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  • Runaway rights

    Hey,

    I'm a 15 year old, I live in Texas, and I really want to run away from home. My mom hits me and is always very stressed at home. Is it illegal to run away from Texas (an illegal child runaway state) to California (a legal runaway state)? Like if I ran from here and went there, would they be able to take me back here?

    Comment


    • Re: 17 california run away rights

      Hello,

      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline and sharing with us some of what has been going on. We are so sorry to hear that your mom is hitting you, no one deserves this kind of mistreatment. It sounds like you have been thinking about this and are trying to decide what the best thing for you to do is. We are not here to tell you what to do, but we are here to listen and support you in what ways we can.

      You mentioned that your mom is physically mistreating you. No one deserves to have t go thorugh that, especially from a parent. One option you have to contact Child Help USA at 18000-422-4453 and make an abuse report. You can also call us on our hotline at 1800-RUNAWAY and we can make the report with you or for you.

      You asked some good questions about what would happen if you were runaway and cross state lines. Here are NRS we are not legal experts, but can speak in general terms what could possibly happen if you were to leave home without your parents permission. Generally you are an adult when you turn 18. If you choose to leave home before then, without parental consent, then your parents have the right to file a runaway report. A runaway report is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense. This means that if you are found you will be brought back to your parents with no criminal charges against you. You mentioned you are wanting to cross state lines. Generally when parents file a runaway report it goes on a local level, unless they have reason to tell police you may be traveling out of state. In this case they can request that it be made a national bulletin. This means that if police from California were to find you they would notify the Texas police and arrange for you to be brought back home.

      Another thing we would like to disclose is that if someone were to help you leave home o if you were to stay with anyone, then they could be charged with harboring a runaway. This is a criminal offense and the severity of the charges depends on police and/or your parents. One option you have is to contact your local police and ask them in general terms what would happen to a youth in your situation. You do not have to give them identifying information in order to get an answer. Another option you have is to contact our hotline at 1800-RUNAWAY and we can make that call for you.

      We are not here to tell you what to do, but we do want you to be safe. Some questions to think about if you were to leave are:
      - Do I have a safe place to stay?
      - Do I know anyone that is willing to help me along the way?
      - Do I know anyone that is willing to take the risk of harboring a runawy?
      - How am I going to survive? Food? Money? Shelter? Transportation?
      - Do I have a safe, solid plan?
      - What is my plan B in case my first plan doesn’t work out?
      - If I was forced to return home, what does that look like?

      We hoped this helped and are glad that you have reached out to NRS. If you want to discuss your situation in more detail, give us a call on our hotline at 1800-RUNAWY or chat with us online. We look forward to your call or chat.

      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


      • 17 years old needing a way out.

        I need some help. My mother for the last 5 years has abused drugs, emotionally and physically abuses my three siblings and I, and now has a baby on the way. My father is not responsible enough to take us, and is always in and out of jail. We are not financially stable and we live with my little brothers friend's parents, who recently have had their children taken by CPS. I just turned 17 at the end of Feb. 2016. I have been thinking about running away to stay with my boyfriend's cousin in Vegas, NV. About four days ago, my mother hit my boyfriend and he hit her back. Police were called, but nothing was done about the situation, except for him having to leave. I don't know what to do at this point. I'm not allowed to have a job living with my mother, and she doesn't work to support us. She get welfare and foodstamps to live off of. My boyfriend's cousin's house is an ideal safe place to go for meand finish school, but I am scared my mom will call the police or end up having my siblings taken from her by the state of california, where we live. Please somebody help. What should I do!?

        Comment


        • Re: 17 california run away rights

          Hello there,

          We’re glad you found us online and felt comfortable reaching out for help. We’re so sorry your mother has been emotionally and physically abusive towards you and your siblings on top of her drug abuse. It sounds like there is quite a lot of instability and you’re considering running away to your boyfriend’s cousin in Las Vegas. Please keep in mind we aren’t here to judge, but there do tend to be some things to consider before leaving. Running away is normally a status offense; however, harboring a runaway and crossing state lines can involve legal risks. It might be helpful to go over some of these risks with your boyfriend’s cousin to make sure they are okay with any risks involved. It sounds like you’ve got some concerns of your own as far as the police getting involved and staying in school. Good for you for wanting to finish school and find a safe place for you to live.

          A few resources you might find helpful are Alateen http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/for-alateen which provides support for young people who have a family member struggling with alcoholism or other drug issues. There is also National Safe Place which connects young people to safety and shelter. Not all cities participate, but there areseveral throughout California. We’ll be here to continue discussing your situation and hopefully help you come up with a plan. We hope this gives you a start and wishyou the best of luck!
          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 and running away

            Hello I'm 13 I live in California and I've been going through so much. Would it be illegal for me to runaway? What is the consequence?

            Comment


            • re: 13 and running away

              Hey there,

              We're sorry to hear that you are having a tough time at home. We aren't legal experts but we can give you some general information about running away. Running away isn't directly illegal. It is a status offense looked down upon because of your age. Generally, if you leave home and your family files a runaway report for you, the police would look for you and you would likely be made to go back home. Your parents have a right to file a report no matter what is happening. If there is abuse happening, you may want to consider talking to the police, any adults that can help, or local CPS agencies. Depending on where you are, the adults that you stay with could be charged with harboring a runaway, if they are helping you to stay away. What happens after that, depends on the police or your parents and what they would like to see happen.

              Hopefully this information was helpful. If you need further assistance, please reach out to us via chat or calling us. We are open 24/7.

              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


              • i have a question on how emancipation works

                If I were to go to California, get emancipated, then returned to Texas. Would I still be considered emancipated?

                Comment


                • RE: i have a question on how emancipation works

                  Hello,

                  Unfortunately we here at NRS are not legal experts. We can only speak generally on this topic. Here’s what our resources say about emancipation in California:

                  In the state of California, there are three ways to become emancipated.

                  1) get married
                  2) join the military
                  3) go to court and have the judge declare you emancipated.

                  For a judge to declare a minor emancipated, the minor….

                  o Must be at least fourteen years old.
                  o Must be living apart from parents with their consent or acquiescence.
                  o Must be managing finances and have a legal source of income.
                  o The judge must find that emancipation is in best interest.
                  o The judge also wants to see that minor is in school or has a GED.

                  It does NOT say you must be a resident of the state. However, keep in mind, the process for emancipation is typically very long. And, it is not clear if you would only be emancipated in that state. It sounds like it would only be for California, since each state has a different set of rules for this process. So, if you were emancipated in CA, it doesn’t seem likely you’d be considered emancipated in TX. If you wanted to call in here at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), we’d be happy to connect you to a legal aid resource that could answer these questions for you.

                  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


                  • my sister

                    I can relate to you, my little sister is 14 and she has been hanging out with the wrong crowd, my mother isn't perfect but she isn't terrible. My mother suffers from much depression and my sister doesn't realize that depression is a sickness and my mother can't be there at all Times. I am 21 years of age and I have been taking care of my mother and sister since I was 8. I can say I'm proud of myself but also tired. My sister is constantly threatening on running away to friends houses. I try to convince her to stay but she's never satisfied with what I have to say. I have had times where I wanted to run away especially when I was her age. At 7 my step dad was doing horrible things to me till I was 15 and I try to keep my head up high for my sister (which is her father) she hasn't ran away just yet but I fear she might.

                    Comment


                    • Re: 17 california run away rights

                      Hello,
                      Thank you for reaching out to us. We’re sorry to hear that you’ve had such a tough time at home with your sister. It sounds like you’ve done your best to be a source of support for her and your mom and she’s really struggling to want to stay at home. Your sister is really lucky to have you there, especially since it sounds like you can relate to how she’s been feeling and you try to show her that you’re there for her. If it sounds like your sister needs someone to talk to and she won’t come to you, feel free to give her our phone number. We won’t tell her what to do, but we will do our best to make sure she is as safe as possible. We are a confidential hotline and she can reach us 24/7, so there’s always someone available for her. If you feel you need to find resources in your community to help you as you continue to support your family, you can feel free to give us a call as well. Regardless of what you or your sister decide to do, we are here to support both of you and we will do our best to help you stay as safe as you can.
                      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)
                      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                      Comment


                      • running away in california being a foster child

                        I'm 16, turning 17 in September. I'm a foster child and I am very unhappy in my home I'm trying to get back with a former foster mother but that may take some time and I don't want to continuously move if I end up at a temporary bad home like this one. What are all the consequences for a run away and what can happen? Cps isnt helping me or answering my calls I'm getting no where and I want to run

                        Comment


                        • Re: running away in california being a foster child

                          Hello There!

                          Thank you for reaching out to us about this. That sounds like a frustrating situation. We are glad you contacted us for assistance. We aren’t legal experts, but can offer some information. Contacting CPS was a good decision. Perhaps the previous foster mother you mention could contact them as well. In most locations, if you run away, your current guardians can file a runaway report if they choose. If this happens, the police typically consider this a status offence would most likely bring you back home to them if you were to come in contact with them. In addition, the person/people that you stay with could potentially be charged with harboring a runaway. Contacting a local police station for advice is an option.
                          Again, we are really glad that you reached out to us. It takes a lot of courage to ask for help and you are trying to plan out your options in advance which is smart.
                          If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call or chat with us.
                          We are here to listen and help.

                          Best Wishes,
                          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


                          • runaway is looking for emancipation

                            Hi I currently live in a home that is emotional abusive, I am currently considering running away. If and when I follow though with my decision, I know I want to become emancipated when it happens. However when I notified my guardians about my thoughts they told me they would not sign for the approval. Is there another way to approach this situation?? Please reply in detail.

                            Comment


                            • Re: runaway is looking for emancipation

                              Hello there,

                              Thank you for writing to us through our online forum here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). From what you shared, it seems you have reached a breaking point with the way your family has been mistreating you. You do not deserve to be mistreated in any way. Perhaps you may benefit from reaching out the Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org.

                              You mentioned wanting to leave and emancipate yourself, however, when you shared this plan with your guardians they dismissed the idea. We, unfortunately, are not legal experts and cannot say specifically how you can emancipate yourself another way. Generally, you would have to apply through family court and stand before a judge proving you are independent and that you can care and provide for yourself. It may help to consult with a free legal aid resource for consultation or contact family court in your area. You may locate your nearest legal aid office by visiting the following link: http://lawhelpca.org/. You may also learn more about emancipation here: http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-emancipation.htm.

                              We hope this helps. We do not have legal expertise on the issue of emancipation so we apologize for not providing a more detailed option, but if you would like to talk more about your situation and learn more about some options or resources we would be glad to brainstorm some with you. Please reach out by phone or chat for more immediate services.

                              Be safe and 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


                              • Help me.

                                Hello. I'm 17 years old and I live in fresno county. I am being mentally, emotionally, and physically abused by my mother who is a methamphetamine addict. We physically fought yesterday and she left claw marks in my face. I use to do the drug with her but I've been trying to stay clean for the past two months but the drug is ALWAYS there. Honestly that is so much easier sinse i recwntly got a good paying job. Yet, she happens to live down the street from my grandparents who I stayed last night with... My grandparents on the other hand won't let me call the police. I honestly have no where to go. I would really love to run away but there is no where that if police got involved it wouldn't be considered safe. I also tend to suffer from self mutilation and manic depressive dissorder. I am list and don't k own what to do.

                                Comment

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