when i say it doesn’t work, and blames me for the medication being to expensive. I’ve tried killing myself twice, and both times my stepmother told us that the doctor said that i never took any pills and i was looking for attention. When i did take pills. So now everyone sees me as an attention seeker, when in reality i’m calling out for help. I’ve been cutting my hands and my face trying to make it obvious to someone i need help. but i’m just looking for attention i guess. i want to leave, i’ve tried running away but i got to scared once i was blocks away, and i was always looking over my shoulder because i was afraid my dad was gonna find me and hurt me. i’m always preparing myself to die. like, i’ve just accepted the fact that if i don’t get out of this house soon. i’m gonna die, my mental health is so bad. i don’t have any friends because my parents deleted all of my contacts, took away my phone and left me with a old ipad to do my schoolwork, but there’s so many things i can’t do. i can’t go into websites for school because everything is basically blocked. they always threaten to send me back to drunk, abusive mother. and the worst part is, my dad hates me. he always believes his wife over me, i know for a fact if she was pregnant and gave birth, he’s left me in the dust. he wasn’t always like this. he was a good father. i miss my dad.

        Comment


        • ccsmod3
          ccsmod3 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there. Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you took that step. It sounds like things at home with your dad and stepmom have been pretty difficult, and we're sorry to hear that. We want to take a moment to really acknowledge what you've shared, and to commend you for still trying to find support despite.

          Based on the physical abuse you've mentioned, it might be a good idea to reach out to Child Protective Services and file an abuse report. Their job is to ensure that you're safe in your home, and if you're not, to decide what steps should be taken in order to make sure that you are. If this is something that you're interested in doing, you can file a report on your own, by contacting us here at NRS for support, or by telling a safe person of the abuse (like a teacher, school counselor, therapist, etc.). Each person that I've listed is considered a mandated reporter and has a legal obligation to contact CPS when there are any suspicions or indications of abuse. We understand that moving forward in this process can be scary, but want you to know that your safety IS important. These are folks who will prioritize that. If you have any questions about filing a report, what it entails, or would like to learn more about child abuse in general, Childhelp is another great resource to utilize. They're a child abuse hotline and you can reach out to them by texting or calling 1-800-422-4453, or by chatting with them live at www.childhelp.org.

          As you continue to think things through, it might also be helpful for you to consider looking into therapy. Having a support system in place to help when things are feeling really heavy and overwhelming can really be beneficial in repairing relationships, but also in working on and healing ourselves individually. And sometimes when we aren't getting the support that we need from those around us, we can create the support we need through other measures. A therapist can be instrumental in this process and can help you develop some of the tools needed to address some of the issues you're having with your dad and stepmom, or even help facilitate those conversations so that you feel comfortable and supported throughout. If this is something you're interested in pursuing, a good starting point would be to connect with your school counselor or social worker. Sometimes you can even talk with them for a few sessions without parental consent.

          In the meantime, know that we're here for you at NRS. If you ever need someone to talk to, know that you can reach out to us, anytime. If you feel like you need immediate support because you're at risk of hurting yourself or being hurt by someone else, contacting your local law enforcement is a good idea. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also a good resource that you might be able to utilize when you're having a tough time. Their phone number is 800-273-8255, and you can also chat with them at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

          If you'd like to talk more, please feel free to reach out to us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY, or by chatting with us live at www.1800runaway.org. We're available 24/7 and are always happy to listen, and to help.

          Take care.

          NRS

      • For a 16 year old living in a hostel environment and wants out how are they protected?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello there,
          Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you took that step. At 16 you are still considered a minor so they would need parental consent to leave home. If there is abuse going on at home and that is what is creating the hostile environment, then they can report the abuse and CPS can come investigate the situation. To report abuse you can call/online chat with us, call the police or even reach out to Child Help which is a great resource for youth who are being abused. These are just some of the people you can talk to. Child Help's number is 800-422-4453. You can also use their live chat at www.childhelp.org. If they see that the home and parents are unfit or the youth is in danger they can they take the child out of the home. Another option is through emancipation. This is typically a longer process and has qualifications. Usually you need to be able to prove you are completely financially stable and able to take care of yourself.
          If you would like to take in greater detail we are here 24/7. We can only respond to forums twice so the best way to get more info is by calling us or using our live chat option. Our number is 800-RUNAWAY and our live chat can be found at www.1800RUNAWAY.org.
          Hope to hear from you soon!
          NRS

      • Can my parents call the cops if I hang out with my friends for a few hours at the age of 16 and I tell them I’m leaving

        Comment


        • ccsmod5
          ccsmod5 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parental permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. If they are under the impression that you are running away they are able to make that report once you do, when it comes to minors there is no time requirement they would have to wait for them to make a report. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
          We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail 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.

          Be safe,
          NRS
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