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16 turning 17 in 6 weeks

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  • 16 turning 17 in 6 weeks

    Hello, I am planning on running away tomorrow. Going from NC to CA to live with my boyfriend. I've hated my life here in NC and I've recently had some serious tension with my family. I will benefit more from being out there than here. CA education and job opportunities are way better and I will be able to be with a family that has shown that they care about me. They've promised to take care of me and I have had a job for two years. I can support myself financially, basically paying rent at the home I'll be staying at. I just need to know if the police can take me home. If my parents can legally make me return home from across the country. I know that in NC and CA there is the loophole that at 17 you face no consequences of running away and the people I'm staying with can't be prosecuted with harboring a runaway. I'm asking if the family could still get in trouble if I stay with them until I'm 17. I'd be staying there and they'd be housing me, I will turn 17 in 6 weeks and I need to know if because they had me before 17, can they still get in trouble?? A bit more of background: I have a plane ticket all paid for to get there. I had a ride to the home already arranged. I also want to know if my reasons are enough to warrant me wanting to have a better life in California. my reasons are that 1. I don't feel comfortable living at home, its not a sexual abuse or physical abuse but because i just don't connect with my family. 2. I have only felt hopeless and depressed living there. Feeling like i have no future or anything i want to pursue. Ive been to CA twice and both times I've felt free and alive. 3. The tensions with my family is that they don't trust me anymore since i told them of my plan to runaway. I don't trust them, they snooped around my room and found my journal, that held my personal accounts of my depression and anxiety through out the years. My mother lied to me and kept from me that she read this book and it has proven more that I can't trust them.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    We are sorry to hear you are having such a hard time at home right now. That must be tough. While we aren't legal experts, we can tell you some things that we have heard about the sorts of issues you raise.

    There is no "loophole" we are aware of that would give you the legal right to runaway at 17 in either North Carolina or California. Generally speaking, until you are at least 18 you are considered a minor in all 50 US states and would be under the guardianship of your parents. They have a right to file a runaway report on you if you leave home without permission if you are under 18. We are not aware of any exceptions to this. Furthermore, anyone you stay with could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. In fact, if you leave the state anyone that helps you could be accused of aiding and abetting a minor, which is a crime. So there are some real legal repercussions that could happen.

    We don't share that information with you to influence your decision one way or the other but only so that you can make a fully informed choice. If you give us a call or chat with us perhaps we can discuss other options you may have not considered yet. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and you can chat with us at We never judge, won't tell you what to do, and are totally confidential. We hope to hear from you soon.

    All the best,
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 02-25-2020, 12:25 AM.
    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)


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