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going to friends at 16

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  • going to friends at 16

    i’m 16 in october, my parents are very toxic and i want to leave, i have a job and a place to go. i want to leave when i get my own car but i’m scared my parents are going to legally just get me back like that, i still want to attend school and go to work i just want to live somewhere else. i live in tennessee for the time being, i have a general idea of what i want to do i just can’t be with my parents anymore. they only care about their needs and deny or reject mine, one of my friends offered me a place to live i just don’t want to go and be taken back because i know my parents will call the law. i don’t know how to avoid it i just need to leave without waiting 2+ years but without getting in legal trouble

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out, we hope to help as best we can. Here’s some information that could be helpful, 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.
    The easiest way to leave home is with your parents permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
    Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Be 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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