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16 yr old considering running away

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  • 16 yr old considering running away

    Hey, Im 16 living in the state of West Virginia. For personal reasons that i really dont want to talk about, I have considered running away. My intention though, isnt just to leave and that be the end of it, but to head to an entirely different state, and find someone to stay with. I have a close person in mind that will definately take me in, so that wont be a problem. What would happen if I were to be found there? Would anything happen to that person? And what if I were to turn 18 before anyone knew where I was?

  • #2
    RE: 16 yr old considering running away


    Thanks for reaching to the National Runaway Switchboard. Deciding if you should leave home can be a major decision and it seems that you have been doing some thinking. We are unaware of what is causing you to want to leave but we hope that you are safe. Running away is considered a status offense and not illegal in most states. If a youth is reported as a runaway, their name will get entered into a national law enforcement database. Generally when runaway youth are found, regardless if they left the state or not, their parent or legal guardian is contacted and arrangements are made for the youth’s return home. Some states may have different penalties for runaways, however, you can contact your local police nonemergency hotline to try and determine the consequences for your state. Alternatively, you may also contact a legal aid organization for additional information. Youth Service Systems Inc, (800) 977-8918, provides legal services and they may be able to answer runaway questions for your state. With regards to the person who you would stay with, they could possibly be charged with harboring or abiding a runaway and again these charges may vary from state to state. Generally after a youth turns 18, their name is removed from the database because 18 is the age of majority in most states.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). Our hotline is confidential, anonymous, toll-free, and available 24 hours 7 days. We hope the information provided helps and we wish you 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!


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