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To Sam

Im 16 and i want to move out? Can i?

Hi, I will be sixteen in three days and I was wondering if I could get into trouble with the police for moving out. My mom and sister mentally abuse me and I don't not feel safe around my sister due to our past. She had tried to kill me a few times and used to always hurt me. I do not feel safe or happy in my home. I haven't for a few years now. I would like to move out of my house as soon as possible. Even my doctor says I shouldn't be living here because it is very bad for my mental health. What can I do without getting into trouble?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

This is a question a lot of young people ask. If you are 16, if you can prove you have somewhere safe to live, it’s unlikely the police will make you return home.

I can see how unhappy you are about the abuse you’re going through at home. You’ve got the right to feel safe at home and any time you feel unsafe or in any danger you can contact the police for help. If you felt unsure about doing this then you can talk about it with a ChildLine counsellor who can help you decide what to do.

When thinking of moving out one big consideration is how you’ll be able to take care of the everyday expenses. For example, food, clothes, bills and all the other expenses involved.

You won’t be able to take out a rental agreement until you are 18, as this is a legal contract. But perhaps your local council housing department can advise on sheltered accommodation in your area. There may be private housing associations that can help you also – it’s important to know about your rights. Perhaps your doctor could help you as they have already mentioned your mental health.

An alternative to living alone is to think about living with another family member such as a grandparent, aunt or uncle. This may work out to be cheaper and less lonely and you will be with people you have known a long time.

Talking things through with a counsellor may help you to decide what is best for you. You can call or talk directly on a 1-2-1 chat. You will be able to explore all the options available to you. You could also have a look on Shelter's website.

Take care,

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