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Running away with my 18 year old boyfriend

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  • Running away with my 18 year old boyfriend

    I'm a 17 year old in California and I wanted to know if my 18 year old boyfriend and I would get into any serious trouble if I ran away and moved in with him. My family isn't supportive of our relationship. My mother won't let him come around her house and also won't let me visit him at his, so the only solution we can think of is to get a place of our own. Thanks for any information.

  • #2
    re: Running away with my 18 year old boyfriend

    Hi and thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you want to leave home to be with your boyfriend but that your family would not approve of that. Are there particular concerns that your family might have about your relationship that you could talk through with them? One of the services that we can offer you is conference calling with your parent or guardian. Sometimes it can be helpful to have difficult conversations with a neutral person on the line there- to provide you support and a safe place to talk. You can always call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day and we can talk more about that option.

    You asked if you can get into legal trouble for leaving to live with your boyfriend. While we’re not legal experts here, we can tell you that in most places, your guardians have legal rights and responsibilities of you until you turn 18, or are no longer a minor. That being said, they often will have the right to file a runaway report on you if you leave which would cause you to be returned to them if you were picked up by the police. While running away is considered a status offense in many places, harboring a runaway (which your boyfriend may be doing if you stay with him) is often times against the law leaving him at legal risk. One thing that you can do is contact your local police department and ask about laws in your area. You can also call or chat with us from 4:30-11:30pm CST and we can talk more about some specific resources in your area. Best wishes,

    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)

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