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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
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