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Can I run away and still go to school?

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  • ccsmod3
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there!

    Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you took that step. We're sorry to hear that you're having problems at home that are causing you to want to runaway--that sounds like a really tough spot to be in.

    Running away is a big move, and it's generally a good idea to spend some time thinking through a plan before making that decision. Consider where you'll go, how you'll get there, and what you'll do to survive once there. Going to school is definitely still a possibility thanks to the McKinney-Vento Act, which allows homeless children and unaccompanied youth to register for school without providing most of the normal information they'd usually have to provide to enroll, or a parent to enroll them, and they can start school immediately. That said, enrolling in school shouldn't necessarily get you caught in itself. School officials should only contact Child Protective Services if there are suspicions of abuse, and being without a parent or guardian is generally not considered grounds for an abuse report based on neglect. It's possible that you might get caught if your parents were to file a missing persons report, which is certainly something to be aware of.

    If you have any other questions or would like to chat in more detail about your situation, please feel free to reach out to us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY, or by chatting with us live at www.1800runaway.org. We're available 24/7 and are always happy to listen, and to help.

    Take care.

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi when I turn 16 in plan on running away to California with friend in the same situation as me (emotionally abusive house hold) and we have a stable plan to get there and live there but I want us to continue schooling so is there a way I could enroll the both of us in high school without getting caught as run aways.

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  • ccsmod0
    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.
    The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
    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. 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 would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
    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's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Muy dad is abusie so can I run away and still go to school

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. We are not legal experts but if she is doing online school they most likely could still send her the homework. Some schools do require youth to be residing in the state that they are enrolled in. To find out the best answer it would be best to call the school district and talk to them about the situation.
    We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are available 24/7 to listen and to provide support. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My granddaughter goes to school, online in Tulsa Oklahoma. She recently had a run in with her dad and fled to her grandparents in Missouri. Can the school in Tulsa stop sending her homework and expel her?.

    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. Issues between parents can definitely make life harder for you. Your mom shouldn't be treating you differently or harshly because of past mistakes. 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 (wherever they are, your current town or Atlanta).

    It seems like your parents don't completely understand how their issues are affecting you. 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 and we can conduct a conference call with your family so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

    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's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi my name is Mehkia. I am 13 years old and I want to runaway from home (I live in Georgia). My father and mother are mostly likely going to get a divorce soon and I don't want to live with either of them. My mother doesn't make me feel welcome at home and we are always getting into it about small things. I made a mistake when I was younger and ever since then I feel like she doesn't look at me the same and she says these abusive things. My dad is definitely not financially nor mentally stable enough to take care of me. He has been having an affair for 2 years now with 2 women and I just don't want to even stay with him. My mom is financially stable but she is just so emotionally abusive. Especially since my dad started his affair it is like if I do anything that she thinks is against her she immediately "punishes" me for it by manipulating me and telling me I'm doing something wrong, it has officially driven my insane. I can't stay with my mom's side of the family because we are not close but I am not sure about my dad's side. Most likely not because I am afraid they are going to send me home. I am not sure the legal offenses against minors running away. Oh, by the way my parents are going to move to Atlanta. I don't mind moving there but just not with them about being in the same city would definitely be risky. I am from Athens but I don't think it is smart to go there because someone with probably recognize me. I want to stay in Georgia but away from my parents. I do want to stay in school and I want to be safe. I am ready for whatever comes to me but I am wondering where I should go and what I should do in the long-term? Will anyone help me please?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    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 sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
    Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. 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 chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best
    We hope to hear from you soon.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hi I feel like I'm wasting/ wasted my life, my parents force me into the stuff I never wanted to do since I was little they make decisions on my without my opinion, and I've tried telling them that I don't feel ok, but they won't listen, especially my mom shes very manipulative she screams at me then the next moment she's sugarcoating her mistake. all my suicide attempts come from the rage I feel from their abuse I don't know what to do anymore I really want to live an exciting happy life, and I do love them but I feel like they aren't good for my future, anyways if I do choose to runaway will I still be able to get an education (of course in another state or city) or will they be able to find me. if so, how can i avoided being found out.

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  • ccsmod5
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out! In most states 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian.
    Generally, to be enrolled in school a legal guardian needs to be present. This might not always be the case, calling the school and asking how they might handle runaways may be helpful.
    We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.
    When leaving with someone it’s always good to make sure you have options. It can be helpful to be sure to have access to your phone at all times, and have possibly a friend or relative who you can confide in to keep in contact with in case of an emergency.
    If you would like to discuss in further detail, please reach out to us via chat or call. We are here 24/7 to help and support you.
    Stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm ***, I am recently 16 as of February 19th and I am dating a guy 21 years older than me but I think I might love him.. We want to run away together and start a life free of our pasts. It sounds amazing but I still need to go to school. I want to graduate and have a decent job. I need advice what should I do?
    Last edited by ccsmod5; 03-02-2021, 03:02 AM. Reason: Confidentiality

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there, thank you for reaching out to NRS through our forum-it takes a lot of courage to reach out and talk about what’s going on at home, and we will try to help to the best of our ability. First and foremost, you do not deserve to be physically assaulted at home, especially by your mother. You should be able to feel safe and have open communication with your family while living there. Since living conditions have not really been too healthy for you at home, it is without a doubt understandable that you would like to leave home and live somewhere else. One thing to try is to reach out to trusted family members or friends and see if they would be willing to take you in for a bit, so that you can leave home and also still attend classes as you would like. It is amazing that you enjoy school and definitely keep at it! Should you decide to run away from home, your legal guardian i.e. your mom could file a runaway report on you, and if the police happen to locate you at say a friend’s or family member’s house, they would be required by law to return you home. However, it might be advantageous for you to file an abuse report with your local police concerning what is going on at home and in the event that your mom files a runaway report and they find you, you will have some documentation against your mom that will act as a potential “safety net” for you. So, in the event that the police locate you, they will be apprehensive about just returning you home to someone that physically hits you. Also, if you are comfortable, try to reach out to a trusted teacher or counselor at school to talk about what is going on at home. Concerning your phone, it might be difficult to retrieve if your guardian has already taken it-it might be more helpful to ask to use the phone of a friend or family member, or maybe even your school could try to figure out something and let you use the landlines of the school until you are able to retrieve your phone. Another great resource for you could be the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline if you would like to reach out and talk to someone more in depth about what you are going though at home and they can give you even more resources tailored to cases of abuse. Should you decide to reach out to them, please call 1(800)-4-A-CHILD (422-4453). If you would like to talk further about anything that was mentioned above or if you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to NRS directly at 1(800)-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We are here to listen and help to the best of our ability 24/7.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hi im 12 and im having tons of issues ima be honest here i do lie and i can get an adutude but my mom has recently bashed my head on a wall so yeah but anyway i need help i have a phone but they took it away and it has not been charged in a while idk if i can be good long enough to withstand this i want to run but where do i go? and also i love school and want to attend if i do runaway but how do i get my phone back charge it then run if my parents know all my tricks?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your situation with us here at NRS. It sounds like there is a lot that you are facing at home and you are thinking about leaving before you turn 18. We want you to know that you are not alone in this and we are here 24/7 to support you and help as much as possible. You mentioned some things that raise concern for your safety and well-being. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it to child protective services. No one can force you to get married if you don't want to. If you do not want to report the abuse or you are not quite ready to do so, we encourage you to talk to any trusted adults about what's going on home. Perhaps there is a family member, teacher, counselor, or friend's parent you can go to for support.

    We encourage you to take whatever steps necessary to protect your safety. We also want to make sure you are informed about what could happen if you decide you need to leave before turning 18. If you leave home without permission, your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal so you will not get into any legal trouble. It is a status offense which means your parents can ask police to return you home if they know where you are staying. Once you are 18 you will be considered a legal adult with the legal freedom to choose where you live and where you go to college.

    If you would like to talk more about your situation and explore your possible options, please do not hesitate to contact us directly by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at 1800runaway.org. We are here 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible.

    Be safe,
    NRS
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