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Running away to a friends house

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    Thank you for writing to us here at 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. It sounds like you are frustrated by what’s going on at home and might be considering running away. Also you are thinking about taking a credit card that belongs to your mother. We are not legal experts but in general this might be consider theft if you were to do this and even more serious if you were to charge something on it. We understand that sometimes situations can feel overwhelming and it’s hard to know just how to handle them.

    We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.

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

    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 I’m 13 years old I live in Surrey, England uk I want to runaway to my friends house what are the laws with thus


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks for reaching out to us, it seems like you are looking to get out of your home and live with your friend instead. There can be many feelings going on that may lead you to feel like this and we want you to know they are valid and that we want to help however we can.

        We are however an organization based in the United States so we aren’t sure of your specific laws in England. So to avoid giving you any bad information we will instead direct you to an organization that is a better fit for your scenario which is https://www.childhelplineinternation...pline-network/ . They should be well equipped to answer any questions you may have from a legal standpoint.

        From a non-legal one there are some things we can recommend. The first would be that it might be worth just talking things out with your parents, and your friend. If that seems impossible or scary you could consider having a school counselor or another adult you trust act as a mediator and sit in on the conversation and help to prevent feelings being hurt. It can also feel good to just talk with someone about your problems.

        We hope you get the help you need. Good luck and stay safe!

    • I wanna run away without
      getting caught


      • ccsmod11
        ccsmod11 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello –

        Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We understand that it takes great courage to reach out. We are sorry to hear that life at home has caused you to want to leave.

        Running away is a big decision and every person’s situation is different. Because of this, it is hard to say what your exact needs are for what to bring with. It may be easier to call us on our 24/7 hotline number, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), to learn more about what running away would look like for you and what you would need.

        We hope the information provided helps. Remember we are available 24/7 and can be toll-free reached at the number listed above. We are confidential, anonymous, and non-direct. We can also be reached via live chat between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST.

        Best Wishes

    • So my best friend has an awful home life and wants to run away to my house. She is 14 years old and we live in the state of Georgia. I want to help her.


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,
        Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Safeline. It takes great courage to reach out for help and we are glad that you are trying to help your friend.

        We are sorry to hear that your friend is going through a hard time at home. If she is being abused in any way, that is not ok and she has the option to file an abuse report. If she chooses she has the option to file an abuse report. She can call Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 and they can help her provide information on filing an abuse report. If her safety is at risk she can call 911.

        Leaving home can be hard and it can be helpful to to think about where she might live and how she might pay for food, rent, and other living expenses. We are not legal experts however, speaking generally if she is to leave home without her parents permission the police can bring her back home and whoever she is staying with could be charged with harboring a runaway and get in trouble with the law.
        Talking to other persons she trusts, like other adult relatives, friends and school counselors can be helpful.

        You are doing great by reaching out for your help and looking after her in hard time. Your or your friend can also reach out to us directly by calling us at 1-800-786-2929 and we would be happy to listen to you, explore your options and provide any resources.

        We wish you and your friend the best.


    • hey I have a 90 pound 16-year-old friend who is being beaten by her mother we are thinking of running away as an option if legal charges are called in and shes found in my home can we use her being beaten as an ethical amnesty to the charges? of harboring a runaway ?


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what's going on with your friend. Sounds like you're a great friend for caring so much about her safety and advocating for her! Your friend's mom's actions are unacceptable. If your friend is at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage her (or you) to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused and your friend has the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option she wants to explore, she may find this website helpful: We can also help her file a report if that’s the route she is considering.

        We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if she does opt to leave her home her mom 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 she located by the authorities she most likely be returned home. You also touched upon your concerns about harboring a runaway. If the police find her at your house, the adult of the household does run the risk of being 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 her mom views the situation. If she discloses the abuse to the police, they may let her stay with you but would be mandated to file a child abuse report with child protective services. If you'd like, you can reach out to your local nonemergency police line (311) for more information on local runaway policy.

        Of course, it could be a good idea if your friend reaches out to us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY. She can also us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. By speaking with her directly we can discuss what’s going on in depth, or explore other options that she may have available to her. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

        Stay safe,

    • hi so im 11 years old and i live in massachuesetts my parents are not like they used to be and they change their emotions quickly. They fight with my sister so much that im suprised that she hasnt run away if thers anything that you guys could help me understand it would be greatly apriceated


      • ccsmod8
        ccsmod8 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello there -

        Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. 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. We are mainly here for support and help find some guidance to local resources that might be able to help a youth through their particular situation and we aren’t here to tell you what to do because you know your situation a lot better than we do. We just want you to know your options and with whatever you choose that you’re safe and not on the streets.

        It sounds like you might some specific questions that you want to ask us or maybe find a place to vent about what you are feeling right now. It’s hard to talk to just anyone one about what has been going on. Please rest assured that we are completing confidential. So anything that you share with us will stay between us. We don’t ask for any identifying information, unless you want to report any abuse. We certainly want to help you.

        Best of luck!

    • Hello hello! I am Owen, im 10 years old, would it be illegal for me to run away to my best friends house? she lives in texas (i think) and i live in louisiana
      My mom and step dad are very aggressive when angry (Verbally, they never harm me psychically when sober) and have a long history of alchoholic abuse (Hitting, calling names, fighting, etc etc)
      They also seem like they are fake, they claim they accept me as a trans but never call me by my true name, always dead naming me
      Exp: "hey gabby come here"
      No im Owen
      "Sthu and come here"
      i wouldnt call it actual abuse but i do want to run away from home


      • ccsmod4
        ccsmod4 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. You made a great first step to finding the help that you may need. It sounds like you are going through a lot and the people around you are not being supportive. You deserve to be treated with respect, to experience acceptance and to feel safe. It is not your fault that your parents choose to behave badly towards you.

        We want you to know that you are strong for having gone through so much already. It is perfectly okay to deviate from what others or the common population believe to be “normal”. Your bravery and resilience is so admirable. You are so strong for having gone through so much without having the acceptance that you do deserve for just being you. Remember that you are not alone. If you ever want to talk more about what you are experiencing or get additional support we are here 24/7 at 1800-RUNAWAY or our live chat service. The GLBT National Hotline at 1-888-843-4564 is another option to gain great support from those that are familiar with the issues and experiences of those that are also a part of the LGBTQ community. You can access their website link bellow to utilize all the other possibly useful resources they have to offer:

        You mentioned that you were considering the options that may be best for you. By all means, if you do fear for your safety either now or in the future, do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to regain your safety. This may mean calling the authorities or possibly reporting the things you may be experiencing. To report any abuse contact Child Help 1-800-422-4453

        Other options to think about may be other family members, friends, or a trusted adults that would be able to provide you with support or a safe place to stay. It is great that you thinking ahead. Should you feel like leaving home is best, it may be a good idea to think about how you will provide necessities for yourself such as food, clothing, showers, healthcare and other basic needs. We are not legal experts here, but typically as a minor (under the age of 1 you need permission from your parents to leave home. It is not illegal to run away, but it would mean that your parents could file a runaway report with the police. This is usually done in an effort to try to return you home as the police are required to do so.

        If you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY we can try to find some youth shelters that may be in your city and state by utilizing our database of resources. We can also try to call out to shelters with you or on your behalf to advocate for you.

        Stay Strong,
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