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

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  • #31
    Hello. I am 16 years old, and I live with my parents in Illinois. I cannot stand it here. It's not that my parents physically or sexually abuse me, because they don't. It's be cause they always restrict EVERYTHING that I do, and they never let me make my own choices. Wanna hang out with a newly acquainted friend? They have to supervise. Wanna get a small snack before dinnertime? Sorry, no-can-do. They treat me like I'm 5 for god's sake!
    I tell them that I want to move out early, and they get all mad at me, saying "where will you go?" Or "do you hate us that much?" I try to be the blatantly honest person that I am and tell them how I feel about their "rules". Then they say "why do you hate us? Because we're taking care of you?"
    running away isn't an option, because if I do, my parents threatened that I would be sent to a mental hospital
    in order to become emancipated, I need to prove that I can support myself, and I don't have a job as of yet, so that probably won't happen.
    i need to find some way to move out and live alone, and I feel as though I'm all out of options, and I simply can't wait for 2 more years to become an adult.
    what do I do?

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    • #32
      I'm 16 and I have seen that it is legal to leave home without parental consent and as long as I am safe my parents cannot make me come home does this also include runaway I don't want to be put on probation or house arrest for it...I just feel like I was better off when I didn't live with my mom as a young child. I just want to know how I can go about this and what the possible outcomes are.

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. From your email to us here, we can see that you have very similar questions to a lot of our callers and you’re looking for some answers. It seems like there must be a lot going on in your life, especially at home, if you’re thinking about leaving home. It’s great that you were able to find out some information about our hotline. Hopefully we can help.

        As a minor (under the age of majority), you aren't able to leave home without your parents’ permission. We aren’t legal experts, but what generally what typically happens if a minor runs away, is that your parents would be able to make a runaway. You can’t be arrested for running away in some cases we’ve heard of police not taking runaway reports on youth who are close to turning 18 (like you). A good way to find out exactly what the police protocols are in your city, would be to reach out to your local non-emergency police. You can ask them hypothetical questions about running away. If you'd like, we can also look for legal aid resources. There are lawyers who help youth for free or for free, they would be able to brainstorm legal ways for you to move out early. If you'd like us to connect you with those resources please give us a call.

        If you give us a call on our 24/7 fully confidential hotline, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help answer some of those questions you have and could potentially help you brainstorm a solution to the issues you are having. We also have an online chat service available through our website (www.1800runaway.org) if you don’t feel like calling in to talk on the phone.

        Best, NRS

    • #33
      Can i leave my house with out my family permission

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. From your email to us here, we can see that you have very similar questions to a lot of our callers and you’re looking for some answers. It seems like there must be a lot going on in your life, especially at home, if you’re thinking about leaving home. It’s great that you were able to find out some information about our hotline. Hopefully we can help.

        As a minor (under the age of majority), you aren't able to leave home without your parents’ permission. We aren’t legal experts, but what generally what typically happens if a minor runs away, is that your parents would be able to make a runaway. You can’t be arrested for running away in some cases we’ve heard of police not taking runaway reports on youth who are close to turning 18. A good way to find out exactly what the police protocols are in your city, would be to reach out to your local non-emergency police. You can ask them hypothetical questions about running away.

        If you give us a call on our 24/7 fully confidential hotline, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help answer some of those questions you have and could potentially help you brainstorm a solution to the issues you are having. We also have an online chat service available through our website (www.1800runaway.org) if you don’t feel like calling in to talk on the phone.

        Best, NRS

    • #34
      Hi I'm 16 years old and I live in Virginia. Couple years ago I got pulled out if foster care by my aunt she's been abusive to me and I want to leave so if I just get up grab my packed bags and walk out will I get in any trouble and the people I plan to stay with, will they get in any trouble if the call the runaway hotline and show and have proof that they were not doing any harm and were only trying to protect me and care for me. Thank you please reply ASAP

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We are glad you reached out to us in this difficult time. What you’re going through is extremely difficult and it takes a lot of courage to reach out to someone and ask for help.

        We aren’t legal experts here at the NRS, but we do offer general information in situations like this. Most importantly, you deserve to live somewhere that you feel safe and capable of being the person you want to be. It doesn’t sound like that’s happening with your aunt. If you ever need someone to talk this abuse specifically, please reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org). Your aunt’s abusive actions are illegal and nobody deserves to be treated that way. If you have documented proof of abuse that is definitely something that you want to present to the proper authorities to document the abuse if they ask. With that being said, the National Runaway Safeline would not be the agency to contact with this proof. The police or child protective services would be an authority figure that should be presented with this information.

        If you do run away from home and your aunt files a runaway report with the police, the police would then begin searching for you. Now if they or child protective services has reason to believe that you were being abused in the previous home, they may look for alternative living arrangements that best suit that child.

        Like we mentioned earlier, the National Runaway Safeline are not a legal experts. If you are in need of an answer from a legal expert, please reach out to us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or through our website’s live chat (https://www.1800runaway.org/) and we can attempt to connect you with a free legal expert that might be able to answer your questions. We wish you the best of luck and please reach out to us or Child Help if you need anything further.

    • #35
      I'm 15 years old and I want to leave my household. My parents are good when it comes to caring for me and my siblings financially. Other than that they are terrible parents; to me at least. I am no means the best child and I might be just be a childish teen (wanting to leave and such), but I have debated on leaving several times beforehand. My parents are sometimes kind but at other times they're not.
      They yell at me for the smallest things; ie saying there is a lot of laundry to fold, not knowing when school events are over and where they are specifically, not knowing the answer to a question, and making suggestions when they'er going through problems). When I'd say or do such things, my father would call me a useless ********** or a useless sack of crap repeatedly. He'd tell my brothers not to rely on me because I'm those things.
      They've punished me harshly for small things as well. When I lost my house keys, they purposely made we wait outside my house while they were touring the city with my relatives and removed me from my after school program. During that time frame, they also forbade me from going to high school football games and dances. I missed out on my Freshman Year experiences. I let all of that go when they let me rejoin my after school program 3-4 months later. When I didn't tell my parents I invited my boyfriend to a festival at church, they took away all of my electronics and pulled me out of my after school program again. My father called my a "Lying sack of ********." They also told me I am not allowed to go out with my friends because I haven't been properly punished. I've only been out with my friends 10-15 times. That number includes seeing them at school events. If their punishments fit the mistakes I made, I would have complied. Because the punishments they have given don't, I see no true purpose in them.
      Based one what I've experienced, they also don't give a damn about me or my siblings' mental health unless I've lost someone. When I told my mother I was cutting she just called me stupid. Whenever I tell them that I want to join certain programs because they make me happy, they tell me bull******** and I need to know my place. When I told my father that my brother had mental breakdowns, he didn't seem to care. When I told my parents that my younger brother scratched his face up to the point where he was bleeding, they spoke to him. I thought they were going to help him. Instead, my father threaten to call the police on the boy. He accused my brother of not caring about my parent's reputation. I thought that was stupid. When me and my boyfriend of 10 months broke up, I cried and was unable to attend Taekwondo practice. My dad yelled at me and then yelled at me saying that my useless stupid emotional problems isn't a reason to skip practice.
      I want to leave this household and take my brothers with me. I know that's not possible and it would cost too much money to go through that. Originally, I had hoped to enlist in the Navy or Marines and leave once I am of age. Now, I am desperate to leave here. I am afraid to adopting my parent's way of parenting and using that on my future child. I am afraid of using their methods on my siblings as well. To my brothers, they would hit them. Not consistently to the point where it's abuse...but they'd hit them as a punishment. I've already adopted that trait and have hit them before. I'm scared of doing that again.
      What can I do? I've talked to my friends about staying at their place but they're afraid of their parents being charged for kidnapping. I've wanted to get a job and move out but I haven't been able to get my permit (knowing that my parents won't sign it) and I am financially unable.

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        If you have contacted NRS today through another means (for example, live chat, email or bulletin) for the same issue, it would be helpful to let us know that you have already contacted us. NRS understands it takes courage to reach out for help; therefore, we would like to minimize the need for you to repeat your situation and avoid offering you duplicate services.

        Best of luck,
        NRS

    • #36
      Hi, my name is alicia and i live in new mexico. I really dont know where to start or what to say. I want to kove out so bad. My parents are mentally and sometimes physically abusive to me. They are fine until i do something wrong. Things get kut of hand. I have made misgakes and understand why im not trusted but im 16 and im treated like im 12. I dont have a phone, i cant go anywhere, i have to get signed notes saying if there is a meeting after school and what time it ends. Its all a little much. My mom and dad call me names all the time snd make me feel worthless. There are 7 of us kids at the moment. And i feel lost. If i leave to my grandmas and stay with my friends a few days can they force me to come home?

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. We can understand your situation might be stressful and often times draining. So we commend your bravery to reach out. Our goal is to help give you some options and resources available to you at the current moment so that you can be aware of them all and can make an educated decision about what your next steps look like.
        We can definitely understand why you feel stressed and not cared for. Though we are not legal experts but from what we can tell you is that because you are 16 you are a minor and therefore your parents have the right to make a runaway report with the police. Once that report is made if the police or your parents know where you are you can be brought back home by the police. What is more is that anyone who might take you in might have the possibility of being charged with harboring a minor. This means that it could possibly mean other consequences. It just depends on every state. On the other hand you mentioned that your parents have been abusive. Know that if you do not feel safe at home you have the right to let someone know. Some people you can tell are a school teacher or school counselor. Another possibility that you might find is trying to tell an adult that you are close with. Again you deserve to be cared for and feel safe at home. Some other hotlines available to you are the National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-422-4453) or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-843-5678 ). These are hotlines that can help you talk through your situation and prepare some next steps with you.
        Again thank you for seeking us out at NRS. We hope that we have helped answer your questions pertaining to your situation. We know it can take a lot for you to reach out so we appreciate it. Know that if you have more questions or concerns please feel free to call us at (1-800-786-2929) or online through our chat option at (www.1800runaway.org). Best wishes to you and your situation.
        NRS

    • #37
      Hi, My name is Logan and I just turned 16 on October 23rd. I want to go live with my best friends grandparents because I’ve known them for about 9 years and I feel like they only truly care about me. Problem is, is that my Godmother is my moms coworker and I don’t really want to live with them. I’m afraid that my mother will make me so mad that I’ll kill myself and I don’t want to do that because I feel like I have some people that care about me. My mother has told me once that if I wanted to leave I could but I don’t think she really meant it because we were already arguing. My mother has made me depressed for several years now and I feel like living with her will only result in my death. Everyday I go home and cry and think about suicide and I’m pretty sure my mom is aware of this fact but she never does anything to help. Is there anyway I can live with my best friends grandparents or would I have to have legal documentation for that?

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out us here at NRS. We know it can be a difficult and stressful situation you find yourself in. What’s more is that we hope to provide you with tips and resources to help you make a more informed decision on your situation.
        Though we are not legal experts from what we gather about your story is that you have been dealing with a lot as far as suicide and depression. We are very sorry to hear that. It is good though that you know that there are people that care about you. Some good ways to find help are to perhaps seek out a school counselor who listen and give advice. Other means are to find support groups/ communities online that help give you the support you need in such a difficult time. If those thoughts about suicide do continue please know you can call us here at NRS or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). They can help you with support and guide you in on more resources. As far as running away because you are 16 you are still considered a minor and that gives your parents the right to call the police and file a runaway report. This in turn allows the police to pick you up if they or your parents know where you are. In terms of the people housing you it is possible they might face charges of Harboring a Minor and those consequences differ in every state. Again please know that suicide is never the choice there are people who are looking to help you just have to know where to look. In addition to possibly finding a way to move with your friends grandparents, a viable way is to ask your mom. If she really wants you to leave then what you can do is call the police for documents so that she can sign that she is letting you live with other people so that all becomes legal and you don’t have to be worried about getting the cops called on you.
        Again we want to commend you on your bravery for reaching out to us and seeking help. We know that it takes a lot in order to do that. We hope that we have helped you in a way that positions you to make the best choice for yourself. Of for any reason you have more concerns or questions please do not hesitate to call us at (1-800-786-2929) or online through our chat option at (www.1800runaway.org).
        Best Wishes - NRS

    • #38
      Hello my name is Johnny I am not a victim of abuse but my girlfriend is and I was wondering if there’s like anyway legally she can move out and live with us my mom would accept her she’s calls her “her daughter “ and so my girlfriends mom have been emotionally abusing her .. and it’s like so bad she feels very insecure .. if anyone wore to tell she’d get upset and we really wanna help her ! We are afraid to lose each other .. we lost a baby because of this ... which is why I want to know if this is possible.?

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello There,
        Thank you so much for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we know it takes courage to reach out and we are so glad that you did. It sounds like your girlfriend is going through a really difficult time right now. Any type of abuse is not acceptable, and she should not have to deal with that. If you or she would like to report the abuse you may do so by calling Child Help- 1800-422-4453. We know that sometimes making a report can be difficult, at NRS we offer conference calling. Basically for a conference call you or your girlfriend can call us and we would call out to Child Help and be on the phone to support you while making a report. We are sorry that your girlfriend feels insecure by this, and it’s great that you are there to support her. As for leaving home before she is 18 in most states it would be illegal. We are not legal experts but if she were to leave home without her parents’ permission she could be considered as a runaway. If the police were to find her they would most likely bring her back home.
        We hope this information was helpful to you in your situation. If you or your girlfriend have any more questions or would like to talk more please give us a call we are available 24/7, and we are here to support you. Remember you guys are not alone and we wish you guys the best of luck!
        NRS

    • #39
      Hi I’m 16 and I just read on another site that I can move out at the age of 16. I can’t wait in tell I’m 18 to move out but the last time I ran away the cop told me that the next time I am called in as a runaway that I would get arrested. I just need to know if I can. Please help me.

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi. Thanks for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are concerned whether you can runaway without parental consent. Although, we are not legal experts you have to be considered an adult in order to leave home without parental consent. In most states you are no longer considered a minor at the age of 18. If you would like to discuss your situation further please do not hesitate to reach out to our hotline at 1800-runaway or our chat at 1800runaway.org.

    • #40
      Hi im 16 and my parents are mentally/emotionally abusing me, they are separated but married and getting back together tight now. My friend is 18 and said maybe i can live with them, but we dont know if its allowed. Since im 16 cant i leave without parents consent and since im safe with them, isnt it ok!

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 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 sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. 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 CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.
        Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. You are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
        If you would like to talk more in detail please chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best
        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe,
        NRS

    • #41
      So I'm 15 almost 16 and I'm wondering a few things. So I am writing a research paper (and depending on the answer I might do so) and I'm wondering if you leave at 16 without consent, and instead of living with someone which may get them in trouble for harboring a runaway, if you have a full-time job and you buy a trailer, have someone tow it to a trailer park, and you pay rent for your area that your trailer is located, can you still be sent back home?

      Comment


      • ccsmod6
        ccsmod6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi and thanks for contacting National Runaway Safeline! We are more than delighted to answer your questions to the best of our abilities and potentially assist with you writing your research paper. In regards to a 16 year old running away, without permission to buy and live in a trailer, even if the youth works and buys that trailer, at that age they are still considered a minor and must be under supervision of the adult. So, there will minimal to no risks only if the youth does that with permission. However, if the youth was in the position where they could afford to live independently and mentally/emotionally/physically capable there are options to be able to live without supervision legally. One way would be that youth pursuing emancipation in their state. Hopefully this information was helpful for you. Feel free to give us a call at any time 1800-RUNAWAY or chat with us live by visiting our website 1800runaway.org.

    • #42
      I'm 16 and living at home with my parents. Living with them is honestly really painful and difficult. I'm transgender and my parents don't agree with that in the slightest. Ask and they'll tell you they're "supportive" but they're far from supportive. My mental health has really been declining while I've been with them and it makes me want to just disappear if that makes sense. I want to say that it's emotional abuse, but I feel like that sounds whiny and crappy of me. I've been to therapy with my family before, and during that, they would act like the perfect parents, but as soon as we left it was back to how they used to be. They're nice when it's easy for them, but are borderline cruel when something happens that they don't agree with. I really just want to move out, I have a job and my drivers license and could probably pay for a cheap apartment or something like that, but I'm worried if I left I'd be declined a place to live or that the police would have to take me home or I just wouldn't be able to leave. I live in Utah, by the way, in case that has an effect on anything.

      Comment


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. We are sorry to hear you do not feel safe at home. You have the right to feel safe and wanted. The Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860 is a good resource for people like you who are struggling with feeling accepted at home. It’s great that you have a job and a driver’s license, you sound like you’re very independent. In Utah, it might be an option for you to look into emancipation. You can call your local court house and request an emancipation packet, or you can contact us and we can look up some resources for you. Your mental health is important. You are important to us. Please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY(786-2929) at any time. Stay safe and we hope to hear from you soon.

    • #43
      Hi, hopefully someone ends up reading this. Things have been hard at home. I haven't felt happy for a long time. It's hard to live with my mom. She yells constantly whether it's about me or not it's all the time. She has hit me before but keeps saying it was a one time thing even though it wasn't. Lastly she calls me names and that adds to stress and anxiety. I know I cause a lot of this but I think those things aren't always necessary. I am 16 years old and would like to leave home. Maybe not for good. Maybe even just a few nights away from home is what I need. Is it legal for me to leave home temporarily? How would I tell my mother and father? If I leave without saying I know I'd be in more trouble coming home anyway. I'm confused and stressed about what to do. I could really use some help.

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. From what we can tell it has been a rough time at home and stress is piling on. Our hope is to give you tips and resources to help you make the choice that is right for you.
        From what we can tell from your story you need some time away to help get you in a better place both emotionally and physically. Know that you don’t deserve to be called names or have added stress on you. You have the right to feel safe. So because you are 16 you are technically a minor and that means if you happen to runaway even for a couple nights your mom has the right to call the cops file a runaway report. If they know where you are they can bring you back home. If you are planning to leave for a couple nights maybe telling them you are having a sleepover somewhere with a friend to help get you some time away. Or even finding a family member that is close to you to stay with can be helpful. You could perhaps just tell them that you got invited somewhere if you don’t feel comfortable telling them the truth. Or if its with extended family they can maybe call on your behalf.
        Again we to commend you on reaching out and wish you all the best. If you happen to have more questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us again. Our number is (1-800-786-2929) or online through our chat option at (www.1800runaway.org)
        Best Wishes- NRS

    • #44
      I'm 16 years old and I simply want to leave home for a few days. Do I need my parents consent? Or could I just leave whether they want me to or not?

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, 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.
        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe, NRS

    • #45
      Hi. I'm 16, and my parents don't let me leave the house without their permission and they don't let other kids drive me. I left the house the other day without telling them beforehand. But as soon as i left i told them i was hanging with friends and that i will be back before dark and to not worry. I am very responsible and mature. When i got back they grounded me. Why should i get in trouble for a 16 year old drive me who has a legal drivers license. Also am i legally allowed to leave my house and have the 16 year ol with a drivers license even though my parents say it's not allowed? I know i'm supposed to honor my parents and i love them but do i have to listen to every rule they have. I'm not a little kid anymore.

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to NRS!

        We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. We're always here to talk and listen.

        It makes sense that you’re getting frustrated at home when your parents aren’t giving you more freedoms. If you ever want to try to talk to parents about how controlling they are, we offer conference calling services between youth and parents. You do deserve all the opportunities for happiness. Unfortunately, you are considered a minor until you are 18 years old. Which means you can’t leave home without your parents’ permission, or else it’s considered running away. You can’t be arrested for running away but if police come across you, they will return you home.

        We’re here if you’d like to talk more about your situation. Our safeline is open 24/7. We also have a chatting service via our website, unfortunately, it is not always open. The best way to contact us would be to call in and talk with our trained liners.

        Be well, NRS
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