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If I runaway and I am somewhere safe, Can my parents call the cops?

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  • #16
    What happens if I run away from an abusive household and stay with a friend’s family member and my abusive parents call the cops?

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 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.

      The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

      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 email 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); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.

      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,

      NRS

  • #17
    Hi I would just like to know, can you report people who submit responses on here to the Child Protective Services?

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks for reaching out, we know that it takes a lot of courage to do so! We are mandated reporters here at NRS which means that if we hear of any abuse and know your full name and street address then we have to make a report to Child Protective Services. If you'd like us to file a report on your behalf please contact us by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY or by using our online chat feature. If you would like more information on reporting in general, you can check out the National Child Abuse Hotline at www.childhelp.org. If you feel like you are in immediate danger we encourage you to dial 911 or emergency services.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • #18
    Hello I’m 16 almost 17 and I want to runaway only because I’ve been molested by my step father for most of my life without my mother knowing and I need to get out. It only happens to me out of my other two siblings and they both know about what goes on and I’ve tried to tell my mother but I just don’t have the guts to do so it’s a very scary and serious situation. I was wondering if I runaway to another state would I be taken back into this situation? Would the police leave me in the household that I would be staying at if they know about what goes on at home? I would be running away to a place where they will keep me safe but I want to know if it would be legal to stay there considering my situation I just don’t want to get molested anymore and they would keep me far away from that. I don’t want anyone to get in trouble by the law because of my situation. I just want to be safe and happy and I want to get a chance to heal from this traumatic situation far away from home.

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. We're really proud of you for sharing your story with your siblings and with us, it shows that you're really brave. Your step dad's behavior is in no way acceptable and you deserve a safe place to heal from this.

      Your step dad's actions are inexcusable and you should be able to feel safe in your own home. If you are currently at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

      It can be really hard to deal with this alone and sometimes it’s helpful to reach out to additional agencies for support. One really great resource for all survivors of sexual assault or abuse is RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network). You can call them any time 24/7 at 1-800-656-4673, or go to www.rainn.org to use their online hotline. RAINN is the National Sexual Assault Hotline and has a lot of services, support and resources that you may find helpful.

      We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your mom can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home. That being said, if you disclose the abuse that has been going on the police may let you stay where you are but would have to contact CPS who would ultimately decide where you would be placed.

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • #19
    So I’m 15 and I’m thinking about leaving my living situation Bc I’ve been abused In the past and it’s starting to happen again and I set up for me to go live with someone and file for emancipation so I do t have to deal with my nonbiological parents. Is this illegal?

    Comment


    • 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.
      It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
      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 email 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); www.1800runaway.org (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,
      NRS

  • #20
    So I am 16 I live in buffalo New York I have a part time job currently and other relatives I can go and live with. Am I able to leave home and not be forced to return and if I tell them where I am can I be considered a runaway still? I really don't need to rely on my parents I have a job and somewhere else I can move to I’m seeing that I don't need to go to court and then I’m seeing I need to go to court with my parents I’d like a complete rundown of what I can do in this situation. Once again I’m 16 in buffalo New York I have a job and have somewhere else safe to live that is not my parents’ home. (Any responses or resources would be appreciated regarding emancipation).
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 11-04-2020, 01:21 AM.

    Comment


    • ccsmod4
      ccsmod4 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.

      We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. In some states there are emancipation laws that can be one way of trying to gain your independence. We are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not unfortunately. Laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18.

      Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. It’s best to check your local courthouse to gain more information on this process.
      Also you might check with your local police department to inquire about the runaway laws in your state or if someone that moves out of their parent or guardian’s home would without permission would be considered a runaway and forced to return home.
      If you would like to talk more about your situation we are here to listen and here to help.
      To speak with someone on our crisis or chat line contact 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800runaway.org
      We look forward to hearing from you.
      Take care,
      NRS

  • #21
    im planning on staying at my friends house because my parents are mentally abusive. I'm doing this without their consent. I'm 16. My parents do not have my social sercuity card or birth cerfitcate.since they dont have that can they still call the cops and make me go home?

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We’re sorry to hear that your parents are making your living situation so emotionally difficult. It makes sense that you want to leave an environment that is clearly not good for your mental health.

      While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is not illegal to run away. Your parent/guardian could file a runaway report on you but this would NOT mean that you would get arrested or charged with anything. It typically does mean that the police could return you home if they encountered you and that would be that. Some police can be more understanding about what is going on at your home. In our experience, police will oftentimes return the youth back to their guardian almost no matter what. Unfortunately, whether or not your parents have your birth certificate or your social security card does not affect whether or not they will take you home. Police typically do not actively search for a runaway youth. However, they will go where the parent/guardian directs them if they know where you are staying. Additionally, police can sometimes be more lenient about runaway situations the closer you are to 18. You can attempt to calmly, respectfully, and persistently deny them consent to touch you or take you anywhere, and they may give up on trying to return you home. They also may not, in which case you should comply with what they tell you to do for your safety.

      If you want to talk more about what is going on and what options you might have, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • #22
    Can my grandma call the cops on me as a runaway if I don’t live with her

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      We are not legal experts but we can speak on this generally. 18 is usually the age you are able to leave without the permission of your parents or guardians. Until you turn 18, your legal guardian can report you as a runaway to the police if you leave without permission. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means police would notify your legal guardian if you are found. You mentioned a concern that your grandma might report you as a runaway even though you do not live with her. We are not quite sure what your living situation is or who your legal guardian is, so we cannot give a specific answer to this. Your grandma could potentially report you as a runaway to the police. However, in the event you are found by police it would be up to your legal guardian to decide where you live.

      We hope this information helps. If you have any more questions or would like to talk more about your situation, please do not hesitate to reach out by phone or through live chat. 1-800-786-2929; 1800runaway.org

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • #23
    If I run away and the cops find me and I tell them I don’t feel safe do I have to go back home.

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is our understanding that the police will return you back home unless there is clear evidence that you are unsafe there. It might be helpful to talk more about what is going on. We would be happy to help you figure out what options there might be in your situation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS
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