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Leaving home at 17 in Texas

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  • Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

    We are not legal experts, but we can tell you that because you are a minor, if you leave home and your parents file a runaway report, you could be returned home. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a run away. If you want a liner to help you walk through other options like us mediating a conference call between you and your parents, thinking through possible adults that you could turn to or could advocate for you, or things like emancipation and legal aid numbers, don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). A lot of shelters also require parental consent if you are a minor as well, but if you leave and find yourself feeling unsafe, you can reach out to National Safe Place at www.nationalsafeplace.org to type in your address and find the nearest safe place to you.

    Best,

    NRS
    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
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • I’m 17 and my sister is 16. We live in El Paso. We ran away from home because things are tough. A friend of ours and her mom would like to take us in but we don’t want to get them in trouble. It’s a safe environment and we’d be happy. Is there any way that the cops would be able to leave us alone?

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi,

        Thanks for reaching out to NRS! We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. It’s brave of you to reach out during your time of need.

        You mentioned that you and your sister ran away, it’s understandable that you and your sister didn’t want to be at home if it’s not a healthy environment. It’s great that you guys have a safe place to stay, with your friend and her mom. We’re not legal experts, but from our general knowledge, running away is not illegal. If you runaway, your parents can make a runaway report. The police don't always actively look for you, if they come across you, then they usually bring you home. If you explain to them that home isn't a safe place to be, they don't always return you right away. They're supposed to investigate it first. Regarding your question about your friend’s mom getting into trouble, there is a misdemeanor charge called “harboring a runaway”. It’s really not common and it costs money for parents to take those people to court. We rarely hear about people getting into trouble for letting a runaway stay with them. We offer to call out to youth’s local police, with youth, to find out their protocols and what happens if runaways refuse to go home. We can also help find runaway/youth shelters in your area, so you can stay safe. We also have legal aid resources in our database, there may be legal ways for you and your sister to move out.

        We hope our response is helpful. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. You are always welcome to call into our 24/7 crisis center, or use our chatting services via our website. However, the chatting service is not open 24/7. So the best way to tell us everything would be to just call into our hotline and talk to one of our trained liners.

        Be safe, NRS

    • im 17 and also adopted its been about a year but i really began to notice my parents being really controlling and trying to keep me from growing up and doing things that a normal teenager my age should be doing .i feel like they dont ever communicate things to me and then when i do something they think is wrong they ground me for it but how am i suppose to know things unless they tell me i sometimes have tried to talk to them about it but they only want to understand things from their level of perception and or perspective they think they know whats best just because theyre an adultlt and i get theyre just trying to help but they dont always know whats best for me and im really tired of them.. they don't trust me, they go through my stuff, they snoop on me constantly, they dont believe me when i tell them certain things unless i show them proof or have a witness, but ive been planning on running away for a while but i need more info before i do it... so i live in Texas an its says u can not get in trouble with the law for running away at my age , but i dont want them to bring me back home if i do, so im worried about that.. and was also wondering if u can still go to school after you run away?or will the cops and priciples come get you out of your class or something for doing that?

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey,
        Thanks for reaching out. It can be really difficult when your parents don’t allow you to grow up. It sounds like you’re doing your best to communicate with them but they aren’t really hearing you. If you ever need help talking to your parents, it could be a good option to have another adult around. It’s possible that your parents would be more responsive to your concerns if there’s another adult advocating for you. That could be a teacher, guidance counselor, or therapist. Here at NRS, we can also mediate conversations between parents and youth so please feel free to give us a call if you’d like to pursue that option.
        Regarding leaving home…we’re not legal experts, but generally speaking you need to be 18 to leave without parental consent. If you leave without permission, there is a possibility that your parents could file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you, they may return you home. That being said, there is a possibility that your local police would choose not to pursue a 17-year-old runaway. If your local police do decide to pursue you, there is a possibility that they may pursue you at school, but we cannot say for sure. Your best option may be to call your local non-emergency police number and ask what their protocol is for 17-year-olds who leave home. If you’re not comfortable doing that, we’re happy to call out for you.
        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
        Stay safe!

    • im 17 and a half years old i live with my mom and my stepfather. ive moved to the us when i was 9 back where i came from i was leaving with my grandparents so my mom took me away and brought me to texas and all we done is to get into arguments ive committed suicide two times the last one i barely made it. long story short my relationship between me and my mom arent good and never has it been, their is no day i come home and not get yelled at because i forgot to do the dishes or i dont have the food ready etc etc. its not job to maintain a house i dont have a kids or husband to cook food for i get treated like a servant i have two jobs and i cant take it anymore leaving in this house. so my question is ill be turning 18 in 5 moths can i move out and have no problems with the law??

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand that it takes courage to seek help. We are very sorry to hear that you don't have a good relationship with your mother. You mentioned that you have tried to commit suicide twice. Although you are going through a tough time right now, you are not alone. Talking to someone about how you feel could help, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-82550 is a great resource for support. It sounds like you are thinking about leaving home. We are not legal experts so we can only give you general information. You could try asking your mom if she would allow you to move out. Another option that you have is contacting Child Protective Services if you don't feel safe at home. You could also look into emancipation laws for Texas. Some police departments do not accept runaway reports for 17 year old's. You could try contacting your local police through their non emergency phone number. If you don't feel comfortable contacting the police, we could reach out to them for you. If you have any other questions or just want to talk, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.

        Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    • Im 15 when I turn 17 would it be ok for me to leave me home?? I feel mistreated and disrespected? I have been in foster care and molested by my dad and my mom has not been helping I suffer with ptsd,mdd, clinical depression, odd, bipolar depression and things...would I be able to??
      Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-17-2018, 08:54 AM.

      Comment


      • Reply: Im 15 when I turn 17...

        Hi there,
        Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).

        We are sorry to hear about what you have been going through. You do not deserve to be abused by anyone. Please know that you are not at fault for what has happened.
        It sounds like you are trying to cope with a few stressors’ and seem be having some difficulty doing so. You deserve to feel supported during this tough time.

        While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home.
        NRS is here to help and here to listen.

        You are welcome to give us a call at 10800-Runaway (786-2929) and talk more about your situation. Sometimes talking things out might help bring about some new ideas with coping. Perhaps we can assist you with locating support services in your area.

        You were very brave to reach out to tell us about your situation and we encourage you to continue to advocate for yourself.

        We hope that things will turn around in your favor soon.

        Take Care,
        NRS

        Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-17-2018, 08:55 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
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • I'm going to be 18 in 9 days can I leave my parents house without getting in trouble?



          Im always taking care of my sibling because of my parents who work all the time which is making me mentally and physically tired. I feel like being tired all the time Is making me not focusing on school because I'm always thinking about what I have to do to help my mom clean and take care of the kids. And I feel like I don't have a connection with my mother anymore I feel like I'm not her daughter
          I just want to leave so I can focus on my studies and finish high school.

          And my friend has offered me to stay with her and her parents and I already talked to her parents about it and they said it's fine so is that fine that we font have to bring the law into it and so my mom cant take me back?

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand that it takes courage to seek help. We are sorry to hear that you are having problems at home. It sounds like you are wanting to leave home before you turn 18. Happy early birthday ! If you decide to leave home, your mom has the right to file a runaway report. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home. Running away isn't against the law but if you were to stay with your friend, your friend's parents could get charged with harboring a runaway. However, since you are so close to being 18 the police may not accept a runaway report for you. You could try contacting your local police through their non emergency phone number to ask about their runaway policy. If you don't feel comfortable calling the police, we could contact them for you. Please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat if you have any questions or just want to talk.



            We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: We care what you think

        • Can i leave home at 17 years old ? In Texas

          Comment


          • ccsmod10
            ccsmod10 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello,

            Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. From your email to us here, we can see that you have very similar questions to a lot of our callers and you’re looking for some answers. It seems like there must be a lot going on in your life especially at home if you’re thinking about running away from your household. It’s great that you were able to find out some information about our hotline. Hopefully we can help.

            Legally you are a minor and under your guardian’s supervision until you are 18 or are emancipated by a court of law. If you decide to leave home before then your guardians could file a runaway report on you. Running away is not a crime, but it is a status offense. This means the police could detain you until they release you to the care of your guardians. We also have legal aid resources in our database. While we’re not law experts, we can try to find one in your area, there may be legal ways for you to be able to move out of your house. We’re here to try to brainstorm options with you.

            We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. You are always welcome to call into our 24/7 crisis center, or use our chatting services via our website. However, the chatting service is not open 24/7. So the best way to tell us everything would be to just call into our hotline and talk to one of our trained liners.

            Be safe, NRS

        • Hi, i have a question but i would like to say what going on at home first. My mom and my step dad are smoking illegal marijuana and my mom and i can get along because she makes accusations that aren't true, threatens me, and has hit me with a paddle, belt, and wooden sticks used to stir paint. she has grounded me for 6 months for 2 reasons. the first reason is because im wiccan (which is a polytheistic religion) and was part of a wiccan facebook group for beginners.So she grounded me for a month (originally) from my electronics and facebook. The second reason is my grade began to slip after she found out i am wiccan (and i was working at the time). so she told my bosses at work that i couldn´t work anymore, which devastated me. as these months went by i feel like she wants me to be a perfectionist or she is choosing pot over me. my question is this, im 16 and will be 17 in september, can i move out because of this?

          Comment


          • ccsmod7
            ccsmod7 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello there, thanks for reaching out today.

            It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being hit often at home. It also sounds so tough that your parents got so strict on you just because you are Wiccan. Your beliefs are important and they matter just as much as your parents' beliefs. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed that can talk more about the reporting process with you. If you are interested in reporting, if you call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you would like assistance calling out to your local abuse hotline. If they investigate and find that you are in immediate danger at home they would remove you from the home.

            To answer your question, the legal age you can move out without permission is generally 18 but does depend on what state you are in.If you leave home at 16 or 17 your guardian could file a runaway report for you with local police and if you are found you would be returned home.

            Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you have more questions or would like to talk through your situation. We are here to listen, here to help.

            Best,

            NRS

            We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.

        • My son left home and he’s on medication should he be forced to come home

          Comment


          • ccsmod16
            ccsmod16 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello, thanks for reaching out today. We are here to help.
            We are not legal experts, but in general, if a minor leaves home without consent, the parents can file a runaway report on them with police and if police find the youth, the youth is typically returned home. In most states, 18 is the legal age of majority so if your son is 18 or older, he usually cannot be forced to return home unless you are still his guardian.

            It sounds like a really scary situation that your son is gone and without his medication. Perhaps you can try reaching out to friends and family, filing a runaway report with local police, and checking social media and phone records to help locate him.

            If we can be of assistance at all, please call us 24/7 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)

            Best of luck finding your son! We are here to support you and your family through this process.

        • a friend of mine told me i have to be emancipated to move out in texas at 17. is this true?

          Comment


          • ccsmod16
            ccsmod16 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there, thanks for posting here today! We are here to help,
            While we are not legal experts, in general, the legal age in Texas is 18 so you must be 18 or older to move out unless you are emancipated or have permission from your parents to live somewhere else. The process of emancipation is often a lengthy and expensive process with court dates and fees and can take 6-12 months to complete. State laws vary greatly.

            If you like more information on emancipation or to explore other options for your situation, feel free to call us anytime, 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 or live chat through our website when it is open!

            Best of luck! We are here to help 24/7!

        • this is not a runaway question but it´s why i want to leave home. why doesn´t schools take action when a student (like me) reports illegal drug activity at home?

          Comment


          • ccsmod11
            ccsmod11 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thanks for reaching out to us. We're sorry your school didn't report this illegal drug activity to the police. Unfortunately, we are not part of the school system, so we are not exactly sure why your school did not report that activity. You have the power to call the police about such activity. You also may feel free to ask the person at school you reported this activity to and ask them what motivated them to not take action. Again, it's very unfortunate nothing came of your report. It's also unfortunate you want to leave home. If you want to talk more about running away and get some questions about running away answered, then please call us 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929.

            NRS

        • Im 16 and a few weeks pregnant. I live with my grandparents and there physically and verbally abusive . I turn 17 soon if I get married with my boyfriend is there a way I can move out of my house . To like somewhere safer for me and my soon to be daughter?

          Comment


          • ccsmod11
            ccsmod11 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thanks for reaching out. This sounds like quite a difficult situation to be dealing with, and you appear to have survived a lot. The situation you described between you and your grandparents sounds inappropriate. You've mentioned abuse, and abuse is never acceptable under any circumstances. Your guardians have no right to harm you, and you deserve to be safe in your home. Runaway shelters are an option if you leave home, but they may require consent from a guardian in order to house you. You may also be able to become emancipated, especially if you are married. We are not legal experts, so we can't provide accurate information about emancipation in your state. However, we do know that married minors can be considered for emancipation more seriously than non-married minors. However, it appears that recently, Texas has passed new laws that prohibit youth who are not emancipated to become married, which may make things more difficult for you. You may call the following agency to ask more questions about emancipation in TX: LEGAL SERVICES OF NORTH TEXAS - Phone number: 214-744-5277; 888-529-5277.

            Best,
            NRS

        • Running away from home at 17

          So my mom has a boyfriend that doesnt respect me and she expects me to respect him because he is an adult . She never lets me go anywhere because she doesnt trust me even though im a good person . We always get into arguements and im always getting blamed when its not my fault. I want to runaway and go stay with my friend because its unfair that im being treated like this and that shes always picking his side when hes wrong. I dont know what else to do because she threatens to slap me in the face and i just dont feel safe here with my mom and her boyfriend . What should i do ?

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi,

            Thank you for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here to listen to and support you! It sounds like you are feeling unsafe at home with your mom and her boyfriend. We want you to know that no one deserves to feel disrespected or threatened in their home. So sorry that you are going through that. It can be stressful having no one there to support you or be on your side at home. Just know that by reaching out for help, you are being courageous and responsible in figuring out what you can do.

            You mentioned that you are wanting to runaway and stay with a friend. We are not legal experts, but since you are 17 you are a minor. It is not illegal to leave home, but if your mom so chose to call the police and file a runaway report, if your friend or their parents are over 18 years old then they could be charged with harboring a runaway.

            Sometimes having a 3rd party sit down during a discussion about wanting to leave home can help. Now we do offer a service that is basically a Conference Call where the parent, the youth, and us would be on the phone talking about what has been going on. This way there can be a mediator in between keeping things calm and productive. If you’d feel more comfortable with doing that, just know that it’s always available. It might be a great way to talk about what you are going through mentally and maybe come up with ways to help you feel like not running away. Something constructive so that it certainly opens the lines of communication, but that services is completely up to you.

            Having a solid plan about what you are planning on doing it might be a good idea so that you can think about what is reasonably possible for you to do and want isn’t. Factoring in these kinds of thoughts into your overall plan, again can possibly help you in your decision to leave (i.e what's your role in the house, are you going to be working, how long are you going to live there, will you be paying your share of the bills/rent, what happens if you realize down the road that you can't live together and they kicks you out etc). We want to make sure you feel safe where you go.

            We hope that helped and if you need us in the future we are here 24 hours a day.
            Best of luck!

        • So i am 17 about to be 18 in a couple of months and I am currently living with my parents can I leave my house with out there precision or will I be called as runaway and taken home by the police

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