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Im 16 and hate living at home if i run away can the police force me to go back?

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  • I'm am 14 and I don't wanna live at home anymore I just feel like a piece of crap and I'd like to move in with my boyfriend who is 16. Could I get in trouble for that?

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    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We understand it can be hard to ask for help. We are sorry that you do not feel comfortable at home and that you feel this way.
      We are not legal experts but if you were to move in with your boyfriend, he and his family could be charged with harboring a runaway and your parents/guardians can file a runaway report and send the police to search for you. However, if you were to get your parents permission to live somewhere else, you could do so. It could be a good idea to talk to your parents and see if they are open to letting you leave home.
      It takes a lot for someone to ask for help, so thank you for reaching out. If you have any further questions or want to talk about your situation you can call us at 1-800-786-2929 or message us on ouru website www.1800runwaway.org. We are here to listen, here to help.

  • I'm not 16 I'm 15 but I have been living with a foster parent for 9 years just about but she has custody of me but she only want me because the check she gets from me. But her husband he abuses me verbally like he calls me two face, I'm not good, I'm a peice of sh*t,I'm a good little made,fat a$$ etc. And i used to hurt my self (cutting) and sufferd from depression but I'm okay I haven't cut I'm about a Year now I don't want to do that and I now I'm better than that to but I still have depression and I don't want to see a psychologist now more because I don't like to take meds makes me feel not myself and i ts not that bad. I just miss my real family so bad and then that on top of it.. My real dad is trying to get custody of me because I want to be with him but making a court date is so long. My foster parent she don't even tell him to stop like she don't care and she is a drunk if her husband leaves I've got it on video and send it to my dad because it can be used in court. ((But if I was to runaway at 15 what would happen like someone could pick me up and not be found until I was 18, would I get in trouble with the law and go to jail or what?)) I live in KY.

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you’re going through some really difficult times with your foster parents and we’d like to help.

      Firstly, we want to let you know that being abused in anyway is not okay and is nothing you deserve. It’s not your fault that your foster parent’s husband abuses you verbally and calls you names. It’s also very upsetting that your mother gets drunk around you and it makes sense how this could affect you negatively. Please feel free to reach out to us at 1-800-786-2929 to discuss with us your feelings and any way that we might be able to help you. We also can help you look for mental health counseling in your area, and you can also find providers using findtreatment.samhsa.gov. We would love to talk to you about any of your mental health concerns, including hurting yourself.

      As far as your questions about running away, we can try our best to give you general information about runaway laws. You can read more about general runaway laws on these forums, but generally in our experience, youth who run away are not arrested, and are just brought back to their guardians by police. If you have more specific questions, feel free to reach out so we can try our best to answer them.

      Best,
      NRS
      Last edited by ccsmod11; 07-28-2018, 04:42 PM.

  • I'm 15 years old and I'm in a bad situation with my family and if I stay with my house hold my life will fall into depression even worst and if I leave home for a couple of days I will feel better but will the cops find me or what happens when I come back home I'm dead

    Comment


    • ccsmod11
      ccsmod11 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out. Feel free to talk to us more about your situation, and to receive some support for depression or other mental health issues. If you run away from home and the police find you, they're most likely just going to return you back home. It's unlikely you'll get arrested, but we are not lawyers. If you are concerned that returning home will cause you to be unsafe, you can let the police know, and they can contact child protective services to help you out.

      Best,
      NRS

  • Hi I’m 16 and I have a place to stay and it’s a very stable home unlike the one I am in right now...I am thinking about running away but I don’t want anyone to get into trouble...I am currently trying to be emancipated too is there anything that can help that?

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. From your email to us here, we can see that you have very similar questions to a lot of our callers and you’re looking for some answers. It seems like there must be a lot going on in your life, especially at home. It’s great that you were able to find out some information about our hotline. Hopefully we can help.

      Legally you are a minor and under your guardian’s supervision until you are 18, or are emancipated by a court of law. If you decide to leave or move out home before then your guardians could file a runaway report on you. Running away is not a crime, but it is a status offense. This means the police could detain you until they release you to the care of your guardians. Harboring a runaway is when that party are not giving accurate information on a runaway’s whereabouts. That could lead to a number of different legal issues such as misdemeanor charges (fines or jail charges). From what we know it isn’t something that typically happens, but it is in place to detour individuals from helping runaway minors from not returning home or lying on a runaway’s behalf.

      We also have legal aid resources in our database. While we’re not law experts, we can try to find one in your area, there may be legal ways for you to be able to move out of your house. If you’re interested in emancipation, we connect you with those legal aid resources who can help you with that process. We’re here to try to brainstorm options with you.

      We’re here if you’d like to talk more about what’s going on at home. You are always welcome to call into our 24/7 crisis center, or use our chatting services via our website. However, the chatting service is not open 24/7. So the best way to tell us everything would be to just call into our hotline and talk to one of our trained liners.

      Be safe, NRS

  • Hello , I am 16 and I want to run away. I am property of DSS. i have a plan and I am aware and certain of the success rate and consequences if I do. But my question is if I return to my home at 18 can i still get in trouble by the police if someone reports my return for what i did two years ago ? By the way I live in South Carolina where it a status offense to run away

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello! Thank you for reaching out! It takes a lot of strength to ask for help and we appreciate your courage.
      It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into this situation. It is very smart to put this much planning into leaving. You might want to consider, if you haven’t already, where you might go, how you might get there, how you might support yourself, what important items or documents you would need to take with you, and what you might do in a medical emergency. 
      At National Runaway Safeline, we are not legal experts, but running away, like you mentioned, is a status offense. This means that it is not a criminal offense and you won’t get in legal trouble for running away. It is just something you can’t do because you are under the age of 18. It does mean that the police are able to return you to DSS if they find you. Once you turn 18, then you are legally allowed to go where you wish and can no longer be considered a runaway. Because this is not a criminal offense, no legal consequences should follow you into adulthood.
      If you have more questions or want to talk more specifically about your situation, feel free to call us at 1-800-786-2929. We are 24/7, toll free and completely confidential.
      Thanks for your question!

  • Im 16 and i ran away once. My parents found me after a while of reaching to my friends. We had gotten into an arguement the day before and they took my phone away and all my possesions. The next day i went to school. I usually ride the bus home. My parents dont know any of my friends. From what they have heard of they dont like any of them. Well i got onto one of my friends busses and stayed at her house. I wasnt worried or anything. I was honestly happy that i was away from the drama at home. My parents are really strict. Well throughout the time, my dad managed to get into my phone and he called all my friends and people i texted on the daily. One of my closest friends didnt know i ran away so she just told him i went to Janelles which was where i was staying. He got the address and went over. So i left because i didnt want to start anything with Janelles family. He took me to the police department and they signed me as a runaway. After a while the police officer told me Im not forced to live with my parents anymore at age 17. Im considering on leaving my house at that age. But i dont want my parents getting in

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,
      Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you’re having a difficult time at home with your parents. From what you have described, it sounds like your local police would not pursue you if you left home at 17 years of age. If you run away, your parents would not necessarily get in trouble, but they are obligated to notify the police that you are no longer with them.
      Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  • Leaving or Running Away

    I'm 16 and I hate being at home but my mother has full custody of me and I live in arkansas and I want to leave and Move with my sister or father but Idk if I can do that wait can I? also can they send me to jail for running away? and will the police force me to move back home?
    Last edited by ccsmod15; 09-02-2018, 01:31 PM.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time, but we are here to support you and help you in any way we can. That sounds stressful to not feel comfortable at home.

      We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, so you wouldn’t go to jail. But your mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in your state.

      If you haven’t already, you could consider reaching out to a trusted adult, relative, worker/teacher/counselor at your school for help and support. You could also consider talking to your parents about how you’ve been feeling. Just so you’re aware, we have a conference calling service here where we could help mediate a conversation between you and your parents.

      There are also many resources that could help you find a safe place if you’re in need or help you with anything else you may need. If you want to talk more about what’s been going on, or if you would like more information about resources, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online.

      Again, thank you for contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future, please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.

  • I live in goergia, if I'm 16 and I runaway but don't get caught till I'm 18 can I still get introuble? Or be introuble?

    Comment


    • ccsmod5
      ccsmod5 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,
      Thank you for reaching out with your question. We’re not legal experts, but we can give some general information. To our knowledge, running away is not a crime and is not usually punishable with jail time. If you choose to leave home as a 16-year-old, your legal guardians would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you they will return you home. If you do manage to “fly under the radar,” so to speak, until you are 18, it’s unlikely that you would run into any “trouble.” Thank you again for reaching out. If you need additional resources or have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929. Take care!
      --NRS

  • I am a runaway at 15 and I turn 16 in less than a month, I was experiencing abuse and neglect from a bipolar Guardian but since I ran away living conditions have been better. I haven't attended school for a month now and I plan to get my GED, but my family has made a missing person report and people are posting pictures of who I'm staying with and now they are scared of getting into legal trouble so they plan to take me home. Is there any chance I could stay? My family is out to get whoever is helping me and it's making me upset, I heard if you contact your family to let them know you are OK that it could help you make your own living decision and I have but they are still trying to say I am missing... If I go to the police myself what will they do? Can they force me to return home? How can I live elsewhere without getting them into legal trouble?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi, thanks for reaching out today. It seems like you’ve got a lot of complicated decisions in front of you and we’re here to help you sort through that. We’re not legal experts here, but we can speak to what we’ve seen in general. At 15 (or even 16) you would be considered a minor, so if your guardian filed a runaway report and the police know where you are, then they would likely bring you back home. Since you are a minor, if the person you’re staying with is over 18, then they could possibly be charged with harboring a runaway.

      As far as legal avenues for you to stay there, the only route we know of to do that would be getting social services involved and having your legal guardianship changed. This typically involves an investigation and finding evidence that living with your guardian is unsafe. If you already have a case worker, then you could definitely talk to them about your preferences, and they should try and take your wishes into account, and ultimately put your safety first. If you don’t have a case worker already and wish to file an abuse report to get social services involved, you could try contacting Child Help at 1-800-422-4453, and discuss getting a case opened. This can be a really tough and personal decision which is entirely up to you, but no one deserves to be abused and everyone deserves to feel safe and secure.

      If you ever need help thinking through all these decisions, or need support, we’re available 24/7 and we’re here to listen. Please reach out to us any time at 1-800-Runaway.

  • HI I'm !6 and want to run from home because I am being verbally and emotionally abused can you help me!! I don't care if I go to juvie I don't wanna live here .

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      We just wanted to thank you for reaching out. It takes courage and a lot to seek out help. We want you to know that you do not deserve to be abused in that matter, no matter the issue. Moreover we want to assure you that we are here to listen and help.

      From what we are gathering it seems as though home has not been a safe place. It can be a really stressing situation to be constantly called things that aren’t true. To answer your question we would be glad to help in any way we can. Some things we can offer are more information on running away like shelters, food pantries, help set up conference calls if you would like to talk with your parents and have someone help in the conversation. Some more immediate help we can give you is what it looks like to run away right now. Even though you are considered a minor it is not illegal to run away, though your parents have the right to file a runaway report. This just means that if you do run into any cops they have the ability to take you back to your parent’s house. As far as being at home if the situation becomes dangerous or you feel like you need to get out do not hesitate to reach out to us, any school personnel, close family members, or the cops as well.

      Again we want to commend your bravery on reaching out for help. We encourage you to call us reach out to our chat options where we can offer more specific help. You are not alone and you deserve better. Contact us at 1-800-786-2929 or our website https://www.1800runaway.org/ We wish you the very best and hope you can find help on your situation.

  • I'm about to be 16 in two months and its been a year since I begged my mom to let me go out with my friends , I’ve been depressed and bored at home , I don’t really go out I’ve been losing friends because I can’t hang out with them , it’s just school then back home on the weekends staying at home all day , it feels like prison ,I feel like an inmate who rarely sees the sun out the window , I’m a teenage girl I know what’s wrong and what’s right , I get to wear makeup and go to malls and fairs you know just have fun , I feel like I’m wasting my time everyday because I come home and do nothing , I don’t want to go back home just to go to bed again , so now that I’m about to turn 16 , Can my parents force me to stay at home when I want to go to a friend's house ??
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 09-21-2018, 05:49 AM.

    Comment


    • Reply:Im about to be 16 in two months

      Hello,
      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 they may 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.

      If you should ever be at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage them to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).


      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


      • I really want to runaway. I don’t know what to do because my parents would report it, and I don’t want myself or anyone else getting in trouble. What do I do?

        Comment


        • ccsmod10
          ccsmod10 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thanks for reaching out to NRS!

          We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. It’s brave of you to reach out during your time of need. We have a database of resources and if you’re able to call in, we can try to brainstorm with you and get a better idea of your situation. If you are thinking about running away and somewhere to stay, we can try to find a runaway shelter for you. Unfortunately, we are non-directive at NRS, and can't give out advice, but we're always here to talk and listen.

          Our safeline is open 24/7. We also have a chatting service via our website, unfortunately, it is not always open. The best way to contact us would be to call in and talk with our trained liners.

          Be well, NRS

      • Hey,
        i need help ASAP! I am planning on running away...I turned 16 a few days ago and I can’t stand living in my house for a day longer, some stuff has gone on and my parents are becoming to much to handle, they get stricter and horrible with words by the day...I’m planning on running away tomorrow and going to my nans house...I just need to know the ins and outs of what is to come, like if my parents ring the police will I be forced to go back home given the fact I’m 16? Or if the police do get involved will my Nan have rights to say “no she’s staying with me?” I need to know TONIGHT

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for contacting us. We’re really sorry you’re having such a hard time at home right now. It’s tough to be in a difficult place that you don’t really want to be in. Just know that you’re not alone and that we are here to help in whatever way we can.

          You ask some pretty straightforward questions that we can answer. If you decide to leave to go to your nan’s house at 16 your parents can decide to file a runaway report and the police might attempt to reunite you with your parents. Running away is not a crime, but it is considered a status offense, meaning you could be detained by police until you are released to your parents. If you leave home without permission, anyone you decide to stay with – including family – might be considered to be harboring a runaway, which is a crime. Unless your nan has legal guardianship rights, she cannot allow you to stay with her against your parent’s wishes.

          Of course, it’s possible you have options beyond running away. Perhaps your parents might give you permission to stay with your nan? Maybe you could talk to them about the difficulty you are going through living with them? One service we provide is conflict mediation. This means that if you give us a call we can act as mediators of a conversation between you and your parents over the phone, hopefully so that an agreement can be reached on what’s best for everyone.

          Whatever you decide, we would love to hear from you. We are a safe place to talk about difficult stuff like this. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and we are totally confidential and available 24/7.

          Take care and stay safe,

          NRS

      • I'm 16 my parents are verbally and emotionally abusive and I want to leave. I'm not sure if I want to come back but I want to finish at the school I am going to. My mother said I would be arrested if I didn't come home. Can I leave and not get arrested?

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi, thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’re going through a tough time, and we’re glad you reached out for support.

          We aren’t legal experts here, so we can’t provide any specific legal advice. That said, we can tell you that running away is not illegal…meaning, you are not breaking any laws if you run away, or don’t return home. However, it is what’s called a status offense. This means that if you are already in trouble with the law (like on probation), it could make your situation worse.

          If you leave home without permission from your legal guardian, you would technically be considered a runaway. Your guardian would most likely make a runaway report with the police, where he/she would give your name, date of birth, maybe even a picture of you to the police for the report. What happens after that is dependent on the station…some stations may have the time/resources to go looking for you (or go to the person you are suspected of staying with), but others may just take the report in the event they come across you in a part after hours, for example.

          So the short answer is: no, you cannot get arrested for leaving without permission because you are not breaking a law.

          The longer answer is: it’s complicated, dependent on your specific legal situation, and how the police department in your area handle a runaway report.

          You also mention that you are experiencing emotional and verbal abuse. How long has this been going on? If you want to call in to us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we can talk with you about your situation, and explore options to stay safe. No one has a right to hurt you, whether that’s physically, mentally, or emotionally.

          Thanks again for reaching out, and we hope you call in to 1-800-RUNAWAY if you are comfortable. We are 24/7, nonjudgmental, and are here to support you.

          Stay safe,

          NRS
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