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My gf is 17 and is going to runaway

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  • My gf is 17 and is going to runaway

    My gf is 17 and I'm 19 she is going to runaway to come live with me and I just want to be reassured that she will not get in any major trouble she was already caught by the cops but they said they can't force her to go home because she's 17 but can they file anything like kidnapping towards me ?

  • #2
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out for your girlfriend. She is lucky to have a caring partner like you.

    So 17 is a grey area when it comes to leaving home without guardian permission, and we are not legal experts but can speak generally. For most states, the age of majority is 18, and that is the age that people become legal adults and can make their own life decisions including choosing where they live. Since your girlfriend is leaving at 17, it is really up to her local police with whether or not they would take a runaway report for her and if they would return her home. Her guardian does have the right to attempt to file a report for her with police if she leaves before she is 18. If police take the report and find her, they typically would return her home. However, if police in your girlfriend’s area already told her that they cannot force her to go home, it sounds like police in her area would not return her home. It is still possible that they would still take a runaway report for her, so her guardians are not liable for her. That just means that they would enter her into a national database as a runaway, but would not actively look her.

    It would be really hard for them to press kidnapping charges against you. What is more likely is a charge called, “harboring a runaway” if she is found by police staying with you. If police do not search for her, it would be hard for her guardian to press charges against you for harboring a runaway. They typically need to find her at your house for that to happen, so they would have to be actively looking for her. However, it is always a risk when letting a runaway stay with you.

    Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever need. You might also give your girlfriend our number if she has additional questions or is need of support. We are here to listen, here to help.

    Take care,

    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!


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