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

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out to NRS. You asked a really great questions. From what we know, if you leave home at 16 without permission your parents can report you as a runaway. You will not be arrested, but the police might return you home. However, runaway protocol can vary by police department. You can call the non-emergency number for your local police department and anonymously ask questions about their runaway protocol.

    You deserve to have a safe place to live and your parents' behavior is not okay. You do have the option to make a child abuse report to get a social worker involved to help. This can be a scary decision to make and you do not have to do it alone. You can contact the national child abuse hotline (800-422-4453 ; childhelphotline.org) for more support and information.

    We are here 24/7 and we want to be a support for you during this challenging time. Do not hesitate to reach out to talk more in detail about your situation and explore your options.

    Good luck,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I’m 16, my family life is not the best my parents drink 24/7 I have a safe place to move into. If I leave will the cops send me back home even tho I have a safe place and my parents are emotionally abusive. I live in Oregon btw

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey Emily,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension - you shouldn't be abused in any way. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

    You mentioned some things about sexual harassment that raise concern for your safety and well-being. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. If any harm, abuse, or anything inappropriatly sexual in nature is happening at home, you have the right to report it. 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. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

    We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but the age of majority (adulthood) in Michigan is 18, which means that you are considered a minor until then. If you do opt to leave your home your parent can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home. Police response can vary a lot from location to location and generally speaking, the closer you are to turning 18, the more likely it is that the police may let you stay where you are. You can call out to your local nonemergency police line (usually you can just dial 311) to confirm local runaway response policy.

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

    Stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I’m a 16 y/o named Emily, and I live in Michigan. I know that I’m emotionally abused by my parents (they call me derogatory names, won’t allow me to be able to contact my friends or other family members, force me to stay home almost all the time, have sexually harassed me, try to make it look like they’re perfect parents, etc), and it’s really hard having to live with them every day. I want to leave home, but I’m scared that I’ll be forced to go back. If I tried to leave but was forced to come back, I know that the situation with my parents would only get 100x worse. I read that I can leave home without parental consent after I turn 16, but I wasn’t sure if that was true?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Saafeline. You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your parents 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. 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.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. You don't deserve to feel this way and we hope you can find the support you need.

    Please feel free to reach out to us any time. We can offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Be safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello. I don’t want to say my name Incase someone I know sees this but can I leave home at 16 to live in a better home with a better family? My dad physically and verbally abuses me and so does my step mom. I just want to know how to get away so I can stop blaming bruises and pain on football.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,
    Thanks for reaching out to us, it seems like you are in quite a pickle. Being stuck feeling unsafe in both potential homes is a tough place to be, especially when you have a life and at least one caring parent. It is understandable that you wouldn’t want to upset this balance even if it makes things harder, or risks hurting your father. A home should feel safe and it seems like you aren’t getting that.
    It seems like in both cases it is your step-parent that is the main issue, and you seem concerned in at least one case that by speaking up you may be putting their apparent happiness at risk. It is kind of you to be so considerate of others while you are going through this. It is ok to be a little selfish for your own protection though. You shouldn’t be being hit, yelled at, or touched sexually and it is ok to defend yourself from these instances by reporting it, or telling your biological parent. If your bio-parent’s feelings are hurt, just remember that it was their partner who chose to act like that towards you and they are responsible for their own action and should be prepared to face the consequences of them.
    If you do plan to ride this out, you could try and build up a support system for yourself. This might look like a few friends that you are comfortable telling what has been happening. It could also look like a professional mental health counselor, or a school staff member. They may be able to help you navigate the negative feelings you seem to be facing and if anything you can just rant to them.
    Last you mentioned wanting to get out of the home, but not necessarily put your life at risk. There are different levels on this. You could focus on being out of the house more during the day as much as possible but coming home at night. This may be like joining a sports team, or after-school program, or even a job. Just being out of the house as much as you can will limit opportunities for abuse. This does have the chance to backfire depending on the person though. Another level might be staying at a friend’s house if things seem bad one night. This could be enough of a reprieve to let you calm down and feel safe again. There might also be shelters around that could let you stay overnight as well if your friend’s house aren’t safe either.
    Hopefully these ideas have been helpful, and given you some options to think about. If you ever feel like things are getting worse, or just want to talk to someone about it all we are always here at 1-800-786-2929 or you can email or chat online through our website.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My stepmother is verbally and physically abusive my dad however is not. I would never ask him to choose between us ,yet its only getting worse. She has thrown me , screamed at me for simply taking a nap because its "bad for my health" (i rarely take naps). She has sent me away told me shes never done the things i so clearly remember. My real mother is not exactly a mother , she tries however i have raised myself she has refused to feed me and was never home. While under her care my brother tore his A.C.L. it wasn't fixed until march. Now this alone wouldn't keep me from living with her however her husband is sexually abusive to me and so is one of his sons.I do not feel safe in either home , i am 15 i have no interest on calling DHS i just want to leave my home situations not my life i have built. How can i solve this without leaving the town i am in and risking harassment from some stranger who wants to take care of me.
    - D

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline and sharing your story with us. It seems like you are going through a difficult time right now.
    We are not legal experts but we do have general information on the laws. Because you are a minor
    You could be considered as a runaway. If the police do find you they most likely would bring you home. You could consider talking with a school counselor about what has been going on at home. Sometimes talking with a professional can help you feel better.
    We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any more questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hey so my moms constantly on my back and makes me do things I don’t wanna do I live in Alabama and I just wanna get away she gets mad at me for no reason at all for anything and everything I do is it okay for me to leave and I’m 15 by the way

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod3
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you are going through a lot at home. It must be tough to feel like a victim and still be in the same household has your brother who was molesting you. If you ever want to talk to someone about what you are going through contact RAINN at 1800-656-4673, rainn.org. Also it’s good that you want to have a conversation with your parents instead of leaving without their consent. You are right, because you are a minor they could file a runaway report and if the police located you they would just return you back home. If you want support in starting this conversation you can always call us at NRS to do a conference call with your parents. This may help you both come up with a solution together that works for everybody.
    It must be lonely not being able to talk to anyone about what is going on except your friends and not even have them to talk to. If you ever need someone to talk to about what you are experiencing please contact NAMI at 1800-950-NAMI or text 741741. We know it takes a lot of courage to look for support. If you want to talk about your situation further, please feel free to reach out to us 24/7. Best of luck.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I am 16 years old and I live in Hampton Virginia. My issue is I really wanna run away. I was recently molested by my “ brother “ and now home doesn’t feel the same anymore. Im constantly reminded that I am a Victim. Being called a victim is now my new Title at home and I hate it. I have a friend who’s family who will greatly take me in but my problem is they need my parents consent. I’m not sure on how I should come about to my parents and let them know that I wanna run away. My home no longer feels like home. My sunny days come with rain now and the only people who don’t look at me as a “ victim “ are my friends. To top it all off I’m supposed to be moving soon to Valdosta Georgia also which means not only will I not have my friends but I will also have to stay with people that I no longer think care and love me me as much. I also cant talk to them otp (on the phone) because due to everything that has happened with court and being molested I have been “ acting out “ so my mom and dad thought it would be best to take both mines and my brothers phones away so now once I move I no longer have a way to communicate and vent to them about is going on. If I had it my way I would’ve been ran away but the more I think about it the more I think I should get consent just so they don’t put posters around saying I ran away or telling people I left WITHOUT consent. Sorry for the long message but I really hope you can help me the best way that you can. Thank you for your time and have a great day or night.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. Unless you are living in Alabama, Mississippi, or Nebraska, the age of majority is 18. That means that as soon as you turn 18 you have the right to decide where you live. If you have a mental health issue or some other kind of behavioral issue that would make you unable to take care of yourself, your guardians could potentially try to petition to extend their guardianship over you past 18. That being said, it is never illegal to run away. While your parents can file a runaway report with the police if you do leave home, that would simply mean that the police would notify your guardians and attempt to return you home only if they encountered you. If you want to provide some more details about your situation, we would be happy to provide you with whatever information we have available. Please call us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

    Take care,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am almost 17 and want to leave home when i turn 18 because i can't stand to live at home but my guardians won't let me and say that if i do move out when I turn 18 then they will take me to court and bla bla bla. Can they actually file charges against me and will I be forced to stay with them? Is there anyway I can leave now without then filing charges and reporting me as a runaway?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,
    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Safeline. It takes great courage to reach out for help and we are glad that you decided to reach out for help.


    It sounds like you have been thinking of leaving home. If your safety is at risk at home you can always call 911. If you are being hurt in anyway either emotionally, or physically you have the option to file an abuse report. You can call Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 and they can help you provide more information on filing an abuse report.
    Leaving home can be hard in many cases. It can be helpful to think about where you might stay and how you might pay for food, rent and other living expenses. Talk to other adults you trust like family members, friends and school counselors can be helpful as well in many situations. Family counseling can be helpful in many situations as well. You can call NAMI at 1-800-950-NAMI for any counseling resources. We also have a conference call service where you can call us and we can do a conference call with your parents and help come to a common ground. We are not legal experts however speaking generally if you are under 18 and your parents are to file a police report the police can bring you back home and whoever you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway.

    You can reach out to us at our 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-786-2929 and we would be happy to listen to you, explore your options, provide any resources or do the conference call with your parents. We wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon.

    You are doing great by reaching out for help before taking any steps. We wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon.

    Best,
    NRS
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