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Arkansas minor runaway laws.

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  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    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 seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.

    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.

    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 forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    hey i am thinking about running away again but last time also my first time ever running away the arkansas officer said he would put me in jail as a minor for running away can he legally do that? im 17 i turn 18 in august and i need out of my house right now but not in jail.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod5
    commented on Guest's reply
    We are glad you reached out to us for help and support. You are being an amazing friend and it is obvious how much you care and how much you want to help. Your friend is in a very difficult and stressful situation and it sounds like he might need more support and help than you can provide right now.

    Let’s start with some of the basics. It is not illegal for your friend to run away. It may however be a problem for you to help him or your Dad to harbor him. Every jurisdiction has its own policies on enforcement and some don’t enforce that unless it becomes a chronic issue and the parents object. If your friend runs away and your Dad provides him a place to stay for the short term it most likely would not be a problem. If your friend’s parents say it is ok he could stay longer.

    In regards to getting him therapy without parental consent, that can also be tricky. You would need to get a legal opinion from an attorney to understand all the applicable laws in Arkansas. We can help you find legal aide in your community if needed.

    You can let your friend know that he can contact us anytime 24/7 via a chat through our website or call us on our crisis hotline at (800) RUNAWAY. Both are completely confidential. There are a lot of resources to help him with his mental health issues and his unsafe home life with his family. We can discuss programs and services that can provide help and support included shelters, transitional living, gay support groups and mental health programs.

    If your friend feels he needs to get out immediately he can always call the police at 911 or social services for help. We can and want to help your friend. Thank you for supporting your friend and contacting us.

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    So my friend has severe mental health problems. He has intense anxiety and depression and lately, almost committed suicide. His parents are terrible. They are homophobic and recently found out he's gay. They are rude, ignorant, and quite frankly, crazy. His mother ven threatened his 15-14 y/o friends. I've tried helping him many times, getting him medicine or therapy, buying him a new phone so that he contact his friends, and trying my best to just listen. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I'm not helping enough. I'd like to help run away from his emotionally abusive and mentally exhausting parents, but I don't know if that's legal. He is 15, living in the state of Arkansas, and has recently been going through a lot of terrible things...even more so than usual. Can I let him live with me without getting my single (widowed) dad in trouble? Is it legal to get him therapy without the consent of one of his guardians? Basically, how can I help him without hurting him even more in the process? Because I know he needs help, I just don't know where to start.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod16
    commented on Guest's reply
    HI, thank for reaching out; we are glad that you did. It sounds like things are really awful and scary for you at home with domestic violence and mental illness, it's understandable to want to leave. Maybe you can talk to your dad and he can consent for you to get into long-term shelter, called a Transitional Living Program, or TLP. We can search in our database to see if one is available where you live. Or, since he knows what is happening to you, you can ask him not to file a runaway report (which is the only way police would be involved) and give you written permission to be with your friends.
    To discuss this further, please reach out to our live services at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or via live chat through this website. We look forward to hearing from you.
    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Okay so a lot of domestic violence is going on in the house I live in. My stepmom is so clinically crazy she can’t sign any documents which means she can’t leave no matter how hard my dad tries to make her. She has caused a lot of physical pain and mental pain to me. My father is unable to do anything about it and recently the physical has gotten worse. I have a place to stay I’ll be safe and I am 17. If they look for me and say I have to come back I will refuse and explain everything to them but my question is if I run away VOLUNTARILY what can they do?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).
    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.
    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 forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Can a minor get in trouble for letting a runaway minor stay with them?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to NRS. It seems like you are going through a great deal. While mental abuse is more difficult to "prove," you totally deserve to be in a safe and validating environment.

    We would love to check out if Arkansas has any free to cheap legal aid resources. We are not legal experts, however to our knowledge emancipation may be lengthy, but it still could be worth checking out. If you choose to leave home, your guardian could file a runaway report. This means, if the police were to find you, they would most likely return you back home. However, 17 can be a gray area. It could be possible that they choose to not investigate or follow-up because you are so close to being 18 and seem to be pretty independent already. The best way to find out how police would handle your situation is to directly contact your local non-emergency police line. This is something we could help you do if you gave us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us through our website, 1800runaway.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

    Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I’m 17, have a job, graduated with my GED. My guardian who has complete guardianship of me is mentally abusive but I don’t think it’s really enough to file an abuse report. She gives me anxiety, depression, sleeping, and eating issues. I’ve been looking for a way out, I’d like to contact a lawyer and take it to court for emancipation but I don’t have money for a lawyer. Any way I can leave without her permission? (I live in Arkansas)

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here at NRS. It sounds like you are thinking about leaving and want to know more about runaway laws. While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally about what might happen.

    18 is usually the age you are able to leave home without permission. If you leave home as minor, your parents have the option to report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. While you would not be arrested, police can return you home if you are found. Runaway protocols can vary by state, county, and even police department. Some police are more lenient with older youth and may not force you home. To learn more about the runaway policy in your area, you can call the local police department's non-emergency line to ask questions about your situation.

    We hope this information is useful. Please do reach out anytime by phone or live chat if you would like to talk more! 1-800-RUNAWAY; 1800runaway.org

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    If a 17 year old runs away with 6 months until they turn 18 would the law force the 17 year old to go home?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. It can be disheartening to feel so frequently overwhelmed. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

    We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

    It seems like your parents don't fully understand how their actions are making you feel. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you’d like, you can also call us directly at 1-800-RUNAWAY and we can set up a conference call with your parents so one of our trained crisis workers can act as a mediator.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    Stay safe,
    NRS

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Guest
    Guest replied
    I am 17 turning 18 this October. My parents put me through a lot of emotional guilt and I'm feeling very overwhelmed and sad. My mom degrades me and my dad backs her up. I'm wanting to leave for a week or two with a trusted friend and her family. They can continue to take me to school and her family is ok with me staying. I dont want to upset my parents but at the same time I want to do what is best for me. My parents are not ok with me leaving, what should I do?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod3
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there. Thanks for contacting us here at NRS. We know that it can be difficult to see someone we care about having a tough time, and we commend you for trying to determine the best ways to offer support.

    Generally speaking, the best way to avoid any potential legal ramifications in letting a minor stay with you is to get consent from the parents or legal guardians. It sounds like there may be room for this based off of some of the issues that he's been having with his grandparents, so initiating that conversation with them might be a good starting point. And while it looks like your state does not have a specific law pertaining to the harboring of runaways, contributing to the delinquency of a minor IS considered a crime. A person contributes to delinquency when that person aids, causes or encourages a minor to, among other things, be habitually absent from home without good or sufficient cause and without the consent of his guardian. Harboring a runaway may fall within this category.

    If consent is not given by his grandparents and you're still concerned about getting into trouble, consulting with a legal professional would be an appropriate step to take from there.

    Thank you again for reaching out and for trying to offer your support to this young person. You're making a difference!

    NRS
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