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My Runaway Rights in North Carolina

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  • #31
    Reply: I have a friend that is 16 years old

    Hello 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 sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now.
    It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation with your friend may end in suicide if things don’t change.
    Their safety and well-being is important. If they 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.

    If any harm or abuse is happening at home, they have the right to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).

    If you feel like this might be an option your friend might want to explore, they may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help them to file a report if that’s the route they are considering.

    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 your friend, but they are not alone in this. You seem to be a caring a god friend to them. They are fortunate to have your support. Good job.
    We want you to know that we are here as support to help as well through this challenging time.

    If you or your friend 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).
    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Be safe and stay strong,
    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

    Comment


    • #32
      Hello my name is fred and I just turned 17 years old on the 13th I am texting in regards to that I would like to either runaway or get emancipated from my house. I have a step mother who treats me like garbage and sometimes whenever she yells at me she will push me up against the wall and slap me across the face and always asking me do you want to fight whenever I scowl at her because of the way she treats me. She abuses me more than my real father does my real mom left at an airport by myself and my step mom says that if she had the chance she would slaughter 9r kill my real mom (I don't remember which) mymy step mom has a friend who cares a lot about me and my sister who goes through the same stuff as me and she said if she could she would take us in a heartbeat she loves us and care for us more than my step mom does now my step sisters mom is my step mom and I have a little brother that is spoiled and who is treated like a prince on my birthday this year I didn't get anything for my birthday from my parents in fact I got yelled at. My real dad is completely brainwashed by my step mom and she thinks must have all the attention in the house and if my step sis or me is sick my step mom will pretend she is sick so she can get attention from everyone and she makes us do stuff for and we havent. Done anything this summer I have a friend who can give a place to stay but not for long. There's so much more but I need HELP before I lose my marbles and do something I will regret for the rest of my life can you please help me!

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,
        Thanks for reaching out to our forum! We appreciate you explaining a bit about your situation and we will help you in any way we can.
        It sounds like home life is a really stressful environment. You definitely don’t deserve to be abused in any way, it does seem that your step-mom is physically and verbally abusive to you. You do have the right to report the abuse. We at NRS can do abuse reports for or with you, there’s also Child Help (the national child abuse hotline) at 800-422-4453. They also help youth find ways to get their custody transferred over to a safe adult or family member. You mentioned running away. Running away is not something that you can be arrested for. If you do runaway, parents are able to make a runaway report with their police. That goes nationwide and if police find you, they just bring you back home. We do see police refusing to take a runaway report on 17 year olds. We offer to call out to police with youth and ask them what their runaway protocols are. The only time we see people being charged in a runaway situation, is when the parents of a runaway ask the police to charge an adult who’s letting the runaway stay with them. The charge is called “harboring a runaway”, it’s not a common charge and parents are the ones who usually ask police to press it. If you do decide to run away, and don’t want to stay with friends, NRS can help you find runaway shelters in your area.
        Talking to school counselors or teachers about what you’re going through at home could also give you some additional support. You’re not alone in this, and we are always here to help out. Our safeline is open 24/7 and we also have a chatting service via our website. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
        Be well, NRS

    • #33
      Hi, I'm 16 and I live in North Carolina, and I've been having family issues, tings get better and then go back to worse again, my mom told me I could pack my things and move it if I wanted, but when I did she filed a missing persons on me on Facebook, I can't go home or I'll be really beaten, I have scars from when they beat me before, what should I do?

      Comment


      • #34
        Hi,

        Thank you for contacting NRS. It is very brave of you to seek help. It sounds like you're going through a tough time at home. You don't deserve to be treated that way, abuse is never okay. We cannot tell you what to do because we are non directive here, but we can try to provide you with resources that can help you in your situation. You mentioned that you have scars from when you were previously beaten. If you would like to report the abuse, you may want to take pictures of your scars. Child Help is a child abuse hotline (1-800-422-4453) that you could call for more information about reporting abuse. Your safety is very important. Some things you may want to consider is if your mother files a runaway report, and the police find you they could return you home. Running away is not illegal so you cannot get arrested, however if you were to stay with a friend, your friend could get in trouble for harboring a runaway if the police find you. Talking to someone that you trust about the issues that you are facing at home could be useful as well. We are always here to listen and help the best we can. If you feel that you would like to talk to us please feel free to call our 24 hour hotline (1-800-786-2929).
        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


        • #35
          I'm 16, my family is unstable. I'm not able to focus on myself like with my school work without knowing I'm in a place that I'm not happy.
          Everyday I wake up and its the same. I enjoy going to school because it gets me away from home. I dread the weekends because I have to be home unless I can be with my boyfriend or a friend.
          There has been abuse. DSS got involved, its been pretty bad. My father is the abuser. He's mentally and physically abusing. He grabs my little brother hard and yells at him and such and my brother is now to where he follows in my dads footsteps.
          Mental abuse from him like he has lied, he has told me before my household chores are ultimate priority instead of my school work. I take college and high school classes at the same time. I usually come home with a lot of homework.
          My father is unreliable. He makes bad choices for himself and sometimes puts us in a bad place for our family. My mom has told me I cant do anything that it is his choice and that she can't do anything to make him do what he needs to do to be a father.
          I'm not sure what I can do. I have talked to,my mom abouy moving out with a family member,or friend and she tells me no. I'm not sure what I can do. I want to try to go for emancipation but I feel my reasoning wouldn't be enough.

          Comment


          • ccsmod0
            ccsmod0 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like being at home is really starting to get to you. You mentioned that you have contacted DSS before. Do you know what came from that case? You might be able to contact the case worker that is in charge of your case and let them know about what is going on. We want you to know that you deserve to feel safe in your own home. You said that you have had conversations with your mother about your father behavior but she does not seem to want to do anything to help. Perhaps we can conference a call with you and your mother to talk about your options on leaving home. We know that you already looking into emancipation but maybe we can give you some more information on it. Because from what we are hearing you might be a good candidate for it. If you give us a call we can talk more about all of your options as well as ways to keep you safe in your home. 1-800-786-2929
            Best wishes,
            NRS

        • #36
          Hi, I am 19 years old. About a week ago, I was asked to do a favor by some friends. They asked me to pick up their friend who is 17 because she was getting abused by her parents. The reason they asked me is because I’m the only who drives. They didn’t tell me who the girl was or anything besides the fact that she turns 18 soon and her family is abusing her. Even though I didn’t know her or the whole story, the thought of someone being abused irks me so I did it anyways. Well now, the police are out searching and they have proof that I picked her up. A private investigator called me and asked me a bunch of questions that I answered truthfully. I am worried though that I will go to jail for picking up a runaway when at the time, I did not know was a runaway at all. I thought she was leaving for a couple nights then going back home to work things out or something because I dropped her off at someone’s house. I did not keep her or house her, just picked her up and dropped her off. If I had known that she was going to be a runaway, I most definitely would not have done it but have gone to the police about it first. I have a such a bright future ahead of me and I can’t afford to get arrested for something I had no idea was going on. I’m scared and worried. Not only because I did that, but because I’m 19 and she’s 17. She apparently turns 18 very soon. What do I do?

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello there,
            Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It takes a lot of courage to seek help when you need it. We are glad that you have trusted us enough to contact us. We are very sorry for the difficult situation that you are in. We cannot imagine what you must be feeling right now.
            Again, we are very sorry to hear that you are in this difficult situation. You were doing your friends a favor by giving this girl a ride and now fear that you may be in trouble with the police because she was actually a runaway. We know that is very scary to think about and it is completely normal to be scared and nervous about it. We are not legal experts here at NRS, but to our limited knowledge, we can give you some options that may be helpful. We suggest that you continue to be honest and open with the police and the investigators. As far as we know, you did not house her or help her avoid the police in any way, all you did was give her a ride. You were not aware of the situation that she was in and you did not know she was a runaway. You were just told that she needed to be picked up. We think (again, not legal experts) that you should be okay as long as you continue to be honest and open with the police and anyone conducting the investigation. It seems like you did not do anything illegal.
            Thank you again for reaching out to NRS. We hope that the options that we offered you are helpful. We hope that your situation works out soon. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or start a live chat with us online. We wish you the very best of luck and we hope that everything works out. We are here to listen, we are here to help.

        • #37
          Hi im 17 and ok im foster Care and I want to runaway cause of all the stress and it's not the home it's the system and I want to leave what will the do

          Comment


          • #38
            Hi, thanks for reaching out today! It sounds like you are frustrated with the foster care system and are wanting to run away. We are sorry to hear things are so difficult right now.
            We are not legal experts, but in most states the legal age you can leave foster care is 18. If you leave before that, your case worker could file you as a runaway with the police. Some police stations do not accept runaway reports for 17 year olds if they are close to 18, but that really does depend on the local police department. While it is not a criminal offense to run away, anyone over the age of 18 that you stay with does run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway, which is a criminal offense.
            You may consider talking to your case worker, someone in your home, or even someone at school about what is going on that is making you feel like you want to leave. We also offer conference calling if you would like to have a third party in the conversation with your case worker. We would serve as an advocate for you on the phone; sometimes having a neutral person can lessen tension.
            We are here 24/7 by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY and also by live chat beginning at 4:30 CT if you want to talk about your situation further or pursue a conference call. Thank you for reaching out and best of luck!
            Last edited by ccsmod16; 09-29-2017, 11:29 AM.
            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


            • #39
              if i am In foster care and run away at 17 and will turn 18 in 4 weeks what will happen to me..especially if I'm with my legal age birth siblings

              Comment


              • ccsmod7
                ccsmod7 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for reaching out to us at National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been through a lot. We’re glad you contacted us for help. We are here to listen and help the best way we can.

                We aren’t legal experts, but we can give you some general information based on what you told us. Typically when you’re in foster care and turn 18, you become emancipated. In most cases, you might be eligible for transitional living programs and possibly grants for college after you turn 18. However, if you run away before turning 18, you most likely will lose these benefits of transitional housing and college grant money. If you have questions about your specific situation, you could ask your case manager for more information. You could also call us to discuss other options that may be available.

                We want to make sure that you are safe in whatever decision you make. We are here 24/7, and our line is confidential and anonymous at 1800runaway. We also have a chat option available from 4:30pm to 11:30pm CST through our website at 1800runaway.org. Please call or chat us if you would like to talk further or if we can provide you any local resources. We are here to listen and here to help.

                Good luck and stay safe,

                NRS

            • #40
              Hi my name is Riley and I'm 16 year old and I live in Boston North Carolina . I live with my birth mom and step dad and I want to run away from home. I have mental disabilities none that can put me in danger but need treatment and my parents have denied me of that. Ever since I was little I never knew my real dad. When I was four my mom married my stupid step dad. Ever since that day things have been different to the point where it's free to say my mom hates me. He would force her to abuse me so I have been a victim of abuse since I was 4. It doesn't happen to me lately but it happens to my sister. In a abuse article I read a few days ago it stated thati am treated worse that the slaves of 1816. I am forced to work around the house. I am on punishment to clean for 2 months and I'm supposed to not have to clean anymorie on the 14 which is in two days but that won't happen given I just got in trouble. In 2016 he beat me brutally in the head so now I have been diagnosed with brain swelling and the doctors do not know why because I have not told them yet I made a few lies but my mother shut them down as not possible not realizing she was exposing her husband. The other day he beat my little sister who is 10. She loves her life so I don't want to take her with me. I have tried suicide a few times but I either couldn't go through or someone stopped me. I'm not allowed outside, to my friends houses or with family members. I have an older sister who lives in South Carolina she loves me and when I was younger he would force her to stop I don't know what his deal is. When she would leave he would abuse me and beat me. Till this day she is trying to find a way to break up my "parents". He uses the law and our religion to force me to labor. If I refuse I will get beaten to a pulp. My step brother ran away when he was younger than me. I have family friend who is just about around the corner from my house and she and my parents do not speak. I have a girlfriend in Philadelphia who offered to pick me up but she is under the age so she can't drive without an adult and all adults are out of town for her. Please help me I am really scared and searching for an answer. I can not stay here for another second. I don't mean to pressure you.

              Comment


              • ccsmod10
                ccsmod10 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi Riley,

                We’re so sorry to hear that you’re facing abuse at home. No one deserves to be abused or made to feel unsafe, so thank you for recognizing the importance of your own health and well-being and reaching out to us for help.

                It sounds like you are struggling with finding a way out of a dangerous situation where you’re forced to work in your home under threat of physical violence while your physical and mental health are neglected. Reporting this abuse to Child Protective Services is always an option. If you want to pursue that or discuss what reporting may mean, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), or Child Help at 1-800-422-4453, and we can help you with that process. Your life and safety is important, and if you’re in immediate danger remember that you can also call 9-1-1. We can best help you think through your options if you call us, but we recognize that it may be hard or put you in danger to call while at home. If that is the case, you can use our chat at https://www.1800runaway.org/ when it is open or the 24/7 Crisis Textline at https://www.crisistextline.org/how-it-works/ (texting HOME to 741741). If you need a safe place to go, you can find somewhere through National Safe Place’s TXT4HELP program (http://www.nationalsafeplace.org/txt-4-help) by texting “safe” plus your current location (city/state/zip) to 69866 to be given the nearest Safe Place site and the opportunity to text with a counselor. If you call us or use our chat, we can also help you find possible shelters or other safe places in your area.

                You said that you’re considering running away and going to your girlfriend’s family, if you can find a way to get there. If you did run away your parents would have the right to file a runaway report, and your girlfriend’s family might be liable to be charged with harbouring a runaway. However, since abuse is involved police response might change, and it is possible they would not attempt to return you home right away and would instead pursue CPS reporting. If you call us or use our chat, we can look for legal aid resources for you or call out to police to find out what they would do in this situation. Other options may be to talk to your girlfriend’s family, your other friends and their families, or your school (though anyone at your school would be a mandated abuse reporter) about what’s going on and how you are unsafe at home. They may be able to provide you support and brainstorm more options.

                You also mentioned past struggles with suicidal thoughts and mental health issues. Your life is valuable, and you deserve to be listened to and supported through these struggles. If you ever feel in danger of self-harm or suicide again, please know you can call 9-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to get immediate help.

                Thanks again for reaching out to us and prioritizing your own safety even through this difficult situation.

                We wish you the best of luck,
                NRS

            • #41
              Our 15 year old daughter lives with her biological mom in north carolin and we live in New York. Her mother has begun to alienate her from us making visits almost impossible (we havent seen her in a year) and phone calls very limited and monitored. We dont have an updated custody agreement since I had to move to NY and now she has moved also and wont tell us her address or even what school she goes to. We have joint legal custody but she has physical custody. My question is, if my daughter were to choose to come live with me without her mothers permission, at what age would it be acceptable and not seen as kidnapping on my part? Is the only way through court (again I dont even know her address so filing a petition would be difficult), or can my daughter at a certain age make that decision on her own and not be forced by the police to be returned to her mothers home?

              Comment


              • ccsmod6
                ccsmod6 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time, but we are here to support you and help you in any way we can. That sounds really stressful and hurtful to feel alienated from you daughter.
                We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal for a youth to leave home, but her mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring her home if they know where she is. Her mother could also charge you for harboring her as a runaway, but if you have legal custody, that may change the situation. You could consider calling your local nonemergency police department to ask about their policies. We also have legal aid resources here if you have specific questions about the laws in North Carolina or New York.
                There are also many resources that could help you work through conflict with your daughter’s mom, help you get legal advice, or help you with anything else you may need. If you want to talk more about what’s been going on, or if you would like more information about resources, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online.
                Again, thank you or contacting us. It sounds like you’ve been going through a really hard time, but you’ve shown a lot of strength by working through these challenges and reaching out for help. If you ever need anything in the future, please feel free to call us or chat with us online. We’re always here to listen and here to help.

            • #42
              I’m 16 years old and I had run away from my house and my mom knows where I am and I think she wants to call the police can the police make me go back home if I don’t want to

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey there, thank you for reaching out to us here at NRS, we’re happy to help. Though it varies by state and municipality, in most communities, the age of majority, or when you’d be considered a legal adult, is 18. Prior to this point, your mom would still be considered your legal guardian and is responsible for your care.

                If your mother chose to call the police and file a runaway report, you would most likely be returned to your home. Running away is a status offense, so you wouldn’t get in trouble legally. However, most areas have laws regarding harboring a runaway and/or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This could put those you’re staying with at risk legally, even if they’re okay with you being there, or if they think they’re doing the right thing.

                Though you didn’t say anything about it in your bulletin, it’s worth mentioning that your safety is important. If staying at home feels unsafe or dangerous, there are people you can talk to about it. Our hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY if you have any other questions, need some resources, or would just like to talk about what’s going on at home. Good luck!

            • #43
              Can somebody help me get to North Carolina by this Friday I’m in Texarkana Texas and I will have money I’m trying to bounce ASAP pls anyone

              Comment


              • ccsmod0
                ccsmod0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello, Thank you for using NRS forum. It sounds like you are in need to transportation assistance. We do offer a Home Free program, which reunites qualifying young people 12-21 with their families. If you are between the ages of 12-21, we encourage you to give us a call to start the Home Free process. At this time, Home Free is only available over the phone. When you call, explain you are interested in returning home and we will talk to you about your situation.
                We hope that you are able to get a hold of us to start the process.
                Best wishes,
                NRS

            • #44
              I do not want to live with my mother all she does is snort pills and do drugs. Sge dont want the same goals i do in life. I want to get emancipated but i dont know how i dont want to end up like my mother and i cant live with my dad because he died of alcohol poisoning i dont know what to do.

              Comment


              • ccsmod7
                ccsmod7 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi, thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like home is really hard with your mom doing drugs and it’s hard to when your parent doesn’t support your goals. And your dad’s death from alcohol poisoning is a lot to deal with on top of everything else you’re going through. You deserve the life you’ve envisioned for yourself; you deserve to achieve your goals and feel supported. So really, thank you sincerely for reaching out to us.

                Since we don’t know your age, it’s more difficult to answer your question about emancipation. In general, a judge needs to see that you are financially able to care for yourself. We do have a legal referral for you: Legal Aid of North Carolina, they provide free legal help to low-income North Carolinians in civil (meaning non-criminal) cases involving basic human needs like safety and shelter.

                If you were to call our 24-hour confidential hotline, we can discuss with you the other options you have for your situation. If you call during the business hours of the agency above, we can call with you and be with you as your advocate.

                Our hotline number is 1-800-RUNAWAY; and our live-chat is available 4:30-11:30 pm central time. We hope you will contact us again, and we wish you the best of luck.

            • #45
              To Whom It May Concern;
              I have a young 16-year-old adolescent who was beaten by his father run away and ask for a safe place to stay. He says he is afraid for his life. His biological mother lives in Missouri and is trying to find a way to help him.
              1-What will happen to me if I help this child have a safe warm place to sleep for the night?
              2-Do I call the police in the morning to file a report?
              3- How will I know he will be ok?
              4- Will CPS be involved?

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thanks so much for reaching out. We’re glad to know this youth has someone who is willing to advocate for them. Many youth don’t have people helping them stay safe, so we want to commend you for trying your best to help out.

                You say that this youth was beaten by his father before he ran away. We have a few resources for youth who have experienced violence in the home. We can file abuse reports for children who need it, and we can help them unpack these experiences over the phone (1-800-786-2929). Abuse reports are helpful for youth who want social workers to assess their home situation, and who are looking to be housed outside of the home in which the abuse occurred.

                Unfortunately, we are not legal experts, and runaway laws vary across the U.S. We therefore will not be able to give you specific legal information in response to your questions with 100% confidence. We can provide general information, however, and we encourage you to double check this information with your non-emergency police department.

                If you try to help a child who ran away from home by housing them, you may get charged with harboring a runaway. Our understanding is that police officers file these charges, and they have some discretion as to whether or not these charges are filed. Perhaps your commitment to providing this youth a safe, warm place to sleep for the night would prevent police from filing these charges. We, however, cannot guarantee that. The youth who ran away is unlikely to be arrested, as running away is usually considered a status offense (like breaking curfew), and not a criminal offense (like homicide).

                You also are free to call the police about the situation and see how they wish to handle it. Police are likely to return a runaway youth home unless the youth alleges their parents abused them. In this case, the police may choose to involve CPS and rehouse the youth. You should not be able to make a runaway report on the youth’s behalf; only a parent can file a runaway report.

                Because you may be considered someone who “harbored” this runaway, it’s very unlikely the police or anyone else will notify you that the runaway is safe outside of your home. Feel free to talk with this runaway and let them know to contact you and let you know they are safe.

                Hopefully, this information helped you out. We encourage you and the youth to call us for further resources and support. Best of luck.

                -NRS
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