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17 year old Runaway from VA

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  • #16
    Hello I’m 17 I live on Virginia and I want to runaway to go to Idaho. Would the police look for me if I ran to another state?


    • ccsmod4
      ccsmod4 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for contacting 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.
      Just so that you know we are not legal experts and only can provide some general legal information when it comes to someone running away or someone assisting/aiding a person running away.

      Someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and their name is listed in the national crime data base. If located by police in any state they may be detained and have actions taken to be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.

      If you would like to talk more in detail 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.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).

      Take care,

  • #17
    Hi, I am 17 and I’m thinking about running way because my adoptive parents are mentally and physically abusive. Ive tried to get help by talking to my schools consulars, police, and trusted adults, but they always end up never helping like they promised. I currently live in Virginia and I would like to know if I ran away to live with a friend, who is willing to let me stay with them, will the police make me go back? I plan on staying with the friend until I get enough money to take a flight to Missouri to live with my grandparents.


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at NRS and we appreciate you sharing a bit about your situation. It sounds like your parents have been making home dangerous and stressful for you, so it's understandable you would be wanting to leave. Abuse of any kind is never okay and we are sorry to hear the adults you reached out to haven't intervened yet. You deserve to be treated with respect and to feel safe at home. It was very brave of you to speak up about the abuse from your adoptive parents.

      While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally on this. If you leave home without permission as a minor, your adoptive parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your adoptive parents know where you are staying or you come into contact with law enforcement, the police would most likely bring you back home.

      We know this must be an incredibly tough situation to be in and we truly want to be a support for you during this time. If you want to talk more in-depth about your situation and possible options, please do not hesitate to contact us directly. We are available 24/7 by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through our live chat services at

      Stay safe and good luck,

  • #18
    Hello. I’m in a very bad place with my mom after years of verbal and some physical assault, and I’ve attempted suicide unsuccessfully. I’m considering doing it again, but before I do I want to know what other options I have. I have places I can go to but my mom will consider me a run away if I leave. What will happen if she does ? Can I get in trouble ? If I try to get emancipated what will happen ? What’s the process ?


    • 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 sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services. Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
      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.
      If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).

      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe and stay strong,

  • #19
    Hello. I have done things that my parents might find out about soon. If they find out, they will hit me and probably even kill me. I am 17, almost 18, and want to run away until my 18th birthday. If i run away and don’t get caught until after i’m 18, will I be returned to my parents?


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment

      Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We’re very sorry to hear that you live in an unsafe home. We are not legal experts, but if you ran away your parents could file a runaway report, meaning you would be returned home if you were located before you turned 18. If you were found after you turned 18 then it would basically be a safety check. When considering running away it can be helpful to ensure that it is the best option. One way to do this would be to talk to a friend or trusted adult, like a friend’s parent. It is also helpful to have a plan. It can be helpful to consider where you are going to stay, how you are going to get there, and what you are going to bring with you. In addition to planning how you are going to run away, it is also helpful to consider what life on your own will be like. For example, will you be going to school, how are you going to provide for yourself, and what are you going to do after your 18th birthday.

      Thanks again for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us anytime at our website to talk over your plan to run away. We are available 24/7 and are completely confidential.

      Stay safe,
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