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  • Illinois: leaving home okay at 17?

    So here's my situation. I wouldn't say that my house is abusive, it isn't, but it can be from time to time. Things that have gone on range from my mom trying to shove money down my throat in anger to other various physical situations. My parents are always telling me that if I don't like it here, to leave. First off, if that statement was verbally recorded, could I use it if I left home at age 17 when and if they tried getting me back?
    Back in November my sister had sex with her boyfriend and my mom found out, and they had physical confrontations for about 3 months. My sister being hit, held to the floor by her throat, on and on. Well I recently made the same "mistake." My mother did find out and she did not seem to have a problem with it at first, though she wasn't exactly happy about it either. She sent mixed messages about offering to even buy condoms for my boyfriend and such beforehand. Well, my mother informed my sister and about the whole rest of the world about my decision and when my sister got home, we went into our room, she locked the door and proceded to hit me multiple times. No I did not just stand back, but the fact of the matter is: my sister is 18 and I'm 16. My sister claimed my mother said she could do as she pleased with me, and my mom later said the only reason she didn't touch me is because she knew I would turn her in (other than smacking me twice cuz she claimed I was in her face, when I wasn't). I went to school the next day and DCFS has gotten involved, though it's already been assured nothing will come of it, I cannot sit here until I'm 18 and risk all this continuing. I'm positive I don't have grounds for emancipation Like I said, it's not an everyday abusive household, but I'm no stranger to it either. My mother says that by chance if anything does come from this DCFS case, she will be relinquishing her guardianship of me and signing me over to the state.

    Now my main few questions:
    I've heard that in some parts of Illinois, law enforcement don't consider 17 to be a runaway and they are a missing person instead and they cannot be forced back home if they have good reasons for leaving and are some where safe but, where is that true?
    If I do leave and run away, and my parents file to have me brought back, can I use the facts that ...
    1. I am currently living in a small 3 bedroom house, with 7 people total and sharing a room with my 18 year old sister, 15 and 8 year old brothers and have been for 6 months with no changes anytime soon. (Which I'm pretty sure isn't supposed to happen)
    2. My family has been known to be violent, and use this DCFS case. My sister won't be leaving home in the near future.
    3. My mother is heavily dependant on drugs. She is taking morphine, vicodin, and is on anti depressants as well as various other prescriptions for the remainder of her life. She has terrible mood swings from all of her medications and my dad is no better and he works all the time and is rarely ever home. When he is he neglects to even realize he has a family and ignores everyone and focuses on his computer.
    4. My family always claims high financial troubles and are way behind in bills as it is: requiring hardship withdrawls just to survive but my mom always finds ways to spend about $60- 100 a week on instant lotto tickets...I'm pretty sure that one less person in the house would lessen those bills
    ... to remain out of my household. I turn 17 in a month and a half and I want to know my options because I can't stay here any longer, but my parents will not sign custody over to someone else.

    With all this considered: what are the chances I would be forced back?

  • #2
    Re: Illinois: leaving home okay at 17?

    Thanks for taking the time to share part of your story with us. With everything you mentioned, it sounds like you’ve been dealing with a lot for a long time now. It’s certainly understandable why you wouldn’t want to continue to remain in your home. It sounds like you’ve really thought about what you want to do and are trying to cover all your basis by knowing what might happen if you do leave home.

    One thing that’s important to mention is that we don’t have a legal background. While we know generally how things work when a youth leaves home, we can’t give specific information.

    As far as if you can leave home at 17 in Illinois. We too have heard that in some parts of IL at 17 the police will no longer take a runaway report; however, we don’t have any information about what cities this would be the case in. Along with that, when it comes to all the different things that you mentioned that happen in your home, we’re not sure if these would be applicable in whether the police would want you to return or not. All the specific questions about what might happen would be best directed towards your local police department since in most cases it’s up to the individual police department’s discretion on how they handle runaways.

    One other thing that may be worth mentioning is that most of the time the police do not actively search for youth that have run away from home. If they happen to find a youth for whatever reason, they may pick the youth up and return them home. Most of the time the police don’t make the decision about whether or not youth should live in his/her home (unless it has to do with immediate danger) and leave those decisions up to DCFS.
    We would also imagine that a lot of how the police respond is also going to be affected by how hard your parents pursue you. Do you think they will call the police and want you to return home if you do leave?

    We recognize that this may not be the exact kind of information you were hoping for. One thing that we can do here is help youth conference with local agencies. If you felt like you want to talk to someone at your local police department to see if you can get more information and aren’t comfortable doing so on your own, you could call our hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY and we could help you conference a call with the local police. Since we’re a confidential hotline, you would be able to remain anonymous while doing this. There may also be other local resources that might be able to help you figure all this out. In Illinois there is an agency called CCBYS (Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services), 1-888-816-3264. They have youth workers that are there to assist runaway, homeless and at-risk youth. They often have workers that coordinate with the local police (the often have offices in the police station), so they may even have more information about some of your questions and concerns.

    We hope you’re able to figure all this out. We’re here 24/7 and would be happy to talk to you further about any of this, make conference calls or just be a listening ear. Best of luck.
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thank you so much for contacting us with the questions you have been thinking about. It sounds as if you are dealing with a very tough situation, but you have been thoughtful about the many options and path you could choose to deal with it. First we want to say that you definitely do not deserve to be treated like that, and you should not downplay your situation. You are still in an unfortunate situation and it shouldn’t be compared to anyone else.
      The concern here is that you are still going to be 17. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but in most states, the age of majority, when you would be considered an adult, would be 18. One option could be to contact your local police department and see what their outlook on the situation would be, because some local police no longer take runaway reports or make the youth return home if they leave without permission. What would happen if they consider the opposite would be that you would receive a status offense. Technically, it is not illegal to run away, but you did mention staying with a friend that would take you in until you turned 18. Your friend or their parents could be charged with harboring a runaway, which could, in turn, possibly lead them to facing legal trouble.
      On the other hand, if your brother agrees to let you stay with your friend, it is possible for that to happen. In order for this to work in your best favor, though, it would be best to contact legal services to determine what paperwork would need to be completed in regards to schooling, medical care, etc. It may also depend on how close you are to being 18 when you do decide to leave. It’s good that you have a safe place to go if you do decide to leave and that you are thinking ahead. IF you ended up finding out that you would have to wait to leave until you were 18 do you think there is anything that would make being at home a better situation?

      We are so glad that you were able to reach out and talk with us a bit about the situation. Just so you know if you would like to discuss your situation more in depth you can contact us immediately at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are a completely confidential hotline that is available 24 hours a day. There is always someone available to provide support, discuss options, and find resources in your area if needed. We also have an online crisis chat set up that is currently available from 4:30p to 11:30p CST. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime. Take care.

  • #3
    urgent

    hi my girlfriend is 17 turning 18 in 6 months , I'm 19 she doesn't want to go back home In Illinois I live with my family in Indiana can she legally live with me without her parents calling the police ? my girlfriend doesn't feel safe at her house with all the arguing she feels like the baby will die due to stress and she doesn't want to risk it I need help please I don't want to lose her or my future baby

    Comment


    • #4
      Re: urgent

      Hello and thanks for reaching out and sharing your girlfriend's situation. We're very sorry to hear things have gotten to the point where she doesn't feel safe at home and she's concerned of miscarrying due to the stress. We imagine her situation is hard on you too, especially being in different states. We aren't legal experts, but do acknowledge some cities/states do not actively search for older runaway youth. One way to know for sure would be to reach out to local law enforcement both where your girlfriend lives in Illinois as well as you and your family reside in Indiana. http://sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states/ might be a helpful resource with her as it goes over rights related to pregnancy and reproductive health care. We're here for both you and your girlfriend if you'd like to continue discussing options. CCBYS which we discussed in the last post on this thread is another option for youth 17 and under in the state of Illinois. Best of luck!
      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!
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • #5
        I need to know..

        Hello everyone I am a 17 year old child living with my father and stepmother. I would like to move out of the house into either my girlfriend's house or my friend's house. Both of which are okay with it and their parents are also okay with it. Do I need to have a parents consent in Monmouth Illinois? Or can I just pack my stuff up and let them know I leaving then just leave. I'm already looking for jobs and have been offered a good one at $10 an hour. I just need help for the legal reasons. I would hate to leave and then have the cops called on me and have to come back to extremely angry parents. All I want is independence and they won't let me be more independent. Also I can't stand the constant disagreements and arguements between me and my father and step mother. So once again what are the exact laws on my moving out without parents consent in Monmouth Illinois and what are the laws on moving out with a single parent's consent.

        Comment


        • #6
          re: I need to know..

          Hi-

          Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are ready to be out on your own because of your current situation with your father and stepmother. It seems as if you have been thinking of a plan to leave home safely which is great!

          We are not legal experts but in regards to your question, because you are under the age of 18 if you leave home without your parents’ consent, they could file a runaway or missing person’s report and have the police bring you back home. As your legal guardians they have a right to do this. It is also important to know that if your parents wanted to, they could press charges for harboring a runaway against any adult that takes you in. That could get the adult in legal trouble. You would not get in any legal trouble for running away, but you would most likely be brought back home if that is what your parents wanted.

          Is there anything you could do at home that might make the situation a little easier to deal with until you turn 18 years old? Once you are legally an adult you will be able to live anywhere you want and your parents can not make you go back home with them.

          We urge you to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) to talk to us about what you are going through. We would be happy to discuss options with you that you can take, or help you with any other questions you may have.
          We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.

          Good luck to you,

          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
          [email protected] (Crisis Email)
          1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

          Comment


          • #7
            need to no

            Im 17 my mom told me to get out of her house multpile times i would like to move in with my uncle hes ok with it abd everytime i got to leave after she says get out she calls the police so wht should i do i dont want to be here i want to leave shes very ignert towards me and verbley abbusive in words she dont no how to speak only yell

            Comment


            • #8
              Re: need to no

              Hello and thanks for reaching out on our forum. We’re very sorry your mom has told you to get out and then turns around and calls the police. That sounds like it would be incredibly misleading and frustrating. Also, we hope you realize you don’t deserve to be abused in any way including verbal abuse and we’re very sorry your mom yells so much.

              Illinois does offer something called CCCBYS (Comprehensive Community Based Youth Services) which can send a worker out to your home for a number of different situations including if you’ve been kicked out. The CCBYS information and referral line number is 1-877-870-2663. They may be able to figure out alternative options if you cannot stay at home with your mom. You’re also welcome to reach out to us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY or through our Live Chat. Good luck!
              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!
              https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

              Comment


              • #9
                17 years old !

                Hi , I turned 17 in May . My whole life I have been through a lot, I plan on moving out when I'm 18 but since there are complications at home with my mother like her staying out and drinking and not even telling me if she's okay is really bothering me. She swears at me occasionally , and she basically drinks like everyday . I was just wondering how I could move out at 17. I have a part time job and I go to school (senior year) full time . I have a boyfriend almost about to be a year together and we are planning on getting married and living together. He is 19 about to be 20 in November and he works full time which means I can be dependent on him . That's not an issue anyways , money isn't the issue . The issue is that I'm tired of being treated like garbage with basically emotional abuse I think that would be the category . Any suggestions on what I could do ??

                Comment


                • #10
                  17 yrs old

                  Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

                  It sounds like you have been going through a very difficult time at home and you are hoping to gain information on moving out of your mother’s home even though you are seventeen.
                  It is an unfortunate situation to say the least. We can only imagine what it must be like for you dealing with your mother’s behavior.
                  You do not deserve to be abused in anyway or by anyone.
                  It sounds like her behavior has you worried about her. It is a credit to you for being concerned about her in spite of what and how its making you feel.

                  We do not have the legal expertise to advise you on moving out under these conditions. We can however try to help you find legal resources in your area so you can try to obtain information about moving out at 17yrs of age.
                  Just call 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or visit www.1800Runaway.org (live chat).

                  We look forward to helping you.

                  Take care,
                  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
                  [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                  1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    helpless

                    As a mother of a soon to be 17yr old daughter, I given my trust to believe that she'll return home after visiting her father in Illinois for the Thanksgiving holiday. Being that it's near time to return home to Georgia to resume school on Monday morning, I contact my 16 year old daughter to receive her traveling information. She stated to me that she has decided to stay. I immediately ask to speak with her father. After receiving a call from him shortly after 11 pm last night, he then informs me that she is his daughter and he stands behind her with whatever she decides to do. Today I've noticed quit a few things after making a police report. My daughter has removed her birth certificate and S.S. card from my purse, she's removed her father address from my address book by tearing out the page and has deleted her fathers contact information from my cell phone. Unfortunately georgia police are unable to help even though I have my divorce decree stating that I have sole physical custody of the minor child. We are all from Michigan where I received the devorce and court order. I was also informed that on Monday I should seek legal consultation however I have no money for legal help. My heart has been torn completely apart. My daughter has decided on her own what's best for her and her father as a parent hasn't tried to figure out what or why it has come to this and come together as parents to decide whats best for the child. What are my rights? What do I do? Where do I go? Who do I talk to? I have just lost my best friend and as a mother have no knowledge on where to begin.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Re: helpless

                      Hi there,

                      Thank you for reaching out and posting to the forum. We are so sorry to hear of the situation that you are in. It is clear you love your daughter and want what is best for her. It sounds like you have already done a lot (like filing the runaway report and asking people what you can do). You mentioned that you have no money for legal help. We have a list of lawyers who are either free or operate on a sliding scale (based on your income). We would be happy to provide you with legal options, and would just need to know what city or county you live in. Also, there is an organization called National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Your situation (having been granted full custody but your ex keeping your daughter) may fall into what they refer to as “family abduction” (see http://www.missingkids.com/FamilyAbduction). Their number is 1-800-843-5678.

                      It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. There is probably no one in the world who can know exactly what you are feeling and going through right now. You mention your heart has been completely torn out. There is a group of parents who are perhaps experiencing similar situtations (no two situations are the same) who may be able to provide support to you during this difficult time. You can get connected to this group (called Team HOPE – Help Offering Parents Empowerment) by calling 1-866-305-4673.

                      It’s great that you are reaching out to us, too. Please feel free to call in (1-800-786-2929) and we can look up the legal resources, as well as talk through how you are feeling, what your options are and what your next steps can be.

                      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
                      [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                      1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                      Tell us what you think about your experience!

                      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        moving out

                        I just turned 17, I'm in johnson city, IL and want to move in with my mom in kentucky. I stay stressed all the time and feel like I'm never listened too. There have been many times I have wanted and probably needed to go to the doctor and haven't because my dad and step mom don't think its important. If I'm stressed then my dad doesn't understand what I have to be stressed about. I need to have my eyes checked, I have problems with my heels and knees, and many more things. My mom would take me in a heartbeat but because my dad has primary custody then she cannot get insurance on me. I really want to move out, finish school , where my mother lives. I've never wanted to live with my dad , but because or financial circumstances, a bad lawyer, and other factors my mom couldn't get primary custody but she has been a much better parent in many ways.

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          RE: moving out

                          Hello,

                          Thanks for reaching out to us for help. It sounds like you are in a really stressful situation, and it is understandable that you would like to live with your mom. We are sorry to hear that your dad wouldn’t take you to the doctor. You deserve to have access to medical care if you need it. It sounds very difficult and stressful to feel that your father does not listen. We are here to listen and help you in any way that we can. Since your father has custody, if you moved in with your mom, he could report you as a runaway. This means that he could call the police, who might force you to return home. Running away is not a crime, however anyone who allows you to stay with them could risk criminal charges for harboring a runaway. Since there is a court agreement that you are supposed to live with your dad, your mom could get into legal trouble if your dad tries to press charges. We are not legal experts. Laws are different from state to state, county to county, city to city. In some areas, police might not take a runaway report for youth who are close to turning 18, or they might take a report but not force a youth to return home. How a local police department responds to the situation can vary drastically. A good way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are. We are glad that your mom is supportive. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can, so if you have questions or need resources, we can help. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.
                          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!
                          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            I don't know what to do anymore

                            Alright well first off I'm 17, my dad lives in Canada and I live in palos hills Illinois. Me and my mom fight daily, screaming at eachother and it's been like this as long as I can remember throughout my life, I use to self harm and use drugs to try and cope with it but that's in the past. Lately it has gotten so bad I feel physically sick to my stomach when I'm going home from school or friends houses just knowing that she will be home eventually. I can remember times throughout my whole life where she has said things that made me feel unsafe like when she told me I'm not allowed to eat anything that was in the house, essentially starving me. She's been saying to leave but if I leave she's going to call the police, I know because I already left once and when I got home (12 hours later to grab my stuff) she was getting ready to call the police. I really can't handle being here anymore and I know for a fact this is very unhealthy for me and i absolutely can't handle this anymore, even when I just say hi she gets mad. My friends are even scared to be around here and I just need guidance on anything I can do about this situation at all especially since she knows how to act like I'm the problem considering she's done it before.

                            Comment

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