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Running away to a friends house

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  • Hi! so I have family problems, and I have been able to voice out most of my problems, but my parents disregard it. I’m 16. And my home is very toxic with negative comments that make me feel like they don’t need me anymore and say I’m a problem, which feeds me into running away more. I live in colorado too. And I have a couple of questions.
    1. if i ever felt like running away during a rough time through family, and not tell anyone except my friends and stay at a friends house and stuff, would they get in trouble?
    2. would i get in trouble for planning out my runaway? I’ve heard rumors that you can get charged or something like that?? or maybe I misheard
    3. if I brought my phone with me, would the cops be able to track my phone? (there’s more questions about that.
    I realize that you guys are not professionals with this.
    I do have food, money, and water to take with me just in case and stuff.. but I just.. I don’t know. I have more questions about the phone tracking and stuff with the cops, but I know you wouldnt be able to answer that.. But maybe you could lead me to someone or something that can?


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that things with your family have been deteriorating to a point where you feel like you need to leave.

      To answer your questions:
      If you ran away, regardless of whether you were having a tough time, your parents would have the right to file a runaway report with the police. While it’s not illegal to run away, it is considered a status offense much like smoking a cigarette underage. If you encountered the police, generally they would notify your guardians and take you home. Additionally, your parents would have the right to press charges against whomever you were staying with for “harboring a runaway”. While we are not legal experts, it is our understanding that this is considered a misdemeanor offense.
      As we said before, it is not illegal to run away. You should not get arrested for planning to do it or actually doing it. Police can hold you in a juvenile detention center if they are unable to return you to your parents, but you should not be charged with anything.
      There are some circumstances where the police can track your phone. Also, your parents may be able to track your phone as well on their own. Typically, the police do not track the phones of runaways though there may be some exceptions to that.

      If you have more questions or if you want to talk more about what is going on, please don’t hesitate to call us on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at We’d be happy to answer whatever we can.

      Take care,

  • I am 12 I want to run away
    but u dont know where to go. My home life is terrible theres always shouting and swearing and threats I dont want to live there but dont wanna go into care.


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      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. Home should be a place where you feel safe and can relax. Not having that can make things seem impossible to bare. You deserve to be loved and made to feel safe. Since you mentioned that you want to run away we feel the need to tell you that if you do decide to runaway that leaving home without parental consent (running away) is not a crime, so the police will not arrest you. If you do leave home without permission your guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime it is a status offence (something that only a minor can get in trouble for: truancy, buying cigarettes, etc.) this means that if you have any interaction with the police they will simply return you home. On the other hand the people that you are found to be staying with could face legal consequences that vary depending on your state. You can find out more about how runaway’s reports are carried out by contacting your local police department.
      If you would like to talk further about your plan to leave home we can do so. It already sounds like you are aware that needing a stable place to live is important to the success of you leaving home. With that being said we do have a database of resources that might be able to help you keep safe and off the streets. You are always welcome to give us a call anytime 1-800-786-2929
      Best wishes,

  • if im 17 years old and i run away but im still going to school and i work and i make about $800 to $700 nothing wrong with my family everything fine but i just want to leave and we have are own house and my mom calls the police do i have to go back my mom hosue


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like you are really mature and wanting to leave home before you turn 18 and become a legal adult. Here at NRS, we are not legal experts but we can speak generally.

      If you leave your parents could attempt to report you as a runaway with local police, and yes, it could be possible that police could force you home. At 17 years old, police response can really vary depending on your state laws, your situation, and if you are in a safe place. You can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you would like assistance calling out to local police to learn about how they would handle your situation if you left.

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation, need resources, or need support. We are always here.



  • I'm 15 butmy girlfriend is 1 1/2 years younger than me she wants to run away from her family because they are abusive and they don't listen to her what should I do and she wants to live with me


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there. Thanks for contacting us. We are sorry your girlfriend is being abused. That's totally unacceptable and she doesn't deserve that. One option would be to file an abuse report to your state's child protective services number or simply call the police. But that's up to you and her. We never tell anyone what to do.

      Now, if she does decide to leave home her parents have the option of filing a runaway report. Anyone she stays with could be considered harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor.

      We'd like to help out further but probably need more information about the situation. If you or your girlfriend can give us a call that would be the best way we can help. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY and we are confidential. We can help you both figure out what your best options are.

      Hope to hear from you,

  • hey, i live in arizona i have a friend who ran away and has a missing person report out on them. they are asking me if they can stay at my place for a little bit but i don’t want to risk myself and my family getting in trouble with the law. i’m 15 my friend is 13 and i still live at home with my mother. if we don’t take them in they will be on the streets but if we do take them in we might risk legal consequences what’s the best thing to do?


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      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 sounds like your friend's parents (or guardians) have contacted the police to file a runaway 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 your friend is located by the authorities they will most likely be returned to their parents/guardians. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but, your parents, or whoever is the adult in your home could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and how your friend's parents/guardians view the situation.

      Of course, it may be beneficial for your friend to speak to us directly to go in depth about the situation and to explore other options that they may have. Your friend can reach out by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. They 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 in any way we can.

      Stay safe,

  • i want to run away because my parents are mad at me like they have never been before, i just want to go to my friends house to get away from it all because im just fed up with my parents


    • Running away to a friends house

      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 in your life right now.
      It sounds like that the stress from the situation is getting harder and harder to handle.
      The difficulty and stress that it’s caused from having your parent’s mad at you is understandable. We get it. We are sorry you are going through a tough emotional time.
      Running away sounds like something you are considering but ask yourself this.
      Will it help or make matters even more complicated for you?

      Sometimes when things are too stressful it might help to talk with someone about it.
      Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this.
      NRS is here to listen and here to help.
      We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
      If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).

      You are welcome to discuss your situation and talk about possible options for help.
      What you did today by reaching out was great. Good job.
      We hope to hear from you soon.

      Take care,

      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!


      • Hi im 16 and i live in fort worth texas and my family is very toxic towards me and i need to get out. if i leave a note telling them im safe and where im going could they still call the cops on me?


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          We are sorry to hear you're in a toxic situation with your family. That's gotta hurt. It makes sense that you'd prefer to live somewhere else.

          To answer your question very directly: Yes, your parents have the right to call the police and file a runaway report on you even if you leave a note and are in a safe place. Running away isn't a crime, but it is a status offense. This means you could be detained by police until they bring you back home. Anyone you stay with could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor.

          We'd like to help you figure out what your options are. The best way for us to do that is if you give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here 24/7 and are confidential and non-judgmental. You can also chat with us by visiting our chatroom via our website's main page: We hope to hear from you soon. You're not alone and we are here to help.


      • I’m fifteen years old. After years growing up in a toxic church environment, I am finally happy and proud of my bisexual label and have been with a great girlfriend I am head over heels for. However, my parents (if they ever found out) would immediately send me to conversion camp/disown me/ make life HELL if i ever told them. I thought I could wait until after college, but some forces are out of my control and I’m afraid I’ll be outed soon. What are my options should my place at home be compromised/should I be forced to do religious therapy?


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello There,
          Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, and sharing a little bit about what is going on. We are sorry that your parents don’t support what gender you like, that can be really difficult.
          If you are a minor and they were to kick you out that could be considered as neglect. You can make a report by contacting the local police department or by contacting Child Help at: 1800-422-4453. You can also try talking with your parents, we know this can be scary at NRS we offer conference calling. Conference calling allows you to be heard and we are there to mediate the conversation. Another option is to talk with your school counselor, sometimes they can provide you with resources.
          We hope 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 here 24/7 to listen and provide support. We wish you the best of luck!
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