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I'm 12, in New Jersey, and have been thinking about running away

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  • I'm 12, in New Jersey, and have been thinking about running away

    (please dont mind any spelling mistakes or deteriorating grammar/effort) I was wondering if running away at my age (without parental consent) is illegal, because i see mostly that runaways are 14 or older. I dont know where i could go because i dont wanna burden my friends. The reason I had been considering this (for some time now), is because I just cant stand it at home. what i mean is, a lot of times ill hear my aunt who currently lives with us screaming at her two toddlers for something bad they did, and these walls are THIN, so its super loud and pretty triggering honestly. its not full-on abuse though, at least i wouldnt think it is. another thing is that im currently having problems with my parents, so id rather they dont know about this. i KNOW my mom has had s** with another man while dating my dad (theyve been dating for 7 years.) although she actively denies it. if you think thats bad, turns out my dad is emotionally abusing her and wont let her break up, and she says shes settling with it. honestly, in recent days especially, my dads kind of been being an a**hole. it could be just me though. and im tired of getting yelled at for even the smallest things. like, i know i could be overreacting, but especially with my mental health issues, none of this has been helping and i really just want to run away and never come back. however, there are several problems with that that i need answers to

    -how would i get money to be self sufficient if i cant work legally?
    -is there an age requirement to get emancipated?
    -i dont want to burden my friends and i dont know if my moms friends would help, where would i go?
    -if i do end up getting detained by police, do i HAVE to go back to my legal guardians?

    if anyone has answers that would be great and i would really appreciate it

  • #2

    Hi there,

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It seems like you are having a tough time at home with your Aunt, Mom, and Dad. We are so sorry that you have been dealing with all of this! You do not deserve this treatment that you are getting and we hope it can be resolved soon. We are not legal experts here at NRS so we can not answer all of those questions, but usually, people under the age of 16 can not get legally emancipated (depending on the state you are in). If you have assessed all of your options such as staying with other family members or having a conversation with the people who live in your home and are still strongly considering running away, you can contact us 24/7 at or at 1-800-RUNAWAY for further resources and support. We wish you the best!


    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)


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