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I’m 16 and my father tries to kick me out

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  • I’m 16 and my father tries to kick me out

    I’m 16 and living in North Dakota. My father is physically and emotionally abusive to me. We are constantly fighting and sometimes he with throw the car keys and tell me to leave and not come back. When I go to leave he starts telling me I can’t leave even though he told me to. If he tells me to leave and get out of his house(practically kicking me out) is there anything against me being able to leave? Am I legally able to leave if he does this?

  • #2
    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We appreciate your question, as it is valid that you would want to know your legal rights on leaving, especially given that your father has been telling you to leave and not come back. We are sorry that you are going through this and want to reassure you that you are not alone. We are happy to be of support for you in any way that we can, at this time. One helpful factor may be contacting Legal Aid in your area, to clarify any legal questions that you have. Another option would be contacting the non-emergency dispatch number in your area, where they could best answer questions regarding the outcome if you were to leave home. Please know that we are not legal experts, but it is to our understanding that since you are under the age of 18, your father is still recognized as your legal guardian until the court declares otherwise. This could also mean that if you were to leave and your father wanted to report you as a run away, you could risk being found and brought home by the police. Please know that you have options and we are happy to talk through this with you further. We welcome you to reach out to us by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY or through our CHAT line, found on our website at

    We wish you health, safety, and peace in the meantime and we look forward to the opportunity to talk further with you.

    Best wishes,
    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!


    • #3
      Hello im also currently 16, and my mom recently locked/kicked me out after I came back from work in which I started staying with my neighbors. However, she is still my legal guardian, but refuses to contact or talk to me. I started looking at some options like becoming an emancipated minor. I was wondering if that would be the best course of action for me to take, I'm also a resident in the state of Iowa.


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for reaching out to NRS. You do not deserve to be kicked out or treated that way by your mom. We are nondirective here at NRS nor are we legal experts. We cannot tell you whether or not becoming emancipated would necessarily be the right course of action for you; however, here is a resource that can tell you more about emancipation in the state of Iowa: This resource may help you locate an attorney if you decide to:

        Additionally, parents/guardians are required to care for youth until they are of legal age (18 in most states), meaning that your mom's actions may be considered neglectful. You also have the option of filing an abuse/neglect report with your local Child Protective Services (CPS) provider if that's something you choose to pursue. Child Help USA (1-800-422-4453; is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.

        Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. You are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. If you'd like to talk in more detail, we have NRS live services available 24/7 online at or via phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

        We hope to hear from you soon.

        Stay safe,
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