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Canadian Runaway Laws

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  • #16
    I have a daughter that has ran away and her mom wants her home she staying at a friends house where she drinks alcohol and smokes marijuana is there anything I can do as a guardian to get her home or to somehow charge the people that are holding her


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are very concerned about your daughter and her wellbeing. It sounds like you want to know what rights are available to you. If you are the legal guardian and your child can legally leave the house at 18 years old. Some states require kids to be older but you can check by going to the website Also you can file a runaway report if your child left without your permission. Once the report is filed and police locate her they will return her home. The people who provided her shelter could risk being charged with harboring a runaway if you decide to press charges. If you want to further discuss your situation, you can contact us at 1800-Runaway. Best of luck with everything. Thanks!

  • #17
    I am 11 years old. My parents had been fighting with each other before I was even born. My dad and I don't socialize very much, he does not harm me. My mom insults me every day. We often get into fights. She hits me every day, however, I do know how to do self-defense but I have used it on my mom, and ever since then, she hits harder and does more to harm me. My dad left her recently to meet with his family but will come back later on. I live in Canada. I don't want to live here. I don't want to be put in foster care either. I want to run away and only live by myself, I know how to care for myself, self-defense and provide everything for myself, I have money by selling things at school and I have been getting money effectively ( I have hidden it too ). Is it illegal to run away in Canada? If so, I still want to live by myself, is there any way to achieve my goal to live by myself?


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us at NRS, it takes courage to speak out about your pain. While it is good to hear that you know self-defense, you should not need to use it inside of your own home. Your mom should never hurt you, and the fact that your father has not protected you is also concerning. Running away can be a very big step and can come with sometimes serious consequences. Money, shelter, food, and safety are all issues runaway youth encounter every day. However, sometimes there are no other options. We here at NRS encourage you to consider options such as school counselors, local authorities, and other relatives or friends that may be able to give advice or get you out of your abusive situation.

      NRS is a United States based service and our knowledge pertains specifically to youth in the U.S. There are several services like us in Canada that may better know your federal laws and be able to help you understand your options. One of them is the Kids Help Phone. You can connect with them by chatting on their website ( , texting CONNECT to 686868, or calling 1-800-668-6868.

      You are a strong and courageous person, and you do not deserve to feel unsafe in your home. Please feel free to reach out to the Kids Help Phone or someone you feel comfortable with for help or advice. We can also offer further assistance here at NRS if you want to talk. We can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY or over chat at our website. We wish you good luck.

  • #18
    I'm turning 18 in September but I plan to run away a month OR 5 days before my 18th birthday. I don't want to spend my birthday with my mom for certain reasons. I am leaving because I'm getting emotionally and verbally abused by her. We also never get along well and we just stopped talking a few weeks ago because we now both despise each other. I am really close to my friend's family and I've known them for a long time and they offered me a place to stay. I also have a job that should keep me stable. I was wondering if the cops would care if I left 1 month before turning 18 in case my mom reports it? Would they just let me go since I'm almost 18 and has a safe place to stay? I really don't want to bring any trouble to the family I'll be staying with.


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
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