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

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  • Hello, I'm 16, almost 17, and my mother has been threatening me. All I want is to get away for a day or two at a friend's or family's house. If it makes a difference, I have text proof of the threats. The threats include not giving me access to food, locking all the house doors (I don't have a key), and saying she will call me in as a runaway if I'm not home 30 minutes after my work shift. For context on the last one, my work is a 15 minute drive from home, and she is refusing to give me a ride. I really hope I can somehow leave for maybe two days. Thank you!

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us, we hope to help as best we can. You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. Threatening or refusing to provide basic needs is a form of abuse as well. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).

      If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering.

      Please be safe and reach out soon by phone or chat so that we may help.
      Take care,
      NRS

  • hello, my boyfriend is turning 15 soon and will wait till 16 to move out. we live in ohio and he wants to move in with me. my mom will let him live here rent free and will pay groceries and he would be eligible to get a job to pay for anything else he may need. but his parents would never be okay with it? my house is a safe environment. would he be able to move in with me without being removed from the premises or being arrested? they have left him places and completely forgot about him and he lives in a house with foster family with parents who neglect him. they’ve left him places thousands of times and had the be reminded by foster siblings that he was left or by the school or him himself.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you so much for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like your boyfriend has had a really difficult and isolating time in his home. And we're glad to hear he has you and your family who seem to really care for him.

      We are not legal experts, but we do have some general knowledge on runaway laws. Generally, guardians file runaway reports with the police and if that young person is found or their whereabouts are known, they will be returned home. To our knowledge, running away is usually not illegal and is considered a status offense. However, something to possibly consider are harboring a runaway laws. These are charges that can potentially be filed against the adults who house the runaway. It could be a good idea to talk this over with your mom and boyfriend and see what you all are willing to handle. Like we said, we are not experts and cannot give concrete answers or advice. However, if you are your mom were to reach out to your local police department, they could possibly give you an answer about how they handle runaway cases. There are also emancipation options for youth in some states. Generally, the process is lengthy and youth have to be able to care for themselves financially. But, to learn more about this option it could be a good idea to get in contact with a legal resource. We would be happy to connect you with one if you call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) Or chat with us through our website, www.1800runaway.org. We are here 24/7 to help in anyway we can. We hope to hear from you or your boyfriend soon. Best of luck!

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hello I am 16 and currently a runaway I’ve been physically abused my whole life and emotionally abused to by my mother husband , i have left home without there consent and I’m scared the police would return me back like they did all the other times this isn’t the first run in I’ve had with police and cps my mothers husband has a case from 2 years ago in abuse for beating on me and my brother , I left at 16 thinking I’m off the hook am I really ?

    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 like your home life is toxic and abusive and you're considering leaving home.
      To be frank, if you are under 18 leaving home without parental permission can be tricky. While running away is not illegal, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway which means that if you are caught you will have to return home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. You are also within your rights to report any abuse happening inside the home, www.childhelp.org can be a great resource when looking to report abuse, and we can also assist you in filling out an abuse report if you call or chat us. Futher, if you are feeling unsafe at any time we encourage you to reach out to a friend, relative, or the local police department.
      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 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

  • hi , i’m 16 years old. and i live in kentucky. i’m getting emotionally abused at home and physically abused too sometimes... i turn 17 in november. I have a safe place to go too right now but my mom won’t let me go. every time something don’t go her way we will argue and get into fights and she will always tell me to just leave and then when i start packing my stuff she tries to change her mind. last night she got on top of me hitting me and started pulling my hair out. i never hit her back because i don’t feel like i should ever lay a hand on my mom. but she doesn’t care about me at all. she doesn’t love me. she was telling me all these mean things calling me a whore and a slut and it hurts really bad. she also said i disgust her and she acts like she hates me. i’m the only one in the house that helps her clean gives her money when she asks for it. she even steals my money. i bought a car and it’s in her name and she won’t even take me to go get my permit or anything. she won’t even let me sell my own car. I want to sell it cause she never lets me drive it. she always drives my car around and dritys it up and makes me up gas in it and it’s not fair. i pay for everything that needs to be done ok that car and i’ve never drove it once. she doesn’t treat me right she treats me differently from everyone else. I do great in school i’m always on the honor roll and i’m a junior but i’m graduating early this year cause i’m trying to get my life started and get away from my mom. she puts me down and makes me feel like i’m not worth anything. i feel un wanted here and un safe all the time. my siblings went to night school and got bad grades all the time and they don’t get in trouble for it but i get in trouble for everything. i have a sister that sneaks out all the time and smokes and drinks and she even told my mom that h she doesn’t even get yelled at or hit for that. i’m so depressed here and im tired of it. she’s trying to prevent me from graduating early this year. and she’s so so controlling she’s trying to control my life and mess up my future and that’s not fair. i’m in nursing classes and i had a 3.9 GPA last year. and my gol for this year is to get a 4.3 or higher. i just want to be happy. but i can’t even be happy cause it depressing here. we don’t have any internet anymore and my mom is 15,0000 behind on our morage she’s struggling really bad and i feel terrible. but she always takes her problems out on me. we also don’t have air or heat anymore cause it went out. this is my last year and i need something to change. idk what to do here.
    im stuck. i’m begging for someone to answer me.

    Comment


    • Thank you for contacting National Runaway Safeline. It was brave of you to share what is going on at home. What you are going through is a lot for just one person to handle, and you don’t deserve to be going through any of this at all. It sounds like your mom has been abusing you not only physically, but emotionally as well. It is unfair that she is putting a lot of the responsibility on you. Please know that if you are feeling unsafe, we can always provide you with the resources you need. It might be a good idea to see if you are able to call in or chat online (1-800-786-2929 or www.1800runaway.org). We can help you find shelters or transitional living programs that help youth get on their feet. We can also help you report any abuse that is happening at home so that a caseworker will be notified to assess your situation.


      You mentioned you were also thinking about running away. Some information that might be helpful to keep in mind is that those who are younger than 18 typically cannot leave home without their guardian’s permission. So if you were to run away, your mom can call the police to file a runaway report. If that were to happen, they could look for you and bring you back home if found.




      You are going through a lot, and we appreciate you reaching out to us. Please feel free to contact us whenever is suitable for you as we are open 24/7. If you feel that you are in immediate danger, please do not hesitate to contact the police (911) to get immediate assistance.

      We hope to hear from you soon,
      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)

      Tell us what you think about your experience!
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • Hi im 16 we just moved to ******* and I didn’t wanna go cause my whole life was back in bc and I tried to convince my parents to not move or let me stay so I can finish school but they ignored me and I was wondering is there anyway I can go back to bc without my parents permission without getting arrested and what would I have to do to make this happen
        Last edited by ccsmod5; 09-08-2021, 07:41 AM. Reason: Confidentiality

        Comment


        • ccsmod5
          ccsmod5 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for reaching out to us, we hope to help as best we can. You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your parent’s permission. 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 parent 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’m a mother of 16 yr defiant child can I physically remove my child from someone else’s home

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thank you for contacting the Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are having a very difficult time with your child and that you are committed to their well being. We are not legal experts, but can provide the following first steps for you. You have an option to contact a local legal aide resource specific to your state, which may be a courthouse, or Advocacy Resource Center. You can also call the local police department non-emergency number to see what the regulations in you state are currently for runaway laws, if your child has run away and is now in another home. You can contact us directly if you’d like to talk to someone anonymously about more details of your situation. We can also assist with looking up local resources for you. You can use this link as a reference to begin with if you like: https://www.lawhelp.org/find-help/. You can reach us by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or live chatting with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org).

          Best of luck,
          NRS

      • Hello, I am 14 turning 15 in November i live with my aunt, and every day she emotionally abuses me, and physically this have been going on since I was 7 at this point I feel depressed I get constant anxiety and i attempted suicide at 11 that's how bad it was then its slowed down now but i still hate it ive been hearing voices lately and seeing things I don't know why and last night when she wasn't home i left to a friends house just so i had someone to talk to so she came home went to my friend asked where i was she came to where I was them smacked me slammed my head in the truck then when we got home she kept punching me in the face and smaking me and beating me with a broomstick i dont know if i really can take it anymore can i legally buy an apartment at 16 or run away at 15

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).

          If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering.

          Please be safe and reach out soon by phone or chat so that we may help.
          Take care,
          NRS

        • ccsmod16
          ccsmod16 commented
          Editing a comment
          [10:49 PM] Doug Edwards
          Hi, we are so glad you reached out to us for help. From your description, there are a lot of overwhelming issues in your life and it makes sense you are looking for a way out of your Aunt’s house. To answer your specific question, it does not seem like there would be any way for you to legally get an apartment before you are 18. That is not your only option; you may want to consider alternative youth housing or a transitional living program. From your post detail, you would qualify for both. You don’t deserve to be hit or emotionally abused. You have a right to be in a safe home.  There are programs and resources in your community that we can put you in touch with to see if we can find something that would work for you to get out of the house. We would like to get some specific details to be able to recommend those resources and to conference call them with you so we can make sure you get the help you need. You can get in touch with us anytime 24/7 either through a chat on our website or on a call to our crisis hotline at (800) RUNAWAY. Both are completely confidential. We also want to make sure that any mental health issues are addressed as part of whatever plan you have. We can help you assess what is going on and how best to address that in the short term. We hope to hear from you soon and remember if at any point you are feeling unsafe, either because of suicidal thoughts or from your Aunt, you can call 911 and they will help get you to a safe place. You can still call us after you call 911. Good luck.

      • Hi there! I am currently 15 and will be turning 16 on Dec 8th. living at home is hard because it feels like I don't have any freedom. the only place I can go out without a family member is school. I have to go straight home every day. I can't have any friends, no boyfriend, no going out, no homecoming this weekend, and no phone. They treat me like a kid but give me reasonability for an adult. I want to move out when I turn 16 but I'm scared something bad will happen. I have my older brother who moved out because my family was treating him horribly. I have a choice to either move in with him or my bf. My bf's parents offered for me to stay with them if something happens. I'm not sure what to do.

        Comment


        • ccsmod16
          ccsmod16 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,
          thank you for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like things are really hard at home because you are so closely watched and controlled. We are very glad that you have your brother and boyfriend and his family for support.
          It's understandable to want to leave this situation, but without parent's consent, they can file a runaway report with police and have you returned if they know where you are.
          We help people best by talking with them, either through live chat via this website, or through our phone hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). Both services are 24/7 and confidential to you. We truly hope to hear from you so that we can talk this through and help you identify what your options may be.
          Sincerely,
          NRS

      • I am 16 and I feel just not happy at home I feel like I don’t get listen too and I just get treated like ******** at times I just get mad every time I’m home bc of drama and arguing I wanna live with my boyfriend and his family bc I feel way better there then home which is weird bc I love my family but I can’t handle them at all idk what to do. I just feel broken

        Comment


        • ccsmod16
          ccsmod16 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,
          Thanks for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like things are really stressful for you at home due to arguing and drama and that you don't get listened to. It's not fair for you to be treated badly. The hard part about wanting to leave at 16 is whether your parents would send police to go get you and have you brought back. That is a possibility if they guess where you are.
          We hope that you will reach out to our live services to talk this over and to help you figure out your options. You can chat us through this website, or call our hotline at 1-800-786-2929 (1-800-RUNAWAY)
          We truly hope to hear from you soon.
          Sincerely,
          NRS

      • My grandson was forced to move out, he is 16 and has always been very missed treated, unfortunately my son is his step father and my son could never really except him, his mother really missed treated him also, I live with the family and my relationship with my son is almost gone because I always stood up for my grandson, he is a wonderful person and all he wanted was to be loved, he is staying with a friend but he needs help so bad, I try to give him what I can but he needs so much more, is there any place he can get good help? Thank you a sad and desperate grandma

        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, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that your grandson is faced with right now and you’re wanting to find a way to help them as they mentioned having been kicked out. It’s great that your grandson has support and concern from you especially since this time is quite difficult for them.

          Having a space to vent and explore options may often bring out a solution previously not thought of. We are here as support to help you and your grandson through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat. 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).

          We’re here to listen and to help and hope you or your friend can reach out soon.

          Take care,

          NRS

      • Hi, I am 16 years old and I live in florida. My parents are very toxic and i have a lot of screenshotted messages and recorded videos of my parents emotionally abusing me. They have taken almost everything from me, my phone that i pay for, my horses that i want to buy from them even though as a family we agree that they are mine. I want to get myself emancipated, I have a home to go to with my boyfriend who lives by himself, i just quit my job, but i have another interview next week. I always made really good grades and money is not an issue for me. With evidence and being able to take care of myself, would that help me get emancipated? I really need to get out of my house. I really lost myself and I am under so much stress from them that my body is literally sick from. Im trying to be the better person and sit down and talk to them through theses fights but they arent willing to do so, so i have to make an act upon myself. I really need advice, this has been going on for years. We have tried counsiling and everything. im not allowed to leave the house besides for school. Someone please help me, any word of advice would be very helpful! Thank you

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We appreciate you reaching out and sharing what has been going on. We are here for you. You do not deserve to be emotionally abused and sounds like you are in a difficult situation. It seems you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options.

          If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to Child Protective Services. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed.

          It sounds like you are considering emancipation and want to learn more about this process. While we are not legal experts, The age of majority in Florida is 18. This means that when you turn 18, you gain almost all of the legal rights that adults have. Some of those include, The right to vote. Obtaining a driver's license without parental permission. Turning 18 also comes with responsibilities, like the ability to be sued in court, and serving on a jury. Normally, you must be at least sixteen years old to be eligible for emancipation.

          In order to seek a court mandated emancipation, minors must submit: A statement of "character, habits, income, and mental capacity for business, An explanation of how the needs of the minor with respect to food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and other necessities will be met." Minors must state whether they are party to any court action taking place in Florida or another state. Minors must also submit a statement explaining why they seek an order of emancipation. Parents must be notified of any such proceeding.

          This is some information that we have on emancipation in Florida. The process can take time and there are fees associated. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

          There are a lot of things to consider when leaving home. We would need some more information to help you or provide any additional resources. We would recommend calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or contact by Live Chat, we are here 24/7.

          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
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