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2 month visit to a friend's, intent to come home, could I be prosecuted as a runaway?

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  • 2 month visit to a friend's, intent to come home, could I be prosecuted as a runaway?

    Title explains most of it. Sorry if this isn't the best place to ask, I don't know anywhere else that could deal with this situation...

    My parents are incredibly conservative, and closed-minded. I've dealt with incredible pressuring, and borderline emotional abuse throughout my childhood, but that's not all that relevant. The thing to note though, is that they do not negotiate, or consider anyone else's view- bringing it up or trying to compromise has only resulted in yelling and punishment until I give up.

    I keep in contact regularly with a few friends who live around the country - we met at a convention a few years ago, and have grown close over the years, with regular talking and visits back and forth.

    My parents, however, are of the view that "internet friends" are nothing but lecherous perverts who are out to take advantage of me- to be fair, they mean well and are just being protective, but this view prevents them from hearing anything I have to say, because I just don't know what I'm talking about.

    For the last year, I've been visiting for usually a week at a time, telling my parents that I was at a school friend's place, or going camping with them, etc. I wish I didn't feel like I had to defend my friends from everyone because they're long-distance and on the internet, but nothing has ever happened, or come close to happening, and they are very nice people.

    One of them invited me (and someone else, but she won't have a problem coming) to her place for the rest of the summer, a period of about two months. I don't think I could find an excuse suitable enough for my parents to believe it, and I'm sick of constantly going around their back anyway, but trying to get them to accept what I'm doing will absolutely not happen.

    The last time I asked to visit one of my friends in the next state over, me and my dad were driving at the time. After some back-and-forth, which was like talking to a brick wall, he pulled over and screamed in my face, refusing to start again until I said that I wouldn't go. It was incredibly dehumanizing, and the complete lack of effort on his part to consider my view or even think about it was frustrating as well.

    I've gained more confidence since then, and now plan to tell them my intentions, and leave. However, I'm concerned about the legal ramifications of this.

    I know a runaway is legally defined as someone who leaves home, without consent, and without the desire to return home. However, I do intend to come back when my visit is over, so I can finish my last year of school (I'm 17). Could they still call the police because I left without consent? Could any legal trouble come to my host? Is there any way I or my friend could fall under legal trouble?

    Thanks for the time, sorry it was long.

  • #2
    2 month visit to a friend's, intent to come home, could I be prosecuted as a runaway?

    Hello,

    Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. It sounds like you are planning on going to visit but not permanently run away. We are sorry to hear that they do not listen to you; nobody deserves to be dehumanized or made to feel like they are unwanted in their own home. It sounds like you trust these people and feel safe with them. It is important to have a support network of people to rely on when things get tough. It sounds very frustrating that your parents will not even consider your point of view. Do you have anyone else in your family that could advocate on your behalf?

    It sounds like you are very level-headed and have put a lot of thought into this. Just to let you know, we are not legal experts and cannot give legal advice, we will not tell you what you should or should not do. Technically, it is not against the law to run away from home. In most places it’s considered a status offense. However, anyone that you would be caught staying with could be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’ should your legal guardian decide to press charges. Would your parents call the police on your friends if they knew where you were staying?

    Once you are reported as a runaway, several things happen. Your information is entered into a national database stating that if found, you are to be returned to your legal guardian. If you do not feel safe at home, you can tell law enforcement or child protective services that is why you left. It sounds like you just want some independence and to be trusted to make your own decisions.

    Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we would be glad to talk to you about your situation and see what other options are available for you. We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or by live chat at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time. 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

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    • #3
      Alright, thank you for your post!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 2 month visit to a friend's, intent to come home, could I be prosecuted as a runa

        You’re very welcome. If there is anything else we can assist with please remember you can contact us anytime at our 24 hour hotline 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You can also reach us through our live chat from 4:30 to 11:30p CST. All of our services are completely confidential and anonymous. Take care and feel free to reach out to us anytime.
        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

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