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  • 16 running away in CT

    I am wondering what the laws are for a 16-year old running away in Connecticut. If they run away, and the police find them, will they be sent back home or are they old enough for the police to not be able to do anything?

  • #2
    Re: 16 running away in CT

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard and we hope that we can be of assistance to you. In regards to someone being 16 years old and a runaway, this usually entitles the legal guardian to file a runaway report with the local police in your area and that status is given to the minor until he or she chooses to return home. Generally, the age of adulthood is 18 in most states but the laws vary from state to state in that, some local laws do differ according to the county the child ran away from. We usually recommend that you call your local police to find out more about what the age of leaving home without parental consent means for that child.

    However, running away from home isn't a crime but because the child gets listed as a runaway with the local police and stays this way until they are found; when they are found, it is the responsibility of the officers to return the child to the custodial parents home. Unless, the child refrain from any wrongdoing while they are on the run, there is not much to fear in terms of going to jail. The child is only held if he or she gets into risky behaviors or commit a crime but some states do hold you and send you to juvenile hall if this is their policy, with or without the child getting into any trouble. It totally depends on the methods used by your local police officers. And when you call the local police, please make sure that you get second opinions because people interpret laws differently.

    There is not a lot of places a child can go legally when they run away. A shelter is one option but shelters are required by law to notify the parents for consent for the child to stay at the shelter. The other thing to think about is where the child stays because individuals are likely to get charged for harboring a runaway if they provide shelter for them. We hope that we were able to answer some of your questions and if you need legal services to take it one step further in your search for answers, please provide a city or county for our search to be tailored to your needs. We hope that you take this time to consider some of what we stated to you. We are available to talk to you or anyone you are concern with at our crisis line at 1800runaway 24 hours a day. We look forward to helping you more in the future. Good 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


    • #3
      Re: 16 running away in CT

      Thanks for your help.
      So basically what you're saying is if I do run away and the police find me, they have to send me back home?
      And if I'm staying at a friend's house, her parents will get charged for harboring a runaway?

      I would like more specific information for West Hartford if you would.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 16 running away in CT

        Hello,

        Thank you for responding so soon and taking the time to truly get the best answers to your situation. Our approach to your questions earlier was simply a matter of speaking in general terms about what most runaways face with the law, but it is often more important to get answers from local authority or legal services to answer specific questions about the law for runaways. You certainly know your parents the best and can attest to what they are capable of, so it is probably knowing for sure whether or not your parents are going to file a runaway report. It is their right in that it protects them from being charged with neglect if you were to get hurt while on the run and it helps to verify your status if you were picked up by the cops, so it is likely that they are going to have to take you home.

        We are not in the position to give legal advice for specific cities but we hoped that we were able to provide you with some general ideas. However, your parents can only file charges on people responsible for harboring you if they were to find out who they were. It is a right they have but can use to exercise it or not. The main important thing is that you remain safe and it could very well be that you probably feel more safe where you are now instead of home. Information about laws change frequently and vary all over, so it is probably best if you were to consider having someone (if you did not want to call on your own) calling your local police for info about it. We tried looking up legal services in West Hartford and found that a place called The Bridge Youth Shelter provided legal services and that number is 860-521-6892, it is 24 hours and free to call. It was the only one listed for legal services. You are welcome to call that number anytime to see if they are able to talk about what you are risking. Please remember that we are here 24 hours also so if you needed to reach us at our 1800runaway number, we are here to listen to anything you want to talk about. Until we hear from you, please stay strong and empowered. Good 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


        • #5
          I want to leave my home

          I have been beatin as a child very very bad and my sister has committed suicide and my aunt died and my grandma also. And last summer in July my mom cheated on my stepdad for a drug attict boyfriend and he was 25 and my mom was 45 he had been living with me my sis and bro and mom and just in June he had died of an overdose my mom has done a lot for me and is trying to get back with my step dad but I don't want to live there anymore my brother and sis are suicidal and my mom always takes her meds so she is very loopy a lot of the time and I have thought about suicide various times but I'm am jus filled with anger stress and a lot of emotions. I can't stand the way my life is rite now. Are there any options? I would very much love to live with my uncle up in Maine if that is possible I am 16 and I live in southington ct. Please respond as soon as possible. Thank you very much!

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: I want to leave my home

            Hello,
            Thank you for reaching out to us for help. If you need help right away, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). It sounds like you have gone through so much. This must be an incredibly difficult time for you. You mentioned that you are thinking about suicide, and that your siblings might be suicidal as well. If you are thinking about hurting yourself, the National Suicide Hotline might be a good resource for you.

            National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

            You said you cannot stand your life right now. This must be a terrible feeling. You have options besides suicide. We are glad that you reached out to us for help. If you are feeling desperate right now and you think you are in danger of taking your own life, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or the Suicide Hotline number above right away.

            It sounds like you are living in an unsafe environment at home. You mentioned that you have been beaten. Nobody deserves to live like that. You should know that you have the right to file an abuse report. Are you still living with the person who did this? You might consider filing a report. Filing an abuse report can be extremely scary, so we can help you with that if you want. If you want us to file the report, all you have to do is call 1-800-RUNAWAY and tell us the information. If you would like to file a report yourself, you can call the Connecticut Child Abuse Reporting Hotline at 1-800-842-2288.

            You said that you would like to live with your uncle in Maine. This might be an option for you, but there are some things you might want to think about. Is your uncle willing to try to get custody of you? If you run away without your mom’s permission, then she might report you as a runaway. This means that you probably will not be charged with a crime, but you can be taken into custody by the police if they find you, and they might force you to go home. Your uncle could get into legal trouble if he helps you across state lines, doesn’t report that you are with him, or if he obstructs a lawful police investigation. Going across state lines also comes with more risks.

            If you would rather go through the proper legal channels, you might think about either talking to your uncle about custody, or emancipation. In either case, it might help to speak to a lawyer. We are not legal experts, but we can give you some resources for legal aid and answer any of your questions to the best of our ability. I’ve included a number below for legal aid in Connecticut:

            STATEWIDE LEGAL SERVICES: 1-800-453-3320(9:00am-3:00pm Monday to Friday)

            You have been through so much, and it is understandable why you want to leave. This must be a terrible time for you. We are here to help and support you in any way we can. All of our services are confidential and anonymous. If you need to talk to someone, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, our 24/7 hotline. We also have a live web chat between the hours of 4:30pm and 11:30pm central time if you would like to talk to us that way. We are looking forward to hearing from 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


            • #7
              What's the worst that could happen if I run away at 17 in a town near Los Angeles?

              I already know that if I did run away, I'd stay with my 19 year-old friend who has a stable job, a home, and could help support me. I have everything planned out, I'm not looking for someone to ask me a million preparation questions like every other person on every other website. I have a good plan, I just need to know what could legally happen to me if I were to run away at seventeen. I'm sixteen and a half and I only think I can stand half of one more year with my mother. What could the police do to me in California (Near LA, Bakersfield, Shafter, et cetera) if they caught me, or would they even be willing to go out catch me? What could my mum do? What could the police do? What could I do? Thank you.

              Comment


              • #8
                re: What's the worst that could happen if I run away at 17 in a town near Los Angele

                Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have really thought about running away and that you are set on going. We’re definitely not here to tell you what to do or to not go. Is there anything in particular that could change that would make you feel more comfortable staying?

                Although we are not legal experts, we can tell you that in most places at the age of seventeen your mom would be able to file a runaway report on you if you left. What that means is that if you were picked up by the police, you would be committing what is generally considered a status offense and be returned to your mom. You mentioned that your plan is to stay with a 19 year old friend. Although running away is not considered against the law, harboring a runaway is usually a criminal offense. That means that while you aren’t breaking the law, your friend might be. If you have other questions about laws specific to your area and want to know exactly what might happen you could always call your local police department through the non-emergency line. In Bakersfield, that number is 661-327-7111.

                If there is anything else we can do, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day. We are also here from 4:30-11:30pm CST via live chat at 1800runaway.org. Thanks again for reaching out. 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


                • #9
                  I'm 16 in CT and want to live with a different family member....

                  I live with my mother but I don't want to. I'm kind of an emotional wreck and I want to go to therapy but she doesn't seem to care. I know if I try to live with my grandparents she won't consent, but I'd rather live with them because I know they will provide for me. I don't feel like being in this house is what is best for me but I'm just not sure if it is considered running away if I leave my house and stay with my grandparents without her consent, and if I or my other family will get in trouble in anyway. Please help me

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us about what is going on. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation right now and it’s great that you have contacted us for assistance. Hopefully we can help you find resources that may be able to assist you.

                    You mentioned that you are an emotional wreck and would like to go to therapy. Can you explain to us what you mean by emotional wreck? We are sorry to hear that your mom won’t talk with you about therapy; have you talked with a school counselor? They may be able to meet with you for a certain amount of time before having to contact your legal guardians for permission. They may also be able to help you locate some resources that could do the same thing.

                    It sounds like you have thought about going to stay with your grandparents but said that your mom won’t allow you too. It also sounds like you are considering leaving home and going to your grandparent’s house but you are concerned about your family getting into trouble. We aren’t legally trained here so we can’t tell you for sure but we can give you some general ideas of what may happen if you leave home. Generally speaking, if you leave home without parent’s permission, your parents may be able to file a runaway report with the local police department. Running away can be considered a status offense which is something you can’t do when you are under 18; if the police were to find you, they may take you home or take you to the police department and contact your mom. Also, if you are with family, your mom may have the option to press charges for harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Again, we aren’t legally trained so we can’t say for sure what would happen but the local police would best be able to tell you what would happen if you were to leave home. If you would like to call them but you’re uncomfortable doing it alone, we can help you make a conference call and help you talk with them. We can also help you locate other resources such as shelter or legal aid if you would like.

                    You can reach us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)if you would like to talk more or want to explore your options. We also have online chat services that are available from 4:30 PM-11:30 PM (CST) if you would rather talk with us that way; that can be found on our website (www.1800runaway.org).

                    We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the 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


                    • #11
                      Thank you for the speedy reply! I appreciate the help. I have been feeling my control over my emotions slipping away from me, I feel like a monster sometimes. I punched and kicked at my walls and that left cracks, and I also self-harmed when extremely upset. I really feel like I can be helped if I could talk to a therapist because I'd rather not feel like a crazy teenager. My grandparents think it would be best for me to live with them as well because my mother is quite irresponsible and only cares about herself. She rolls her eyes at me a lot, and doesn't really care about anything I have to say unless it's beneficial to her. Either that, or she can somehow tell me what to do. I suffer from a sort of inferiority complex, which can be pretty crippling paired with her desire to use me as an outlet for her control problem. She tries to use me to her advantage in certain situations and it drives me absolutely crazy. My aunt, uncle, cousin, and grandparents live together and they have an extra room they said they would let me use if I needed to. I just don't want to get anyone in any legal trouble. The issue of leaving home has arisen before over the summer and my mom started yelling at me, and although she even agreed when I said living with my grandparents would be better for my well-being, "she was my mom so I was staying with her" and that was all she had for an argument. I just feel she's an unfit parent and I could maybe get help with the way I feel away from her, because she triggers it rather than helps me at all. I think I will maybe ask my papa (grandfather) to talk to the local police with me and help me explore my options, because I am sort of afraid to do it alone and would like to have the support from some adult I trust who may know how to explain my situation clearly to them. Thank you for your advice and I will definitely look into talking to someone about it

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: zoiew

                        Hi again,

                        Wow, it sounds like you’re feeling really overwhelmed with your mom. That’s understandable because it seems like she hasn’t been listening fully to what you are feeling. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

                        It sounds like you have a plan on how to get some support. That’s great. You seem comfortable reaching out for some support from us, we hope that you are able to find some support from people in your life.

                        If you’d like to talk more or have any questions about what we talked about above, feel free to contact us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are completely confidential and anonymous. If calling isn’t your thing, you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central Time.

                        We look forward to your call or chat.

                        Best of luck to you,

                        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


                        • #13
                          ARunawaysMom

                          Okay my child is sixteen and about to be 17 and I am told they have a warrent out for his arrest he's never been in trouble with the law and he is in states coustudy will they put him in jail if he gets caught or turns himself in? Or will they just drop his case

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            re: A Runaways Mom

                            Hey there,

                            Thank you for being able to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline, it seems like there is a lot going on in your family right now and we are glad that you were able to confide in us. We are here to listen and to help you explore your options to the best of our ability.

                            Unfortunately, we are not legal experts here which means that we would not be able to necessarily help you in that area, but we will be able to refer you to a legal aid that would be able to help you. From you post it seems like you are in Connecticut, we can go ahead and give you a legal aid that you would be able to contact in that state. If the number is inaccurate, please feel free to give us a call back and we would be able to help you find the right number for your states. The information provided below is for Connecticut:

                            STATEWIDE LEGAL SERVICES

                            1-800-453-3320

                            9:00am-3:00pm Monday to Friday

                            Or

                            CONNECTICUT LEGAL SERVICES

                            Phone number: 203-756-8074
                            Toll-free for Connecticut only: 1-800-413-7797

                            9:00am-5:00pm Monday to Friday

                            We hope we were able to provide you with the right resources, if not please do not hesitate to give us a call and we would be able assist you in the best way we can. We wish you the best of luck in whatever it is you decide to do.

                            Thank you,

                            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


                            • #15
                              so I'm 16 almost 17 and I used to live with my half brother and his two step brothers, only my half brother has half custody of me. We all seperated from our old house and now I live with his step brother that doesn't have any custody of me. What would happen if v I ran away but they know who I'm with but doesn't know where they're at? Even if I told the cops he isn't my guardian would they still take me back to his house? Please answer fast

                              Comment

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