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  • Crossing State Lines

    My girlfriend who is sixteen recently ran away. She has a terrible home life. But anyway, she was picked up and taken home only to plot to run away again. I harbored her however she wasn't found with me.

    We're im Ohio and I know often people who run away multiple times aren't chased by the police much because it's a offence offence in Ohio. My question is I have connections in multiple states and if we we're to leave the state (assuming they even go looking a second time) where does that usualy leave the police. Especially if they.don't know.she left the state but even if shedid.

  • #2
    Re: Crossing State Lines

    We are sorry to hear that your girlfriend has a terrible home life and it sounds like you are in a tough situation. We are not legal experts, so we can’t say for certain, but normally youth have to follow the laws of their state of origin. If her parents/guardians file her as a runaway with local police, it should be entered into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). It sounds like you’ve heard that police do not do as much with frequent runaways. It is possible the police wouldn’t do much or just send her back home, but it would be at their discretion.

    It sounds like you are already familiar with the law associated with harboring a runaway. Other crimes associated with running away are crossing state lines with a minor and/or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. To our knowledge, these are just considered misdemeanors; although you may want to check with your local police or sheriff’s department to be sure. We hope your girlfriend is able to stay safe and we encourage you and your girlfriend to call for further assistance. We can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Best of luck, NRS
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      As odd as this is going to be - does she have a better chance staying hidden in another state or is it about the same?

      Comment


      • #4
        crossing state lines

        Hi there,
        Thanks again for your response to the National Runaway Switchboard. It's great that you are so interested in helping out your girlfriend and it seems like you have done alot already. But again, since we are not legal experts nor are we a direct hotline we are unable to tell you what would be better. This would fall on her to make that decision. You have the option of calling the local police of where she may want to go and anonymously asking them what would happen if a runaway youth crossed state lines etc...
        Sorry that we are unable to tell you what would be better but that is just not something we are able to do. If you have any further questions please feel free to call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Good luck.
        NRS
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Crossing state lines Q

          I've ran away many times in the last year and a half. I've heard the age of adult or whatever is 16 in WA. I'm from OR, Portland to be exact. If I ran away from here, went up there, and was ID'd for whatever innocent reason, and they saw my name flagged on their PC as a reported runaway, would they take me back across to Portland?

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for reaching out and contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. We are glad that you have told us your story and hopefully, we can help you out. While we aren’t legally trained, we can definitely talk about your options and see what resources may be available to you.

            You said that you are currently 16 years old and from Portland but you want to head to WA, is that correct? Can you tell us more about what life is like for you in Portland? We are sorry to hear that you have been running away for so long and hope that you are in a safe place. If you aren’t, then we can try to help you locate one if you would like us to.

            Again, since we aren’t legally trained, we won’t be able to tell you specifically what would happen if the police in WA were to locate you. Generally speaking though, the age of majority in most states is 18 years old. Therefore, if the police were to locate you, they would probably return you to a legal guardian in Portland.

            Please, give us a call if you would like to talk more about what is going on. We can also try to locate some resources for you that would be able to explain the laws to you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We also have online chat that is available from 4:30 PM-11:30 PM (CST), 7 days a week through our website (http://www.1800runaway.org).

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

            ~NRS
            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!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #7
              Crossing state lines Q response.

              Well, I've had a few social workers this year, and they both told me I should try enrolling in school to pass time, but my parents aren't concerned w getting me in school at all. Which I understand it's illegalities of having a minor uneducated during schooling months. I haven't really been outside since April, when I ran away for a few days and was picked up. My question isn't about crossin state lines per say. It's more of how do I get out of a situation like this, where the windows are nailed shut, I have no keys to the doors, and there's plenty of mental, emotional and verbal abuse? Because quite frankly all I've heard from officials is unless there's physical abuse, they won't do jack. Which is upsetting. Mental & verbal abuse is just as damaging. And I'm sick of being isolated.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Crossing State Lines

                Hello again,

                It sounds like you are doing your best to look into your options and keep feeling shut down. We are sorry to hear you are being told by officials that nothing can be done unless the abuse is physical. Physical abuse can sometimes be easier to document, but that doesn’t mean anyone deserves to go through mental, emotional, or verbal abuse. If you’ve already called your state’s Child Protective Services and feel as though not enough was done, there is another organization that advocates for children and youth who have had difficulty with “the system.”

                Justice for Children: Advocates in abusive situations.
                http://justiceforchildren.org/
                1-800-733-0059

                We are very sorry you are going through this and hope you are able to find a way to contact us directly, either by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat (red button at www.1800runaway.org) from 4:30 to 11:30 pm CST.

                You mentioned your social workers supported the idea of you enrolling in school to pass the time. There was a national act that was passed to help homeless (including runaway) youth enroll in school and they might be able to offer you information for how you can enroll as well.

                Here is a link for Oregon’s state coordinator: http://nchespp.serve.org/profile/OR

                We hope that helps a bit more and that you are able to keep safe in the meantime. Best of luck!

                - NRS
                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!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                Comment


                • #9
                  Crossing State Lines Into Texas

                  I have a 16 year old niece who lives in Alaska with her mother and verbally and emotionally abusive boyfriend. Her mother (my sister) obtained a temporary restraining order against this man but a judge did not see fit to make the restraining order permanent because the abuse was not physical. Once the order was lifted, my sister was forced to allow him back into their government funded apartment because his name is on the housing voucher and apartment lease. The day after he was back in their home, I attempted to call my sister to check on her and my niece. I spoke to my sister briefly, but the conversation didn't end well due to the fact that I was unable to reach her by phone for the first 2 hours. My sister had stopped accepting my calls after that day; I assumed it was because I was angry with her for not answering her phone and she gave no apology for making me worry needlessly. After that day, my sister stopped accepting my phone calls. I went almost a week without hearing from either of them until my niece sent me an IM on a social networking site. It was then that I discovered that the abusive boyfriend had not decided to do the right thing and leave, as my sister had implied he did during our last conversation, but had moved all of his things back into the home.

                  My niece is now under a great deal of stress living in the same house with this man. Just to ensure that you understand that what my sister and niece were suffering was true verbal, emotional and psychological abuse, it had escalated into a physical confrontation between this man and my 16 year old niece one day when her mother left for a short trip to the grocery store. It was this incident that prompted my sister to obtain the restraining order. I am understanding of the fact that too many women in abusive relationships take back their abuser, but my niece didn't have any say in whether or not he should move back in and she is under tremendous stress and is unable to sleep or concentrate. This is her last year in high school and has expressed a desire to her mother to move to Texas with me so she can complete her final year without the added stress. (I originally extended the invitation to them both when it seemed as if my sister was making an honest effort to separate from this man, but under the circumstances it is apparent that my sister has rejected the invitation) I know that Alaska does not have laws against harboring runaways under the age of 18, but I live in the state of Texas and Texas clearly states that harboring a runaway is illegal. If my 16 year old niece were to come here without her mother's permission (her mother yells and blocks all conversation when my niece brings up the subject of her coming here) would I be facing kidnapping charges or charges of harboring a runaway because I am a Texas resident even though my niece is a citizen of Alaska?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Crossing State Lines

                    Hello there,

                    We’re glad you decided to contact us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are not legal experts here, but we will do our best to provide general answers and offer appropriate resources for your sister and niece’s situation. We would also like to say how sorry we are to hear that your niece and sister have to endure any type of abuse and it’s great they’ve got you for support. We imagine it is quite difficult to see your sister in an abusive relationship, especially one that puts your niece at risk.

                    Our general understanding is that if law enforcement recognizes the crimes of harboring a runaway, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and/or crossing state lines with a minor, these are usually just misdemeanors unless some other type of law has been broken. The situation you shared appears to be even more complicated since you are in an entirely different state than your sister and niece. It would be up to law enforcement as far as any repercussions, but it might also depend on how much your sister persists if you choose to allow your niece to stay with you. Some other options might be involving Child Protective Services or a temporary youth shelter for your niece.

                    In the meantime, you might find some of these referrals helpful:

                    National Domestic Violence Hotline
                    1-800-799-7233
                    http://www.thehotline.org/

                    Alaska Child Abuse Reporting
                    907-465-3191

                    Justice for Children: National advocacy organization for children and youth who have been failed by the child protective system.
                    1-800-733-0059
                    http://justiceforchildren.org/

                    Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas Dallas Office
                    1-888-529-5277

                    Lawyer Referral Service of Central Texas
                    1-512-472-8303
                    www.austinlrs.com

                    National Safe Place: Organization that has a variety of different participating youth shelters in different states. They even offer a texting option. This might be an option for your niece if she needs a safe place to go in AK or TX. (Although, it appears AK only has one Safe Place shelter.)
                    www.nationalsafeplace.org

                    Alaska Child Abuse Reporting
                    907-465-3191

                    We hope that helps a bit and encourage you to contact us directly either by calling us 24/7at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chatting with us from 4:30 to 11:30 pm CST. You are also more than welcome to pass on our ways of contact to your niece. Best of luck to all of you!

                    -NRS
                    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!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      a little help?

                      Hey, um. I'm a 15.. almost 16 year old girl in Ohio and my home life..is just stressful I've been dealing with my step dad since the age of 2 and I've had enough, I want to leave. I'm done, he has hit my half brother and sister with belts and left welts before and I was too afraid to get help, since I'm the oldest and not his child, I honestly have to leave...if I crossed state lines and just left....would I get away with it?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: a little help?

                        Hello,

                        Thanks for posting on the National Runaway Safeline forum.

                        We’re really sorry to hear about what’s going on at home. You seem to be describing something that could be abuse. Remember, if you’re ever worried about the safety of yourself or anyone else at home, you have the right to call the police. You mentioned you were too afraid to help, that can be a really tough situation. If you’d like to talk about ways you can help, please don’t hesitate to call our hotline here at 1-800-runaway(786-2929), or visit www.childhelp.org.

                        As far as leaving home is concerned, that can be a really big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. We understand that you’re feeling overwhelmed and running away might seem like the only option. That can be a lot to face alone. We aren’t legal experts here, but generally what happens when someone under 18 leaves home is the parents can file a Runaway Report with the police. That means the police will be on the lookout and will return you home if they find you. If you want to know for sure what the police in your area would do with someone your age, you could call your local law enforcement. If you’d like to talk more about this, or maybe talk about a strategy for dealing with these issues at home, please give us a call. We’re here 24/7 to help you in any way we can in the process.

                        Best of luck,
                        NRS
                        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!
                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          So my 16 year old sister was in a different state and was in a very mentally and verbally abusive home. There was drugs being grown and sold out of the house and She told her father and stepmother she even wanted to commit suicide and they told her to shut her mouth, and totally ignored her. More importantly didn't get her any counseling or therapy that she had been asking for, for months. She couldn't take it anymore and ran away. Multiple people had called child services to try and help her but CPS did nothing about the situation. A few days later she was found and just brought right back to her dads. So with nobody willing to help her, she skipped state. The only other person who has rights is our mother. And that environment would be even worse than her dads. Our Mother has been addicted to drugs for years and her house is almost unlivable due to heavy dog feces and maggots in the dirty dishes that will sit there for weeks. She had just recently went to jail for assaulting my other sister and bottom line I just don't want her there. Being her older sister can I get in trouble for taking her in, if she ran away from a different state??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Reply:
                            So my 16 year old sister....

                            Hello,
                            Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
                            It seems there is a lot that your sister is faced with right now and you’re wanting to find a way to help her.
                            It’s great that she has your support and concern, especially since this time is probably quite difficult for them.
                            Being abused is not her fault, she does not deserve to have this happen.
                            It sounds like she has or is planning to leave and go to another state and possibly stay with you. Be that as it may it seems there is some concern about breaking the law by taking her in. We understand.

                            A person under the age of 18 leaving home without permission, a parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city.

                            Generally speaking, a minor that encounters a police officer while reported as a runaway, may likely be detained until they can be returned home, and while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows a runaway to stay with them without parental consent may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. A good way to find out the runaway laws in your area is to call the non-emergency number of your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. If you are hesitant about contacting the police you may call NRS at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) ask to do a conference call to your local police department to inquire about the runaway laws in your state. You can listen in as we ask questions you would like tom try and have answered.

                            NRS is here to listen and here to help.
                            We are here as support to help both you and your sister during this challenging time.

                            Take Care,
                            NRS

                            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!
                            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm 16 and I live in Nebraska. I'm from Oregon and I want to go back. My mom is very emotionally abusive and I cant deal with it any longer. I have no friends here seeing as Its my junior year in highschool and we moved here 3 months ago. My friend and her mom in Oregon, whom I have lived with before we left Oregon, was going to buy me a plane ticket to come back early january. My mom said yes and was going to give her guardianship. My parents are divorced. Now my mom is trying to get child support from him and changed her mind about me going back. That was my motivation to finish out the semester. My whole life is back in Oregon. Now that my mom said no, my plan to leave is still on but technically now its "illegal". If I get back to Oregon will my mom be able to do anything? I am planning, if needs be, to have a neglect case fought against her. Ive been in the system before because of my mothers poor choices and neglect so I could probably win, however I dont want to go through all that trouble again. Can I be sent back to Nebraska when I get to Oregon?

                              Comment

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