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Runaway at 17 to family house without consent

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  • Runaway at 17 to family house without consent

    Hi, my cousin, [name redacted] who will be 17 in July needs to get out of her house. She lives in Illinois and we live in Michigan. Her parents and older sister are mentally abusive. They tell her to leave, pack her bags, and not to come back, but when she does attempt to leave or threaten to leave, her parents tell her they will do whatever they can to keep her from leaving. It’s taken a toll on her mental health, and I am her major support system. She is lgbtq, and her family is unsupportive. I’ve witnessed multiple interactions between her and her mother and her father. It is a toxic household. She wants to move in with us, as soon as possible. We originally planned to take her in once she turns 18, as the parents wouldn’t need to consent as she would be an adult. It’s me, a 16 year old, my brother, a 13 year old and my mother and father who are in their 50s if that matters. She wants to leave before she is 18 if it’s possible. We have a stable income, are supportive and are related. Would this be possible? I’m aware the parents could/would try to send a lawsuit or harboring a runaway, is there any way around it? We want to take her, but I want to make sure we think about all the possible outcomes and what could go wrong to create the best fool proof plan. She can’t stay in that house any longer.
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 06-10-2021, 02:49 PM. Reason: Removed youth's name to preserve anonymity

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing a little bit about what's going on with your cousin. Of course, she doesn't deserve to be abused in any way and we want to help in any way we can. Here are some options to consider:

    1) Either she or you could file an abuse report about what's going on. In Illinois the number to call to report abuse is 1-800-252-2873. Abuse reports can also me made through us or through (1-800-422-4453). If a CPS investigation finds there is serious enough abuse at home they may remove her for her own safety.

    2) There is a system in Illinois called Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services (CCBYS) that may be able to assist your cousin and help make sure that she is in a safe place. The number to call for that is 1-877-870-2663. When you call they will provide a number to the local youth agency based on where the youth lives. Then a social worker from that agency would get in contact with your cousin.

    3) The easiest way for a minor to leave home would be with parental permission, so if it's possible for your cousin to get permission from her parents to live with you that would be ideal. Unfortunately, there is no "fool proof plan" that would eliminate the risk her parents could file a runaway report and press harboring charges against your family (as well as charges of aiding and abetting a minor, since it sounds like it would involve crossing state lines).

    4) One really good resource for your cousin if she wants to talk about LGBTQ issues is (1-888-843-4564) or the LGBT National Youth Talklike at 1-800-246-7743.

    Perhaps there are other options as well. The best way we can help would be for your cousin to contact us by calling our 24 hour confidential hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or via the chat button at the top of our website:

    Good luck to you and your cousin during this difficult situation.

    Last edited by ccsmod15; 06-10-2021, 03:24 PM.
    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)


    • #3
      Thank you very much. I really appreciate the reply and will let my cousin know about all the information.


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