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  • I am about 12 years old and I want to run away. My online friend offered to help but she lives in Brooklyn while I live in New Jersey. I want to run away by an hour from now since my mom is at work but my brother is at home. I have always felt useless and unhappy back at home and I want to be free from my family. I am scared my mom is gonna send me to another family because I don’t trust families now. Please give me ways for me to cross waters to Brooklyn without a vehicle and some tips.

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thanks for reaching out to us and for telling us a little about what’s been going on.
      We’re sorry to hear that you’re unhappy at home and how you’ve been feeling about yourself. It sounds like there’s a lot going on. We’re here to help and to listen, we want you to know that you’re brave for reaching out to us at this difficult time.
      It sounds like you’re not quite sure how to get to your friend’s house. We want to help you the best we can, we focus a lot on safety. Please contact us directly if you’d like to discuss this issue further. We’re available 24/7 on our Live Chat (www.1800runaway.org) or our phone lines (1-800-786-2929).
      Best,
      -NRS

  • Hi I am Nevaeh and 16 turning 17 in four months and I am planning on leaving my home town Erie,PA to New Jersey because I get abused physically and mentally and the money I had my abusers took from me and they won't allow me to have a job so hat should I do?

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. You deserve to live in an environment where you feel safe and comfortable. It is understandable for you to want to leave your abusers and live somewhere else. It might be wise to think about reporting the abuse to the CPS or DCFS in your state. If you want to know more about reporting and how that process works, you can reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. They are a great resource for understanding how to report and what can come of it.

      In terms of moving out, we would be happy to talk to you about how that might work and how to do it in a way that does not put your safety at risk. We have a database of youth shelters that might be useful to you or we can discuss other options such as family and friends. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can talk more about what is going on and what options you have. We are 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929 and on chat at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Im 16 and i want to run away to California from new york what are the punishment if i get caught in California

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline.

      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. Some police can be more understanding about what is going on at your home. In our experience, police will oftentimes return the youth back to their guardian almost no matter what. 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. Additionally, police can sometimes be more lenient about runaway situations the closer you are to 18. This does not happen very often. You can attempt to calmly, respectfully, and persistently 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.

      Runaway reports are entered into a national database. If you got caught in California, they would hold you in their custody until they arranged a way to get you back home.

      If you have any further questions or would like to discuss anything else, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hi I was wondering how I would be able to successfully run away toTexas. I live in Pennsylvania, currentlywith my mother and stepfather. I want to run away to Texas and stay with a friend because there I'm being mentally abused and they make me want to k!ll myself on a daily basis. What can i do?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 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. 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. Since you plan to cross state lines your friend could potentially face issues with human trafficking charges for the situation or harboring a runaway charges.
      You mentioned experiencing emotional abuse which may be reportable against your mom and step-father. Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation instead. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process. Reaching out to Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org may help to get a better understanding of what may happen before and after a report is made.
      It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services. Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.



      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 email 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

  • Hello, I'm 19 years old and my girlfriend is 17 she will be 18 in 8 months. We want to go to a state it's legal for her to leave before the age of 18. The house we live in with her parents is toxic and mentally abusive for her. Would it be legal? If we were found would she have to go back? Would I be charged ? Would she be able to get a job as well as I can?

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thank you for taking the time to write us here at NRS. While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally to answer your questions.

      The age of majority is 18 in most states with an exception of three states where it is older. This is the age at which an individual becomes a legal adult and has the legal freedom to choose where they live. Until your girlfriend turns 18, her parents are her legal guardians. If her parents give her permission to leave then she would be able to do so. If she leaves home without permission, her parents can report her as a runaway with the local law enforcement. Her name would be flagged as a runaway in a national police database regardless of which state she is in. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offence. This means that if your girlfriend's parents find out where she is staying or she comes into contact with law enforcement there is a possibility she could be returned home. You or whoever she is staying with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway which is usually a misdemeanor.

      Your girlfriend might be able to get a job as a minor but this could depend on the state and the employer's requirements. An ID and social security is usually required. She may also need a work permit with parental consent in order to work.

      If your girlfriend would like to talk more about her situation and explore her options, we are here to listen and help 24/7. We are available for immediate support by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hello, my name is Dakota. I want to run away from Washington state to Oregon. There is many reasons as to why such as types of abuse. Am I able to do this? And will it be illegal if my friend and her parents take me in?

    Comment


    • 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. 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.
      You mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. 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. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
      Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. You are not alone in this. 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 chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best
      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • I want to run away from my home in wheeling West Virginia ( where it’s illegal to run away at 17 and the police have to bring you home) to Ohio where (it is legal to run away at 17 voluntary unless you are in danger by not coming home) I have dealt with abuse in the past but moved with an aunt instead of calling and getting cps involved so my mother wouldn’t lose her job as a teacher and so that my siblings wouldn’t get taken away from them because they never went through what I went through and are always treated nicely unlike I was, and I want to make sure that going from West Virginia to Ohio will not mean I’m still bound to the WV runaway laws and instead will b dealt with as if it’s an Ohio runaway law, I will be running away from home to go live in my own apartment which I will pay for along with my pregnant girlfriend, the apartment will be purchased before the runaway, would I still be forced to go home and would my girlfriend get in trouble for living with me in Ohio if I’m a runaway and they dealt with me as a wv case? So confused... just looking for away out without court considering I’ll be 18 in December and the problem is I don’t want cps involved nor do I want to have to wait 6 months to get emancipated when We’re buying the apartment in 2 weeks and I have a baby due in 8 months....

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thanks so much for reaching out to us. We’re so sorry to hear that things have become so challenging at home. It sounds like you’ve decided that running away from your home in WV is the best move for you, and you have questions about which state laws will apply to you. We’re not legal experts, but we can share general information.

      Which laws apply to you may depend on where your legal guardian lives. From what we understand, only your parent or legal guardian is able to make a runaway report for a missing youth, and that report would be made in city and state where the youth and their legal guardian reside. You would need to speak with someone like a lawyer or someone from your local police department so that they can elaborate on whether the protocol for a runaway youth changes if the youth leaves their home state. Whether your girlfriend gets into trouble for living you may also depend on how the laws in her state apply, and whether her parents or legal guardians report her as a runaway as well. In your message, you mentioned living in Wheeling, WV. You can reach your local police department at their non-emergency number 304-234-3661, or the legal aid office of WV at 866-255-4370. If you’d like help calling out to your local police department, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can do a 3 way call with you and your local police department, or call on your behalf.

      Whatever you decide, please know that we are here to support you. You are free to reach out to us via chat 24/7 at www.1800runaway.org or give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 (RUNAWAY). We won’t tell you what to do, but we will do our best to help you stay as safe as possible regardless of what you decide to do. We’re here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!
      -NRS

  • Hi I live in michigan and I want to move to california when I'm 18. Would that be illegal if im not emancipated? Last I checked, the police won't make me go home unless I'm in danger.

    Comment


    • Hi there,
      Since you will be 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.

      If you’d like additional support or resources please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours, 7 days a week or chat with us online by going to www.1800RUNAWAY.org.

      Stay safe!
      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)
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • Hi I'm Trinity, I'm 15 and want to run away from my mentally draining family. They make me mentally and emotionally drained and I always feel depressed and useless when I am around them. I need to get out of wisconsin as easily and quickly as possible. What should I do to ensure my safety and quickness?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 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. 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.
          If you do choose to try and leave there are a few things to make sure you bring along if you can. Having a form of ID (or a picture of it) can be very helpful so that you can prove your identity and get aid if you need it.
          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 email 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

      • hi I am 15 years old. I will be 16 in a few days. I live in a very mentally abusive house because of my dad and I recently told my mom about my anxiety & depression. she and everyone else in my family just laughs at me and says I’m being dramatic when I talk about these things to them. today I ditched school and my parents threatened to send me away. I have a friend in Kentucky where I used to live but I currently live in Florida. I have been wanting to run away there ASAP but I have no clue how and I know my mom will file a report and i would be found very fast. I also have a boyfriend who lives in Connecticut my mother does not let me talk to him so I secretly do. he is great but she doesn’t like him because of his race etc. i have talked about it with him and he doesn’t want me to live here with my family so we’ve always planned since I was 13 for me to move away at 18 and live with him so they couldn’t legally take me back. I have no clue what to do or which place to go but I am very scared for my mental health and safety living here. I have called the police on my dad lots of times but it never works out. it makes things worse. can you please help me.

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 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. 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.
          You mentioned experiencing emotional abuse which may be reportable against your dad. Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation instead. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process. Reaching out to Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org may help to get a better understanding of what may happen before and after a report is made.
          It seems like you are mostly focused on your mental health and how to keep yourself safe and healthy until you turn 18 and can go elsewhere. We are here to talk and be a safe place to vent for you and help brainstorm some possible ways to cope with the mental abuse you are going through. Another good resource to turn to for your mental safety is https://nami.org/Home where they are happy to be there to listen as well and explore some ways to manage your negative feelings and challenges.
          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 email 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

      • Hello im 17 and have decided to run away to a different state due to fears about my safety. I do not have access to an ID, social security card or birth certificate. I have a safe place to stay and will be getting a job and continuing my schooling. However I am not sure how to get into this state safely without being caught. I cannot board a plane as a 17 year old without an ID. I can on the greyhound but I've heard they do report runaways and get them quite often. What other options do I have to escape via public transportation in a cheap and safe manner?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,
          Thanks for reaching out to NRS! We understand it takes great courage to write to us and we are here to help where we can. You are not in this alone. It is really brave of you to leave. If you want, we can look up some transportation aid that is local to you. You can do this by calling us at 1800-RUNAWAY or chatting with us via our live chat at www.1800RUNAWAY.org. You can also call 211 if you want as well. They might be able to offer other options.
          We are 24/7 and confidential. We are here to help, here to listen.
          Stat safe,
          NRS

      • so I am 13 almost 14. My 16 year old boyfriend lives in Texas and I live in Michigan. I have been thinking about running away for a while due to my dad being physically and verbally abusive to me. I need someway to get out of my house hold and away from my family. I am adopted, so I have older parents. I would rather have a better family than live with this.

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,
          Thank you for reaching out to us and explaining a little bit more about what's been going on.

          You don't deserve to be hurt in anyway. We are sorry to hear that you are going through such a hard time. It takes great courage to reach out for help and we are glad that you decided to reach out.
          If your safety is ever at risk you can call 911. It can be helpful to take pictures of any abuse marks as proof. You can consider contacting Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 and they can provide you more information on filing an abuse report. You shouldn't have to go through this.

          Talk to trusted adult family members, friends are a school counselor can be helpful. Leaving home can be hard in many situations. It can be helpful to think about where you might stay, how you might pay for food, rent and other expenses.

          We are not legal experts but your parents are responsible for you until you turn 18. Generally speaking running away is not a crime and if your parents are to file a police report the police can bring you back home and whoever you are staying with could be charged with harboring a runaway and get in trouble with the law.

          You are not alone and we are here to support you through this. If you want to talk more about what is going on and what options you might have, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

          Coping with all this stress can be hard. Some people find exercising, meditating, journaling, listening to music, reading, talking to friends can help reduce stress.


          You are doing great by reaching out for help. We wish you the best and hope to hear from you soon.

          Best,
          NRS

      • Originally posted by Guest View Post
        Hello im 17 and have decided to run away to a different state due to fears about my safety. I do not have access to an ID, social security card or birth certificate. I have a safe place to stay and will be getting a job and continuing my schooling. However I am not sure how to get into this state safely without being caught. I cannot board a plane as a 17 year old without an ID. I can on the greyhound but I've heard they do report runaways and get them quite often. What other options do I have to escape via public transportation in a cheap and safe manner?
        I want to go away too. I see that this is a recent post of yours and i hope you can get back to me

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for your response to another user’s post. Often forums are a place of support and understanding for many youth. It often may be validating and helpful for users to read similar situations as well as exchange feedback to one another. For anyone experiencing any difficulties or challenges, the National Runaway Safeline encourages youth to reach out to our 24/7 crisis support line either by phone or chat for immediate services.
          Thank you, NRS

      • Hi I'm 18 years old and I live in Texas. For years, my family has been mentally and physically hard on me. They call me names and make me feel worthless and always tell to leave or get out if I don't like it here. I don't really talk to my friends anymore because I'm always left out so I feel like I don't have anyone here for me. I just started my first year of college and I have 2 jobs to have some money flowing through. I just want to get away from this city and start over alone to give myself a better chance. Please tell me there is a way to help me?

        Comment


        • ccsmod15
          ccsmod15 commented
          Editing a comment
          Since you are 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live. We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.
          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 email 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
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