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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,
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