17-year-old runaway?

Previous | Next
 rated by 0 users
Latest post 08-07-2009 1:23 AM by Miss Rishel. 11 replies.
  • 03-12-2009 10:03 PM

    17-year-old runaway?

    A very dear friend of mine is 17-years-old and wishes more than anything to leave his family's home. Everyday, he suffers emotional and psychological abuse, but in terms of law, his parents have done nothing wrong or else I'd have reported them some time ago when we first met in high school (he an early start freshman, myself a sophomore).

    He's not allowed to leave the house unless it's for school or religious purposes; his parents have taken and destroyed several things including clothing (they don't like that he wears black, they say it's unnatural and something that Satanics do), all his books, posters, art, spirals and such that he writes in; they constantly talk about how wrong he is for not being Christian (they're strict Pentacostals and he's not exactly Atheist, but he is more trying to find what he really believes in, which he has already found is NOT Christianity); they won't even let him be alone with his brothers for fear that he'll "corrupt their faith in God". These people, who I've met one time in the past, are the true definition of what it means to be religious fanatics.

    Our question is, will some one who takes him in be in any trouble for aiding and abedding a runaway since he is 17? We already know that they can't really force him to go back home as long as he meets certain guidelines, ie- goes to school like he's supposed to, doesn't use drugs, isn't a threat to himself or others, etc. So far, the chance of getting friends into trouble is the only thing that's held him back from leaving, so we'd really appreciate any answers.

    Also, just to let others know, I will contact local PD (my grandfather is friends with some of the officers and they know that I like to get information without breaking the law, so it's all good) as a just in case, but I'd like some preliminary information first.

  • 03-12-2009 11:41 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    The police are not lawyers.

    No matter how much faith you have in them, they are likely to give you a lot of wrong information.

    I suspect that if you help a minor run away from home there could be criminal charges involved.

    There is a way that a 17 year old can become emancipated by convincing a court that he's capable of living on his own and supporting himself:

    http://tlo2.tlc.state....

    Miss Rishel:
    We already know that they can't really force him to go back home as long as he meets certain guidelines, ie- goes to school like he's supposed to, doesn't use drugs, isn't a threat to himself or others, etc.

    Yeah?

    And just where do you KNOW that from?

    Can you quote a statute number?

    If you can't quote a statute number, then you don't KNOW, you only THINK you know, and there's nothing more dangerous than thinking you know something when you don't really know it.

    I suggest you consult a family law attorney before you get between this minor and his parents.

     

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-15-2009 7:22 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    As a matter of fact, I did read a Texas statute on his leaving at 17. Can I quote the number right off hand? No. But trust me, it's only because we're LEARNING at this stage. There is not a single chance of me helping him take ANY action until I know all the current laws, and can quote the code, because neither of us are so stupid as to endanger our futures because his parents are, well, I can't say that word on here.

    And thank you for bringing up emancipation. Did you just skip over the paragraph in which I said his parents won't let him out of the house except for SCHOOL and RELIGION? They won't even let him take Driver's Education because they think having a license is going to be "an invitation for trouble and unGodly like behavior". I know full well the laws on emancipation, seeing as I was emancipated myself at 16. As you yourself pointed out, he has to prove that he can support himself. How is the boy supposed to get a job to prove such a thing if his parents ground him for a month if he takes a WALK around their block in a subdivision where everyone knows each other?

    Thank you for the tip on not trusting what cops tell you all the time though. It's true, alot of them really don't know about particular laws, especially family law as it appears in my area. So I guess I should ask if you think talking to a Justice of the Peace would be any better? My grandfather knows one personally and, truth be told, I'm trying to look for the cheapest way to learn since he isn't allowed a job and money is kinda tight for me right now.

  • 03-15-2009 7:58 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    Texas does have laws against harboring runaways.  See link below.

    http://penalcode.austi...

  • 03-16-2009 12:59 AM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    Miss Rishel:
    As a matter of fact, I did read a Texas statute on his leaving at 17. Can I quote the number right off hand? No. But trust me, it's only because we're LEARNING at this stage. There is not a single chance of me helping him take ANY action until I know all the current laws, and can quote the code, because neither of us are so stupid as to endanger our futures because his parents are, well, I can't say that word on here.

    Well, here's a link to the entire Texax Family Code. Maybe you'll find it if you work your way through the whole thing.

    http://caselaw.lp.find...

    Miss Rishel:
    Did you just skip over the paragraph in which I said his parents won't let him out of the house except for SCHOOL and RELIGION? They won't even let him take Driver's Education because they think having a license is going to be "an invitation for trouble and unGodly like behavior".

    I could give you a little more support if the parents were abusing the kid. But parents have a right to raise their kids based on their own moral and religious principles no matter how onerous they seem to others. What you and I might call a religious freak is perfectly reasonable to them. Sure, the kid doesn't like to be raised that strictly. Well, tough you-know-what.

    My stepson didn't like obeying rules either and left home when he was 15. There was always somebody else's parents that would put him up for a few days, feed him, and give him a couple of bucks instead of telling him to go home and straighten out. Then he'd move on. When he ran out of friends' parents he ended up on the street and his life went downhill from there.

    Miss Rishel:
    I guess I should ask if you think talking to a Justice of the Peace would be any better? My grandfather knows one personally

    Wouldn't hurt to start there. Just keep in mind that JPs are just as likely not to be lawyers or judges and might not be such a good source of legal information.

    Miss Rishel:
    I'm trying to look for the cheapest way to learn since he isn't allowed a job and money is kinda tight for me right now.

    But you have the money to support a 17 year old till he finishes high school and can go out and make a living? Are you planning on helping him get a drivers license, let him drive your car, pay the additional cost of car insurance (which could easily be another 1000 or more per year)? What will you do if he needs to go to the doctor or dentist? If you are successful at getting him away from his parents, do you think they'll keep paying for his insurance?

    Your desire to help the kid is laudable, but I suspect he playing on your sympathies to rope you into something you are sure to regret.

    Beyond the legal issues, I hope you seriously think through the personal consequences for everybody involved if you get into the middile of his family situation.

     

    • The right of the people 
    • to keep and bear arms,
    • shall not be infringed.
  • 03-16-2009 8:48 AM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on 03-30-2000
    • PA
    • Posts 49,323

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    A 17 year old is a ward of his parents until the state age of emancipation or some other fact set such as joining the military emancipates him.  And I suspect in many states yes a parent can force an unruly child to return home or to be locked up!

     

    If running away from a Pentacostal home is an excuse, then is running away from an Orthadox Jewish  or an Amish home equally an excuse, how about a Quaker home or a same sex parent home ?

     

    So tough it out to 18! Join the Army!



  • 03-17-2009 7:18 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    Thank you for answering my actual question instead of just trying to say "don't do it." I appreciate this very, very much.

  • 03-17-2009 7:22 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    There are laws against harboring runaways.

    Parents have every right to raise their children according to their religious beliefs, so long as they do not violate the law.

    If he is 17 he has less than a year until he can leave of his own accord. He should not leave until that time.

  • 06-23-2009 1:04 PM In reply to

    Found my answers

    This thread was abandoned a while ago, but for the sake of anyone else who is curious-

    Texas law does have a big loophole in its laws, being-
    At 17, if you can prove that you are still attending school, not a risk to yourself or others, staying off drugs, etc- you can leave home and not be forced to go back. Of course, this is allowing for certain circumstances, so don't rely on it solely until (like it's always suggested) you talk to a lawyer. However...
    Some one who is housing a runaway under the age of 18, even after the age of 17, can still be arrested/prosecuted for harboring a runaway.
    The way around this is (I looked it up while this thread was still open so I can't quote the code right off my head, but you can find it in Family Code) to report where the runaway is within 24 hours of becoming aware that they are a runaway to either their parents or local law enforcement. According to the code, this is "defense against prosecution". It's not foolproof but, at the very least, you will get into far less trouble if legal issues do ensue.
    Of course, I'm explaining this for information purposes only. As always, talk to a lawyer before you engage in ANY activity, no matter how well meaning, that could land you in legal trouble.

    As for my friend and myself- for various reasons, personal and legal, we decided not to take any action and he is still currently staying with his parents. While things are not any better for him at home and they still won't let him get a license or go out, they have let him get a part time job since he graduated from high school last month. While my contact with him is limited now (his parents don't like me for an unrelated reason), we do plan to see each other and hang out more when he does turn 18 in August.

  • 07-24-2009 9:55 AM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    adjuster jack:
    I could give you a little more support if the parents were abusing the kid. But parents have a right to raise their kids based on their own moral and religious principles no matter how onerous they seem to others. What you and I might call a religious freak is perfectly reasonable to them. Sure, the kid doesn't like to be raised that strictly. Well, tough you-know-what.

     

    Actually according the the American Medical Association, and the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect state that isolation is a form of emotional child abuse.

     

    Isolating:

    Isolating a child, or cutting them off from normal social experiences, prevents the child from forming friendships and can lead to depression. Isolating a child seriously impairs their intellectual, emotional, and social development. Isolating is often accompanied by other forms of emotional abuse and often phsyical abuse.

     

    Both institutions state that emotional abuse is the core of all forms of abuse, and the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect in general stem mainly from the emotional aspects of the abuse.

     

    Emotional abuse is what actually harms the child, not the actual physical infliction. For example, if a child fell off his bike and broke his arm, the arm would heal physically and the child would have no long-term negative effects (unless the injury was severe enough to cause permanent physical damage). If a parent twisted and broke the childs arm in a fit of rage, the emotional distrubance could cause serious mental, and emotional distress often resulting in severe long term effects (such as personality disorders, and anti-social behaviors).

     

    Emotional abuse is just as serious as physical abuse, except the child is unable to get out because emotional abuse is much harder to prove.

  • 07-30-2009 1:21 PM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    Thank you for making that point, zdesotelle. No one I've met in the past (except maybe for CPS, but I have alot of problems with them that I will NOT go into at the moment) seems to give much credit to emotional abuse, despite the long term problems that it causes for a child.

    In his case, he's definitely shown signs of long term effect in that he's become depressed and, even in situations where he can associate with others (school, church and, finally, work), he has become so anti-social that it's extremely hard for him to make friends at all now because he alienates people.
    As a child of abuse myself (in all forms- sexual, physical and emotional), I know how that feels. My stepfather would keep us locked in the house with the exception of school and only let us out to visit friends when people started contacting my parents with concerns about possible abuse. The old man was smart enough to show some leeway just as people began to suspect something, but that was never help for me. When I was allowed outside the house to be with other kids, I would only associate with my very closest friends or the parents and teachers at events. Because I had been so far alienated from other kids, they began to think that I was weird for not talking to them outside school and tease me for being different. Parents were the only ones who made me feel welcome and my only real friends were also victims of abuse. I ultimately tried to commit suicide twice before I managed to move past that pain.
    It wasn't until I turned 14, after he went to prison and I had started dating my first real boyfriend, that I really felt accepted by kids my own age and began to come out of my shell. I'm just glad that I had that luck, or else I might still be the same bookworm that was afraid to speak to my peers.

  • 08-07-2009 1:23 AM In reply to

    Re: 17-year-old runaway?

    I would like to just say that, despite the fact that we did touch on psychological abuse, this situation is now resolved.

    I'm not sure where the other posts are appearing, but I am still getting notification of responses. I'm very sorry to anyone else who wanted to express their opinion about this situation, but to do so would be unnecessary at best and pointless at worst.

    While I did post back in reference to the laws, again, my situation has been resolved. Thank you for your responses, but they are no longer needed.

Page 1 of 1 (12 items) | RSS

My Community

Community Membership New Users: Search Community