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Harboring a 17 year old runaway in CA

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
    While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
    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 forum to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
    Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
    If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    i just recently got adopted. i'm 17 years old. but i don't want to be with my adoptive family anymore. every single day they tell me bad things about myself and i'm so tired of it. i have diagnosed depression and anxiety and they are just making me so much worse. i feel like the only way out is to leave the home. other than that, i'm lost. and i don't know how long i can do this. i want to know if my friend would get in trouble for giving me a place to stay? i don't want to hurt or get anyone in trouble during this but i just can't do it anymore. because of the virus and all, if i left, they would not take me back. if they aren't even willing or wanting me back in the house, does that change anything?

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  • ccsmod0
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    We are a national organization and are not legal experts. You may find the answer to your question by speaking with a lawyer or local law enforcement to better understand parental rights in your area. We wish the parents the best of luck.

    Best,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    My friend has a daughter that is 16 and she recently had a child because the hospital allows a “mother to be” to choose who they want present during child birth of course she chose the father. Well when she was released she was allowed to be picked up by the father family and now she is refusing to go home. She’s making demand and wanting to have free reign of her parents home. Is there anything the parents can do from a legal standpoint??? In so cal by the way

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  • ccsmod4
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. The easiest way to leave home is with your parent’s permission. We understand that might be challenging. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.


    Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.

    Please reach out soon so that we may offer support and resources to you. Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

    Be safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied


    Hello so this is a question I would like to get a clear answer to. I have just turned seventeen. I live with a very mental and verbally abusive father. He has issues with control, manipulation, and narcissistic characteristics. Plus on top of that he has a very abusive girlfriend who not only in the past has been abusive to me both verbally,mentally, and physically ( it also got to a point where it was so bad I had to move out of her house and back into my dads house where I used to live in before my adoptive parents got divorced, and yes I am adopted) but very abusive to my father as well. In turn my father also has a tendency to take his anger out on me when they get into a fight of some sort. So in the midst of all this I have people that are very special to me and I consider them more of my parents. They love me and help me no matter what and I had plans to move in with them when I turned 18. But things have gotten worse at home. So as for the question, can I run away at 17 in a half or younger if I have a plausible cause to run away? And if I did, could me moving in with them potentially cause harm to them? Or is there a legal way around it where I could move in with them, without having a bunch of legal issues?
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 08-12-2020, 06:45 AM.

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at NRS. We appreciate you sharing a bit about how you are feeling at home and we want you to know that it was very brave to reach out for help. It sounds like you are thinking leaving is your best option right now but you are concerned about possible consequences. We are not legal experts, but we can speak generally on this.

    If you leave home without permission before turning the age of majority, or when you are considered a legal adult (18 in most states), your parents/legal guardian can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal or something you would be arrested for, but it is a status offense. This means your parents can ask that police return you home if they know where you are staying. Whoever you stay with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway by the police. From what we know this is not very common and it can vary state-by-state. In most cases, as long as your friend's parents do not lie to police or actively hide you charges are unlikely. Because you are so close to turning 18, police might be more lenient and may not enforce a runaway report in your case. You can call the non-emergency number for your local police department to speak with an officer about your situation and ask if they would force you home in the event that you leave.

    We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

    Good luck,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I'm 17, 18 in a few weeks and I need to get out of here... I want to run away and stay with a friend to get away from my parents... but I don't want to risk putting my friend and his parents in any legal trouble... what should I do?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We’re sorry to hear that you and your step-mom are not getting along. It is completely inappropriate for her to get physical with you and we are glad that you got yourself to a safer situation for you.

    While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. It is not illegal to run away. Your parent/guardian could file a runaway report on you but this would NOT mean that you would get arrested or charged with anything. It typically does mean that the police could return you home if they encountered you and that would be that. Police typically do not actively search for a runaway youth. However, they will go where the parent/guardian directs them if they know where you are staying. If you manage to get somewhere that he does not know, it would be much more difficult for the police to find you and once you turn 18, they will have no authority to force you to live anywhere. Additionally, police can sometimes be more lenient about runaway situations the closer you are to 18. You can attempt to calmly and respectfully deny them consent to touch you or take you anywhere, and they may give up on trying to return you home. They also may not, in which case you should comply with what they tell you to do for your safety.

    If you have any other questions or want to discuss your situation in greater depth, please don’t hesitate to give us a call or chat us at 1-800-786-2929 or 1800runaway.org.

    Take care,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hi, im 17 and i will be 18 in june and and recently my step mom and i haven’t been getting along actually its been like that for a long time but it got physical and we recently got into a situation where she had put her hands on me to try to take my phone and during that whole thing she basically ripped my shirt a little by trying to grab my arm but long story short i ended up leaving the house my boyfriend picked me up and took me to my grandmas. then the police basically took me back home to get things to go to my other grandmother’s home but my dad said it would only be a couple days and that he wouldnt allow me to live my my grandmother permanently and i definitely dont wanna go back its messing me up inside and i cant handle it anymore ...my question is if my dad tries to come and get me and i refuse and i end up going somewhere where ill be safe and where he doesnt know until im 18 in just a few short months what will happen?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello,

    Thanks for contacting NRS and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. From what you shared, it sounds like your niece was not safe at home and made the decision to remove herself from that situation.

    Your niece does have the right to report what happened to the police. She can call the non-emergency number for the local police department if she would like to ask anonymous questions about what the report might entail.

    Generally speaking, her parents do have the ability to choose where she lives until she turns 18. Her parents can report her as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but if her parents know where she is then they might be able to have police return her home. However, it is much less likely police would intervene since she is so close to 18. Some states have harboring charges which is usually a misdemeanor. This is when an adult houses a minor without the knowledge of a parent or against their wishes. We are not legal experts, but from what we know it is not very common and not used to punish someone who is helping a young person stay safe.

    We encourage your niece to take any steps she feels are necessary to keep herself safe. She can call our hotline anytime at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org if she needs any help with her next steps or would like to talk more about her situation. Additionally, the national sexual assault hotline, RAINN, is also available 24/7 to be a support for your niece. She can speak with someone trained to provide confidential crisis support.

    Do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you or your niece have further questions.

    We wish you both the best,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I have a question I am in california and I have a 17 year old niece that ran away from her home . I was able to contact her and find out that she is safe and a little about why she ran away . she stated she did not want to go home because her father was touching her inappropriately. And she didn't feel safe there . her mom was told this info and says she don't believe her and she needs to go home . my question is can the person she is staying with get into trouble ? My niece will be 18 in less than a month. What advice if any can you give me to pass along to my niece ?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there and thank you for taking the time to share a bit about your situation. Abuse of any kind is not okay and never your fault. Parents are supposed to make home feel safe and you deserve to live somewhere you feel supported. It makes sense you are thinking about leaving.

    Because you are still considered a minor, your dad can report you as a runaway if you leave home without permission. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense which means your dad can report you as a runaway to the police. You would not be arrested, but the police would likely return you home. Whoever you are staying with can be charged with harboring a runaway which is usually a misdemeanor.

    You mentioned that your main reason for wanting to leave is that your dad is verbally abusive. There is an organization called Child Help which is dedicated to helping young people like you who experience abuse. You deserve to get the support that you need and the national child abuse hotline can help you brainstorm coping strategies as well as steps to get a trusted adult involved to intervene. You can contact Child Help at 1-800-422-4453 or chat/text by going to childhelphotline.org.

    We truly want to be a support for you while you navigate this challenging time and decide on your next steps. If you would like to talk more about your situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

    Be safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi I’m a thirteen year old girl I’m gettin verbally abused at home by my dad who is calling my a ***king fat*** and a dirty ***** and ***** I know where I can go with food shelter and safety and I want to know the consequences for running away and the person harboring me.
    Last edited by ccsmod13; 12-13-2019, 09:31 PM. Reason: Inappropriate language

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello, thanks for reaching out to NRS. We are not legal experts by any means, but we can share some general information with you. If a minor leaves home without permission, their guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not illegal, but it known as a status offense. This means that if the parents or the police know where the youth is, they might be returned home. Whoever the young person is staying with is at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway, however; this charge is usually a misdemeanor and it does not happen frequently. Runaway and harboring laws can vary state by state, so calling the local police department's non-emergency number is the best way to get more specific information about your areas particular protocol.

    You can reach us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at www.1800runaway.org if you have any other questions or concerns.

    Take care,
    NRS
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