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15, I want to run away but I’m unsure about a lot of details

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  • 15, I want to run away but I’m unsure about a lot of details

    I live in California. My family has been very emotionally abusive for as long as I‘ve lived. I‘m afraid that they will send me to another country against my will, so I have no other option. I want to run away—I‘m looking into runaway shelters that don’t require parental consent, and I want to try and stay with a friend too so that I can continue my schooling and live normally, but I don’t want my friend‘s parents to be charged with harboring a runaway.

    I know that running away is a status offense, but what does that mean for myself and my education?

    How can I make it so that my family will no longer be my legal guardians, so they will no longer have control over me?

    Other than my birth certificate, what other important paperwork may I need when I make the escape?

  • #2
    Hi there, it sounds like you have a lot of concerns about the consequences of running away. If you want to find shelters in your area that don't require consent, that is something we can assist with but we would need more information to do so. As far as your education and how that would be affected by running away. There is a such thing as the The McKinney-Vento Act which is a federal law that ensures the right of students to go to school even when they are homeless or don’t have a permanent address. The Act aims to reduce barriers that have prevented many homeless youth from enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school, due to issues like: transportation; residency requirements; and documentation requirements, such as birth certificates and medical records. We are not legal experts but you can't do anything specifically to give up your parents rights. You do have the option to report them to Child Protective Services if they are abusive to you or you feel you are unsafe environment. The documentation you may need depends on where you are planning to go. If you are underage running away, you will need consent to do most things so it's important to either try and get permission or go through the proper avenues. If you want to explore what other options you have available to you, you can call us at 1800-Runaway. Best of luck!
    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!


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