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Leaving home at 17 in Texas

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  • re: running away at 17

    Hey there,

    You don't have to go through this alone. If you are trying not to cut tonight, you can always reach out to us for someone to talk to. We encourage you to call or chat with us for immediate assistance. Let us know if we can help.

    Take care,
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    National Runaway Safeline (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)


    • Hey my name's Cathy and I'm 17. I turn 18 in 4 months but I was wondering if in the state of Texas if I would be able to move out. I've already asked my Guardian if I could move out but the answer was no. My parents passed away and I have lived with my uncle; he has been my legal guardian since I was three. Does me having him as my guardian and not my biological parent let me decide now that I'm 17 who I can live with? I will still be attending school when I move out because I only have one year left and I'd be with a family that can support me financially but I won't be on my own. Can i leave without my uncle reporting me? Them know I'm safe because I will leave a note letting them know. But I won't tell him in person because I'm afraid of what he might do because last time he got real angry and almost hit me. Please help thank you.


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,
        We found this reply to another posting that we thought could be of some use. If you have any further questions please feel free to give us a call.
        Originally posted by ccsmod14 View Post
        Re: Leaving at 17

        Hi there,

        Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like things have been pretty tough lately and we are glad that you reached out, we’re here to help the best that we can.

        So you shared that you have been experiencing emotional and sometimes physical abuse. You do not deserve to be abused by anybody, in any way. You deserve to feel safe in your own home. You have the right to make an abuse report. If this is something that you would like to do, or just talk more about, you can call us here at 1800runaway and we can either assist you in making a report, or just explore what that would look like. Another organization that can be helpful in this is Child Help USA at (800) 422 4453.

        We’re not legal experts here, but generally speaking if you leave without permission from your legal guardians, they have the right to make a runaway report. If a report is made, and the police find you, they just bring you back home. However, anyone that you stay with could potentially be charged for harboring. It sounds like your boyfriend and his family offer you a lot of support which is good, this could just be a potential risk. To find out more information on legalities, you can call your local police department and ask hypothetically what may happen. In some cases, 17 can be a bit of a gray area as far as how the police would proceed.

        Please do not hesitate to reach out to us again, we’re here to help. You can call us any time, we’re here 24/7 or chat us during the evening hours.

        Good luck and stay safe,

    • I live with my grandma because my mom kicked me out and no one knows where my dad is. She's really verbally abusive, sometimes physically. She just punched a cake I was holding in my lap and it really opened my eyes. I need to get out of here but I'm
      scared shell call the police. What rights do I have?


      • ccsmod6
        ccsmod6 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a hard time, but we want you to know that we are here with you to support you. We want you to know that no one deserves to be abused, and you should not have to go through that.

        If you haven’t already, you could consider reporting the abuse you’ve been experiencing. If you’d like more information about abuse reporting, you could call Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. You could also call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) and we could help you file a report if you’re interested in that. If you feel unsafe at any time, you can also call 911 for immediate help.

        If you haven’t already, you could also consider reaching out to a trusted adult, teacher, or school counselor for help. Just so you’re aware, adults at your school are mandated reporters. That means that if they think there is abuse in your home, they would legally have to make an abuse report.

        We’re not legal experts here at NRS, but generally it is not illegal to leave home or runaway. However, your mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved and bring you home, and the people you’re staying with could get in legal trouble. If you have other questions related to laws or your rights, we also have legal aid resources where you could call and ask a lawyer questions.

        There are many resources that could help you work through things with your mom, find a safe place if you’re in need of that, or help with anything else you may need. If you would like more information about resources, or if you’d like to talk more about what’s been going on, you can call us or chat with us online.

        Again, thank you for contacting us. You’ve been going through a hard time, but you’ve shown strength by enduring this and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.
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