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

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  • #91
    My name is Illeanna. I’m 16 years old & I live in Corning, Arkansas. I turn 17 in November. I work at Sonic, & i’m still attending school. (10th grade.) I’m currently on probation & have had run ins w the police before.
    But my home life is a wreck, i’m emotionally abused & nobody listens to me. I have asked my therapist, my po officer & my caseworker if something can be arranged to where I could live with a different family member. Nobody helps me. I hate living here & my mental state has been dragged to the floor because of my mom & her husband. I suffer from depression, anger issues & anxiety because of it. Living here is such a negative environment for me & I’ve wanted to get away from it for a long time. I have no trouble sleeping anywhere I go except for home. They are toxic people & bring me down mentally & I don’t know how much more I can take of it.

    I have been kicked out by my mom & step dad on multiple occasions & when they tell the police I ran away so that they don’t get in trouble for kicking me out, the police bring me back home. I was wondering if I leave without their consent if I can get into any real legal trouble. Or will they just bring me home again?
    What if I continue to leave? Will I get in trouble then?
    What if I leave until I turn 18? Can they do anything if i’m found after then?

    Thanks for your help, reply back asap. -Illeanna

    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 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. Because you are already on probation the consequences for you leaving are even bigger. Even if you were to turn 18 after running away you would still be sought after if you have probation already. 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.

  • #92
    Hi, I’m 16 years old and I can drive, I’ve been wanting to leave home since I was about 13 but I haven’t, I’m sure my parents won’t agree to emancipating me. I really hate it here like don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the things they’ve done for me but it’s getting really hard to keep dealing with this day after day, there is always yelling/arguing around here, often it’s at me, I always get their responsibilities just kind of dumped on me and I have to deal with those and I feel that it is unfair but they don’t listen when I tell them how I feel, I feel that if I didn’t live here I’d be a lot less stressed and a lot happier, I’m not a bad kid, I don’t do bad things, and I really just want to leave here, I feel like I’m mature enough, I have a full time job and I do online schooling, the schooling keeps me here with them so that’s unfortunate I’d much rather go to regular school but I’ll probably finish up my online school because I’m already almost done. The only time I get away from here is if I’m at work or my boyfriends house, they hate that I go to his place with his family because it’s not here at their place but we don’t like coming here because there is always arguing, honestly they can’t even get along with each other, I’m just really sick and tired of this and I want to leave but I don’t want to get in trouble by the lay and I don’t want to get the people I’d be staying with in trouble so I’m at a loss

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story. It sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now and we hope to be able to help. It can be frustrating to always be around yelling and arguing when you are at home. We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your parents could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there if your parents file a report and if your boyfriend’s family doesn’t cooperate with the police. You could consider calling your local non-emergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

      It’s great that you want to finish school and are thinking about your future. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. If you don’t feel safe and feel like you need to get away Nationalsafeplace.org provides a safe location for you to meet a staff member who can take you to a designated place where you can discuss all options about how to stay safe. You can text 44357 the word “safe,” and your location to find a safe location in your area. Once you arrive let someone who works there know you need help connecting with a staff member.

      Sometimes family counseling can help with things that are going on at home. Counseling can provide a safe place for you and your family to talk about what is going on and help you find ways to cope with the things you might not be able to change about your family. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a resource with support groups among other services, at 1-800-950-NAMI and online at nami.org. We also have resources for the National Domestic Violence hotline if things between your mother and father escalate to more than just arguing. They can be reached at 1-800-799-7233 or at thehotline.org.

      One service we can offer is to conference call with your parents. This way you could have a conversation with your parents but you would not be alone. For example, it may be hard for you to explain to your parents how their constant arguing and the additional responsibilities they put on you affects you. Sometimes those conversations go better in a conference call because we can advocate for you.

      Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength and maturity by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you would like to share more, please feel free to call our 24 hour hotline at 1-800Runaway (786-2929) or use our live chat. We hope this information was helpful and take care.

      -NRS

  • #93
    I am 15 and soon to be 16 and i want to leave my house as soon as possible. I live in illinois and am wondering if i am able to support myself (get a job, drive myself to work, and pay for an apartment/small home) am i avle to leave home. I am a straight A student and hate living with my step-dad, it feels like i am in prison constantly. Is it possible to leave without parental consent and live on my own.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there, thanks for posting today. It sounds like you are in a really tough situation with your step-dad.
      We are not legal experts but we do know running away is not illegal. It is not a crime, but it is a status offense meaning you cannot do it because of your age, like missing school.
      It seems like you have thought out some of the details of supporting yourself, getting to work, and so on, which is great!
      You may also want to consider whether or not you think your parents would file a runaway report if you left without permission. This could mean the police may look for you and try to return you back home.
      We are here to help 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 and on our website's live chat where we can provide you more specific resources to your area.

      Thanks again for posting and reach out anytime!

  • #94
    Hey I’m 16 years old I don’t like to live at my house Bc of the favoritism. My oldest sister she said it was like that when she lived here too. They show the most love to my middle sister and I can’t stand it. I want to move out but I don’t want to just be brought back home plus I know my parents won’t let me. It’s like they don’t even know I’m here and they compare me to my sister all the time and they take her side allll the time. I don’t want to get in trouble Bc it sucks and I especially don’t want the cops to bring me back home. What do I do???

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      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 parents. 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

  • #95
    hello I'm 16 and need to know if I'm aloud to leave because I'm tired of the abuse and the neglect I'm not aloud to leave the house and I'm home schooled so I cant even see any other people other than my mom my step dad and my step sister and my nice but other than that i don't have any people my age to talk to and I'm getting really depressed and scared for their well being and i feel as though I'm about to snap and i don't want a record because I'm trying to go to the military and so i need to know if I'm legally aloud to leave and i don't have friends so i have no ware to stay so i need somewhere to stay and work and eat mot to mechan my mother forces my to work at her job so she can sit and do nothing all day i do the dishes i sweep i clean i have to take care of people and I hate it

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      We are really glad that you reached out to us. Abuse is something that is never okay for anyone to experience and going through that is really scary. It is understandable that you want to leave your home with the frustration you feel with the chores. It sounds like you ae having a really hard time especially when you have no one to talk to and if you are able to do reach out to our number at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we will always be willing to talk.
      You will be legally able to leave your house once your 18. Otherwise your parents would be able to file a runaway report, if you left, which would change your stats in the police system. All this would do require the police to pick you up if they found you and shouldn’t leave a mark on your record especially if you haven’t ran away before. It is really great that you identified things you might need if you do runaway. Finding a place to stay if you don’t have a relative or friend’s house to stay at is important and feel free to call either us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or 211 (United Way) and either one will be happy to locate shelters near you. Another thing to consider is maybe filing an abuse report and if the evidence of abuse is substantial enough the police may get involved. If you don’t know how to Child Help can walk you through the steps of filing an abuse report. Their number is 1-800-422-4453 and you can find them online at childhelp.org.
      Again if you need anyone to talk to feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), we are 24/7 and confidential and will not give out any information about you.
      Thanks again for reaching out,
      NRS

  • #96
    I'm 16 and live in Washington state, my parents have been emotionally abusive to me for as long as I can remember but I feel like I've finally just reached my breaking point today. I constantly get into fights with my mom and sometimes with my dad. I'm always immediately in the wrong because my parents call me disrespectful, or spoiled, or entitled, and tonight they said that they don't know where they went wrong with me and that I'm a disappointment to them. My parents think that if I react to them yelling at me with the same tone they give me, it's disrespectful and I'm a bad kid. My mom came home from work tonight and snatched my phone out of my hands and grounded me, and came in later with my dad and they had been reading my texts to my boyfriend. I always vent to him when I'm fighting with my parents because it makes me feel better. They said that it wasn't okay that I was doing that, and that I was making them sound like bad parents and that I was making myself sound like a poor defenseless puppy, and that my boyfriend is never allowed to come over to our house anymore. It makes me really uncomfortable that they read through all of my texts and I don't trust them anymore, I feel unsafe in this house now. I messaged my best friend with my laptop and asked her if she could see if her parents would let me move in with them for a while. I just need space and I know that this situation isn't going to get better if I stay here. Does this sound like a good plan or should I stay at home? I've tried to talk to my parents about how I'm feeling but they refuse to listen to me and believe that I'm always in the wrong, even though I'm a good kid. I'm a straight A student in honor society with a big group of friends, I do clubs after school and spend all of my time doing schoolwork, yet my parents believe that I'm a disappointment. I don't know what to do anymore.

    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

  • #97
    Hi my name is jordan, and I am 16 I turn 17 in August I dont wanna live with my dad anymore he threatens to send me away... and I have attempted suicide 4 times bc of him... can I got to my mom in west virginia? would her or I get in trouble please help me asap!!!

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you so much for reaching out. It is definitely understandable that you would want to leave given how your father is treating you. Nobody deserves to be treated in such a way that pushes them to attempt suicide. I am so sorry you had to go through that. You aren't alone in this and we are here to help. If you ever do feel like you are a threat to yourself, please reach out to the police or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (1800)273-8255. We are also here to talk 24/7 over the phone at 1800RUNAWAY(786-2929).

      While we aren't legal experts, in most cases leaving your dad's house without permission could be considered running away and he would have the right to file a runaway report with the police. In most cases this is only a status offense which means if you're found you will be returned to his care. There is something called harboring charges that your mom could face for allowing you to stay with her, but we don't hear of it happening too often, and when it does its usually only a misdemeanor. This could change depending on things like your parents' custody agreement, among other factors. The best way to know would be to contact a legal resource or your local police department's non-emergency line. We would be happy to look up those numbers for you over the phone or on chat at any time.

  • #98
    I'm wanting to leave my house now because I'm tired of my parents treating me like a 5-year-old... if I live with my boyfriend and his parents can they get in trouble for that and will te police send me home if they (meaning his parents) say they would let me stay with them till I'm done with school ( I have 2 more years)

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension - it sounds frustrating to not be treated with respect. 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 parents 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 to your parents.

      It’s great to hear that your boyfriend and his parents support you. If you go to stay at their house without prior permission from your parents, your boyfriend's parents could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and how your parents view the situation.

      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.

      All the best,
      NRS

  • #99
    Im 17 years old and my parents are really strict, i can never go anywhere or do anything... so i was wondering, do i have the right to go out without my parents consent? Could they file a "runaway" report even if I'm just going out?

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like you are living in a strict household and are looking to go out for a night rather than running away. That cannot be easy to deal with, and here at NRS we truly want to be a support for you. We are not legal experts, but we can speak generally about runaway laws.

      Typically, parents do not have to wait a certain amount of time to file a runaway report after you leave and they could possible file one whenever you do leave without permission. So it is possible that they could report you as a runaway if you go out without permission. However, since you are 17 police could handle that situation a variety of different ways and we cannot predict how they would respond exactly. Since you are not planning on staying away for long, if you return home before police find you and your parents did list you as a runaway, they can call police back and take you off the runaway list. Running away is not typically illegal, rather it is a status offense or something you cannot do because your a minor.

      We hope this information is helpful. Please call or chat us if you would like to talk more about your situation.

      Best,

      NRS

  • I am 17 going to be 18 in 5 months I get into fights constantly with my step mom and dad they control and track everything I do it’s mentally and physically draining we got Into a fight and they

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,

      Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time right now. One option you could consider is talking to your school counselor or a therapist about what is going on. Sometimes talking with a professional can make us feel better and they may be able to provide resources for you. Another option could be to consider talking with your step mom and dad. At NRS we offer conference calling where if you call us we can call out to your parents and have a conference call. Conference calling allows you to be heard and we are there to mediate the conversation and to provide support to you.
      Also we know that five months seems like a long time, but it is not that long at all. If you want to leave when you are 18 you could start saving up so you would be able to leave once you are 18. If you do leave now, because you are a minor you could be considered as a runaway. If the police did find you they would most likely bring you home.
      We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore your options more please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. We wish you the best of luck!
      NRS

  • Hi, I’m 16 and I want to move out of my house away from my family. I get so depressed every time I come home from school because I hate living here. My dad doesn’t want to talk to me and my Mom is cheating on my dad. My brother always brings my self esteem down and it’s been really hard to live here. I am planning to move in with my coworker who is basically a Mom to me. Searches have told me a 16 y/o can leave their home without parents consent but will my coworker get in trouble? I live in Alberta, Canada so I am not too sure about the laws here. If I can leave and stay home at their house, could the government aid me financially as a student? Could my parents stop me in any way if I told them I was going to?

    Comment


    • Reply: Hi, I’m 16 and I want to move out of my house

      Hello,
      Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.

      It sounds like you are in a difficult situation, and we understand it takes courage to reach out for help.
      The National Runaway Safeline is located in the United States of America (USA). Our knowledge of helpful community based resources and our understanding of youth in crisis related laws is limited to the USA.


      Since you are located in a country outside of the USA, you can use these links to find a youth helpline in or around your country: http://www.childhelplineinternationa...where-we-work/

      https://www.covenanthousetoronto.ca/...outh/Home.aspx


      We hope that by reaching out to a local resource, you are able to get the support you need from an organization that understands the laws and circumstances that affect youth in your country.

      Take care,
      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
      info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
      1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

      Comment


      • Hi, I was reading some of the replie’s and it gave me the courage to reply as well. I live with my mother and it is so bad here, it is not physical abuse but emotional, I truly feel if I left I could better myself and my life I am currently 16. I have a father who isn’t my biological father and if I were to move out not run away but move out would he get into trouble like can my mom file anything against him because he isn’t my biological father. On the other hand my older sister is 18 and my younger sister is 14 and it would hurt her so dearly if I left her. And I just couldn’t live with myself if she was here by herself dealing with my mom.
        Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-11-2019, 01:19 AM.

        Comment


        • Reply: Hi, I was reading some of the reply’s...

          Hello,
          Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline.

          We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on
          You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being.
          You don’t deserve to be abused in any way. You are not responsible for how others choose to behave.
          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. We understand that this would probably be a very difficult decision for you to make. It sounds like one of your concerns is for your younger sister being left with your mother.
          It is very dear for you to think about her in this situation.

          Generally speaking you must be 18 to legally move out of your parent or guardians home.
          Your parent could file a runaway report and anyone known to be aiding or harboring a runaway could face legal charges. We hope that helps but if you would like to speak more about your situation, please contact us at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.18oorunaway.org (Live chat).


          Please be safe and take care,
          NRS


          We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: Your Opinion Matters to Us

          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
          info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
          1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

          Comment


          • Hi I’m 15 and I don’t turn 16 until October. I need to leave my house A.S.A.P and I don’t know if I can wait anymore. My grandma has been getting angrier a lot lately and tends to hit my sister and grab me and push me around. The other day she kept hitting me in the head and started kicking me and I’m tired of it. I know if I hit her back or touch her she will tell the police I hit her first and last time I tried to tell them what happened they believed my grandma and her excuse was I talk back. She is really mean to me and when she is angry takes all my stuff away and threatens to cut my hair again.
            I don’t know what to do and I want to run away but then I will have to eventually come home and listen to her. I’m at the point where I don’t care if I die and might kill myself to precipitate my death. I just don’t know who to talk to who will ACTUALLY do something to help me and my younger sister.

            Comment


            • ccsmod2
              ccsmod2 commented
              Editing a comment
              Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline, we're here to listen and to help. It sounds like your situation with your grandma is really challenging, especially if you're being physically harmed. You deserve to live in a place where you feel nurtured and safe. When a young person tells us that there is abuse taking place in the home, we suggest the option of filling out an abuse report. We understand that sometimes this isn't an option for everyone. Another idea might be to reach out to family and friends to discuss what's going on at home and see if you can get external support. If someone could be an advocate for you and help you talk to Grandma about finding common ground at home, that could help ease the tension, and hopefully put an end to the abuse. Another option may be to discuss what's going on at home with a trusted adult, like a school counselor or community leader. We could also explore resources for counseling in your area... unfortunately, we can't provide those resources through a forum response, but if you wanted to call us we would be happy to explore these options or any others over the phone. Feel free to call us at any time, we are available 24/7- 1-800-RUNAWAY. You could also chat with us via our online chat on our website- www.1800runaway.org. Thanks again for reaching out to us, we're always here to help!
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