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Running away at 17 in wisconsin

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  • Running away at 17 in wisconsin

    Can I leave home at 17 in Wisconsin, and the police wouldn't do anything?

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thank you for taking the time to write a post for our Bulletin. Looking for more information on this topic was really responsible and resourceful of you.

    Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18, so they can decide where you live. If you do choose to leave without permission, your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your parents know where you are staying then they can have the police return you home. However, being so close to 18 does make it less likely that police will intervene. Some police departments do not enforce runaway reports for someone your age. If this is the case for your area then they would not force you back home as long as you have a safe place to stay. You can call the non-emergency number for your local police department to ask anonymous questions about their runaway protocol.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at

    Stay safe,

    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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