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

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here at NRS. It sounds like there is a lot that you are faced with at home and you are thinking that leaving might be your best option. You mentioned that you have had a lot of problems and stress going on at home which can definitely get overwhelming. Home is supposed to be somewhere you can feel safe and you deserve to feel supported.

    It seems you are interested in learning more about runaway laws. 18 is usually the age you are able to leave home without permission. In the event that you decide to leave without permission, your parents can choose to report you as a runaway. You will not get into any legal trouble, but the police would most likely return you home. Where you live is generally not up to police, so they would have to bring you back home even if you are somewhere safe. One way to avoid this would be to get your parent's permission to live somewhere else. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or another trusted adult 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. If this is the case you can speak with an advocate at an organization called Child Help to learn more about what the reporting process might look like for you and what CPS could possibly do to help, www.childhelp.org.

    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).

    Be safe and stay strong,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Im 14 and my parents are separated and i have been going through things at home. My dad wont let me go places but he lets my brother go anywhere he wants. I am getting emotionally abused and i want to run away but if my dad files a run away report wi i have to go back to him. If i am living in a good environment and still going to school can i still stay at the place i choose to stay at?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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 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. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation instead. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process.
    Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. You are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
    If you would like to talk more in detail please chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best
    We hope to hear from you soon.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hi im 16 i live with my grandparents in Texas i just cant take it anymore my step grandpa is just so confusing at one moment hes as nice as he could be then the next hes in your face screaming at you telling me im stupid or something like that hes lived with me for 5 years now my mantel health is just detreating hes 70 but was a cop for 22 years we got physical once i have a scare on my back now i dont want to report him cose my grandma is happy for once but i dont think so anymore he will degrade her if she tries to stick up for me i want to leave but i live in a small town and im in texas so i couldnt cros the border cose its so big i know if im under 18 i cant but i need help i cant take it anymore also i cant talk here cose im on a school computer and i cant on my phone it has parental control just send me an email i feel like i dont have any conrol in my life
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 02-01-2021, 05:08 PM. Reason: Removed personal identifying info.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like it has been a pretty awful night. with your grandmom treating you like that and kicking out your brother. Here at NRS, we truly want to be a support for you during this difficult time.

    We are not legal experts, but generally speaking, the easiest way you can leave home is with permission or if they do not file you as a runaway with local police as an older 17 year old. Since they kicked out your brother, you might try to see if they would let you stay elsewhere like with him. Unfortunately, it does not sound like the emancipation court process could be an option for you due to only having 5 months until you turn 18 and no income.

    Answers to your questions:
    There is no way to guarantee that she won't report you as a runaway if you do leave home before you turn 18. Generally speaking, whenever you leave home without permission before turning 18 she can file you as a runaway. What could change is how local police respond to the runaway report, since you are 17.5 it's possible that they might not actively look for you or return you home if found. However, they typically would return you home so you might not want to rely on that possibility. It can help to talk to local police in your area to see how they would respond to a situation like yours by reaching out to the local nonemergency police number (www.usacops.com). Leaving a note would not change what could happen. But it would generally signal that you left on your own accord rather than something bad happening to you.

    Please don't hesitate to call or chat us now if you want to debrief the night, our phone lines and live chat services are open, and you deserve some support after that. We can also try to brainstorm other options with you, and look for local resources that might be able to help.

    Best,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am 17, 18 in 5 months, and live in a toxic household. its been a problem for the longest time i can remember, my guardian (my grandmom) has always emotionally neglected me, emotionally abused me, put me down, and today she threatened to call the cops on me for ‘harrassment’ for simply standing up for myself over an argument about my room being messy. theres so so so much more than that, but i cant fit it all in. i cant stand it anymore. she even kicked my brother out tonight since he just turned 18 not even a week ago.

    i at the very least just want to get away for a few days, but i cant go anywhere. my boyfriend and his family agreed to let me stay for as long as i needed to/could because of situations, so if i could, i wanted to just leave for a few nights until things calm down more because i dont know what could happen. currently typing this i have my door barricaded because she tried busting my door down earlier.

    so my questions are ; is there a way for me to leave and stay the night for a few days without her calling me in as a runaway or without anyone getting in trouble? if i left a note of where i went as well, would that help anything?

    and to anyone suggesting emancipation; i don’t believe i can do that. she has complete control over me, and wont let me drive or work, and ive read somewhere that in order to get emancipated, you have to have proof that you can financially support yourself, and i simply cant at the moment.

    any advice helps, thank you.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Can my grandma call the cops on me as a runaway if I don’t live with her

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod4
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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
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