+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

  1. #1

    Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

    I'm almost 17, and the court has granted my mother temporary custody. My parents divorce was granted because of my mother being abusive, but they tried to make it out like my dad is a bad parent. Everyone is astonished that they would give my mother custody because of the abuse situation. I have been a runaway many times before because of my mother's abusive and all 4 times I was arrested. I know that in Missouri at 17 they do not enforce runaway laws. In Arkansas do they? If I leave home and go to my dad's can I be reported as a runaway and my dad get in trouble??

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. Sorry to hear about the abusive situation you are in at home. Have child abuse reports ever been filed? If you wanted to file a child abuse report, you can contact the Arkansas Hotline which is open 24/7 at 1-800-482-5964. If you have any questions or need assistance with filing the report, you can contact us 1-800-RUNAWAY and we too are available 24 hours.

    Generally speaking, running away is not illegal and is considered a status offense. In most cases after a runaway report is filed and the Youth is located, the Police will return the runaway Youth to the home of his or her legal guardian(s). There is no across the board policies when it comes to the enforcement of runaway laws. How actively the Police will search for runaways vary across Police precincts.

    Harboring a runaway is a charge that can be filed against individual(s) who provide assistance or aid to runaways. If a runaway report was filed, “harboring a runaway” is a possible charge that could result if assistance or aiding was provided.

    We hope the information provided is helpful! Remember you may contact us at 1-800-RUNAWAY for additional assistance; we can discuss and explore possible options. We are a confidential and anonymous hotline and are available 24/7. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the Best of Luck!


  3. #3

    Please help

    I am supposed to live with my father in Arkansas, but I am currently visiting my mother in Montana. I do not want to return to Arkansas, but stay with my mother. My father has custody. but I am 17 years old and think I should be able to choose where I want to live? If I just stayed at my moms and didn't get on my plane in a few weeks, could I or my mother get in any trouble?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us what is going on. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation right now and hopefully we can provide you with some resources that may be able to help you out. It was very brave of you to contact us. Unfortunately, we aren’t legally trained here so we wouldn’t be able to tell you what exactly would happen if you were to leave home but we can give you some general information.

    It sounds like you are currently in MT visiting your mom but in a few weeks, you will need to return home to dad in AR. Can you tell us more about what is going on with dad? If you are feeling unsafe at home, you may have the option to file a report with Child Protective Services. They would open an investigation into your case and make a determination from there; unfortunately, there is no guarantee though that they would remove you from your dad’s or grant guardianship to mom. If you are interested in filing a report, please give us a call here and we can definitely help you out with that.

    Again, we aren’t legally trained here so we can’t tell you for sure what would happen if you stayed with mom but we can give you some general ideas. It is our understanding that if you were to stay there and your dad filed a runaway report, your mom could possibly get into trouble for harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Unfortunately, the charges vary from state to state so we wouldn’t be able to tell you exactly what would happen. Also, and we aren’t sure about this, but your mom may get into trouble if your dad has custodial rights but again, we aren’t sure.

    One place that may be able to give you some specific answers would be the local police department. You may be able to give them a call and find out from them what they would do if a report had been filed. If you would like to do that but are hesitant to call on your own, we can definitely help you out by making a conference call with you. Another option may be legal aid; we can help you locate an office but we would need to know what city and state you are calling from.

    Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are a confidential and anonymous crisis line so if you would like to talk more or would like to explore your options, please give us a call at anytime. Our toll free hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we are available 24 hours a day. Also, we have online chat services that are available from 4:30-11:30 PM (CST) if you would rather talk with us that way instead.

    We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck!


  5. #5
    okay if you live in a house with your half mother and your dad but they ground you for no reason and then say stugg about your girlfriend and they hit the crap out of you cant they get child abuse charges and if you runaway and you have not even been gone 2 hours and they lie to the cops saying you have been gone 24 hours and they then decide to threating your girlfriends family for no reason and then send you to a youth home then not even a day later make personal post about my girlfriend on facebook and call and harressent cant they get like charges for that stuff.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Hello –

    Thanks for reaching out and telling us a bit about your situation. It sounds like you are in a tough spot right now and not sure how to proceed. You mentioned that there are issues with your parents and it has gotten to the point that they have gotten physically abusive with you. Have you ever spoken with anyone about the abuse or thought about reporting it to child services? If you are being hurt or abused in anyway you do have the right to report it. It also sounds like another concern you have is that your parents are posting harassing messages on your girlfriend’s Facebook. Her family may be able to report this through Facebook and if it continues to happen they may want to speak with the police or some kind of legal aid.

    Keep in mind that you can always reach out to us if you would like to talk through the situation more in depth. There is always someone here to listen and here to help. We can talk through safe options and even find helpful resources in your area. Our services are confidential and anonymous.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
    Tell us what you think about your experience!

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts