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My Runaway Rights in North Carolina

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  • ccsmod4
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).

    We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
    You have a friend that may be experiencing some verbal and physical abuse.
    We are sorry to hear this. They do not deserve to be abused by their parent’s. It’s not their fault for what has been going on. Because of this they are thinking about running away.
    It also sounds like you have some concerns about what might happen if the police become involved.

    While we are not experts on the law, someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.

    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    So I have a 14 year old friend and his parents grew up in a culture that allows this kind of abuse verbally and light physical abuse. He is skeptical about running away. Like deep inside he wants to but at the same time he can't. We all live in the triangle in N.C. and we aren't quite sure on the laws. Right now we are basically planning on calling either a youth shelter or his real dad. We would essentially call one of those right after he runs away and we meet up. We need to know the legal concerns and what charges we could face, whether we could get a misdemeanor or a real felony charge or even worse prison time. PLS. help, if u know about the law here it could help out
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 07-31-2020, 02:10 AM.

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  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out. It really seems like you feel isolated and abused in your home. It's also understandable why you would be nervous to leave your siblings, they are lucky to have someone like you who really cares about their well-being. You do not deserve to be verbally abused by anyone but especially by a parent who is supposed to support and care for you. We understand it can take a great deal of courage to reach out for help, and we are glad you to support you in anyway that we can.

    It can definitely be a big decision to decide to leave home, and it seems like you are worried about your siblings. But, with having no freedom and being verbally abused it is completely understandable why you would be considering leaving, and we're glad to hear you have friends who care for you. When it comes to making the decision to leave, there can be a lot to consider. We hope we can help you make the best, most-informed decision. It could be helpful to consider how you would support yourself, if your friends would let you stay long term, how you would continue school, etc. When it comes to considering your plan and how people in your life would react, you know your situation, your dad, and your friends best.

    It also may be helpful to be aware of some of the runaway laws in North Carolina. We are not legal experts, but we know some general rules. Youth are technically not allowed to leave home until they are 18. Running away is not illegal, but parents and guardians are expected to file runaway reports with the police. This means that your local police will be made aware that you have left, and if you were to end up in their custody, they would most likely return you home. It's also important to note that Harboring a Runaway laws exist in some places. This means your guardian could potentially press charges against whoever you stayed with, but to our knowledge, this does not happen very often.

    By sharing this information, we do not wish to give you advice on what is best for you, we just want to encourage that all possibilities have space to be explored so you can make a decision that feels comfortable and safe for you. If you would like to continue to discuss your plans or talk more about your situation, you can call us at 1-800-786-2929 or live chat with us through our website. It seems like even though you are going through a lot with your dad, you really care about your siblings and exploring your possibilities. We are open 24/7/365 and we are confidential, if there is anything else we can help you with, please do not hesitate to reach out.

    Best of luck and stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi I'm about to turn 17 and I'm verbally abused at my house my dad threatens me all the time and my mother kicked me out at a young age i have been thinking about running away for so long but scared to because I don't wanna leave my siblings behind to deal with the same thing my dad won't lete do anything have a job see friends or even see my boyfriend I'm so tierd of this I have been told by my friends that if I need a place to stay I can stay with them what should I do

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a really difficult situation at home and are contemplating running away. We are so glad you sought our help—you have come to the right place.

    It is important you know first of all that no one deserves to be emotionally and sexually abused like this. In your post, you state that you do not feel safe and comfortable at home, and you absolutely should not have to feel like this. You indicate not wanting to call the police, but you should know that the police will always be available to respond to immediate danger in your home. They can be reached at 911. You can also always report an abuse to Child Protective Services. If you want help understanding how this works you can reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. We can also walk you through the process of abuse reporting at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are always here to help.

    Your decision to run away seems based on your need for the real love and respect you deserve. It is great that you have put so much mature thought into it. It is important that you consider that leaving home without parental consent can lead to police involvement. While it is not illegal for a minor to run away, it is considered a status offense (like smoking a cigarette when you are a minor) and if your parents report you as a runaway, the police will try to find you and bring you back home. Perhaps reaching out to the friend with whom you want to stay and enlisting their parent/guardian to become involved in getting your parents’ consent would help. You have made an important step in running away—figuring out where you will go; now, you simply need to figure out the steps to get there and stay there, if that is what you want. If you feel like you want a better picture of this, you can reach out to us at any time.

    We hope that some of this information was useful to you. You have been very brave in the face of a very hard situation, and you deserve freedom from your home, if that’s what you want. As you take this journey, we hope that you will consider us an ally. We can always talk to you at 1-800-RUNAWAY or via instant messenger at 1800runaway.org.

    Stay safe and strong out there.
    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello... I’m 13 years old and I’ve lived here in North Carolina at this house since I was born, I feel unsafe and uncomfortable, my mother always calls me names and sometimes even neglects and treats me lower than my brother... my father recently started touching my thighs, stomach, and sometimes even poking my butt which is really violating to me and I’m seriously considering running away, I have a couple friends who would be able to help out one of which lives not too far away, and the other can’t physically help me but she’s the one whose been helping me through most of this. Oh and I haven’t mentioned my brother, he has physically hurt me before and he is only 15, he also yells and intrudes on my personal space. I feel very violated and I don’t want to move away from my friends and such so I don’t want to call the police that is why living with a friend would be easiest for me and I have even written a note that would explain to my parents what I’ve been feeling, here is what the note says- “I ran away, yes this is probably not something you want to read but, I don’t feel comfortable with you guys anymore and it’s my choice and it’s the best thing I could think of because I don’t want to hurt you more than I have. Please don’t report a missing persons, I am safe living with a friend and will message you occasionally to tell you I’m alright and living well, I may come visit again someday but not any time soon I just need a lot of space ok!” I don’t know if that’s good enough or not I just really need help right now and to get away.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod4
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thank you for your comment. NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
    I'm tired of my family

    In tired of my family,hi I'm 12 years old and live in North Carolina I recently moved in with my dad about 9 months ago.at the beginning of me moving in he was chill and I could hang out with friends and things but recently he has been going off the hook he would be getting drunk every night and he smokes pot.one night I got really mad at him and went outside in the cold rain cause I was and he told me to come inside and I refused he started chasing me but I was to fast and he fell and tripped over a puddle when I was running I was scared half to death cause I did not know what was going to happen when he caught me. My parents split up about 2 years ago and when they were together my dad used to beat me and give me welts and he choked my mom once. But the reason I moved out of my moms house is because she got mad at me for no reason called her boyfriend in there he grabbed me by my ankles and threw me to the ground, my mom sat on top of me and held my arms down yelling in my face who do u think u are!?!?. I used all of my strength to push her off and I was yelling at her to get off cause I couldn't breath! I finally got her off and ran out side but while all This was happening my brother was sitting there laughing at me and telling me to chill like I will not chill when I can't breath!. But recently at my dads house I got into trouble for almost fighting and my grades suck so he grounded me and I have a funeral to go to and he told me to bad for u! That really peed me off! So now I'm thinking about running away I have a place to stay at my friends house with food and water, but she lives down the road from my dad....so how would that work but if u have advice on what I can do plz help me. But the reason I don't wanna go back to my mom cause like me and her are on good terms but I just don't want to go back to the environment cause her boyfriend also smokes pot. But I don't understand why my mom is still with him cause the first night I stayed there with him my sister who is 17 was with a fiend and my brother who is 16 was with a friend btw my mom treats my brother like gold. But anyways the first night I stayed there he pushed her to the ground and stood there looking at her.. And I really hate violence because when I was little my mom used to get beat by my dad every night and slapped and things (don't know why my mom stayed with him till 2 years ago) but if someone could help me figure this out that would be greAt.thx
    I think it would be better to not stay with any of them.
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 07-03-2020, 02:16 AM.

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  • ccsmod2
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello There,
    Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It seems like you have been going through a really difficult time lately, and we want you to know that you are not alone. It sounds like you have a lot of pain you may want to consider reaching out to a school counselor or a therapist. We know many schools are closed right now but some school counselors are meeting with students virtually.
    We know you mentioned wanting to run away, we are not legal experts but do have some information. If you were to leave your home, because you are a minor your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. Also whoever you would stay with could potentially get in trouble for harboring a runaway.
    We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. Best of luck!
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    i want to runaway to my friends house. im 13, i thought that i’d try to stay home til 15 but it’s been getting harder. i cant bear to live with my family anymore. i don’t want to cause any trouble for my friends family though. i’ve thought about running away for months now but i’ve been trying to endure the pain. any advice?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. It must be really frustrating to have such an empty response like that from your mom when you protest her actions. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

    It seems like your mom isn’t fully understanding you when you are trying to relay your thoughts and feelings about your current situation. It could be a good idea to work with a local family counselor or have a conversation mediated by a school counselor/social worker, trusted friend, or family member to help clear the air. If you'd like, you can also call us directly and we can conduct a conference call with your mom so you have a safe environment where you can express yourself.

    If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

    We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    Stay safe,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hi i am 9 years old and i really feel like runing away i been reading on what to pack and if i will be safe me and my mom get in arguements for sometimes no resons when we talk its like she only think about her self so her if a example i ask to get top bunk she said my little sister who is 3 YEARS FREAKING OLD was going to get the top bunk this was so unbelived able i tried comeing up with some good resons why she should be on bottom bunk but she said "I am your mother i what i says goes" and i was pissed that i put tht pee is pissed and all i want to do is leave when i try to talk about my feelings she says "You need to be good beacuse honestly you need to start behaveing and i am your mother and what i say goes". so thats going to be her exuse for everything like i am hurt deeply. i am really being pushed of the edge please say something that makes me whant to stay

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  • ccsmod16
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi,
    Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. This situation sounds really scary and dangerous for your child and her grandmother and everyone involved. We are sorry that the laws favor the custodial parent, unless social services is involved, and so all of this must be scary and stressful for you since you are so far away. She has been through so very much and we hope our program can help.

    We administer the Home Free program on behalf of Greyhound Buslines for youth aged 12-21, and the program has to be initiated by the youth by calling our hotline at 1800-786-2929 (1800-runaway). If the youth is aged 12-15, a guardian ticket must be issued and someone must accompany the youth. Some circumstances raise the guardian ticket age to 16.

    We hope this information helps you and your daughter’s situation and that we hear from her soon at 1800-786-2929
    Sincerely,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hello my name is maria I live in arizona and my daughter lives in nc her father and I have split custody that he has never abided by several times contempted and we wind up back in court once my child was touched sexually by his minor brother 14 her 3 since no penetration nd both minors dss just put in safety plan for everyone nd she was forced to see her abuser on the daily even had a restraining order against her father because he threw a beer can at her head at 9 but I have always tried to keep things civil go to court not withhold her from him just abide legally however two days ago my daughters babysitter tried getting a restraining order for her again against her father he was drunk as always and threatened whole house of sitter which including our daughter nd 3 other minor children threatened to slit the throat of one of my daughters minor friends as well day b4 threatened to bust our daughters phone against her forehead called her very abusive words that an 11yr old shouldn't even have to hear but sitter couldn't get one because she isnt blood relative police told her to call social services or take her to a trusted blood relative warned sitter that if my child was at any home that wasnt a parent that if a parent showed up the child would have to return to parent they could not hold her from him even if he were drunk as long as he didn't drive himself there my daughter refused to go back to sitters or home was scared has been through alot and honestly I'm sure theres times I dont even know about I am scared for her she even went as far as saying she will kill herself if they make her go back to him or put her with someone she doesn't know so sitter took her to my grandmother she is currently there safe but has begged me every 20mins for last 2 days to please get her here she fears shell b found mistreated and it's already hard for her to even keep contact with me because he does his best to not allow it sometimes week or more b4 I hear from her and only a few minutes at a time but needs to be here with me asap because granny is 80 and she fears her father will find her and force her home 2 were all afraid she will hurt herself if he doesn't hurt her first i have 2 other children and am currently not working so getting her here is more than complicated especially since she is a minor nd hard for her to travel alone is there any services that yall offer or do u know of anywhere that offers services that can help us get her away from domestic violence and home with us please get back to me asap everyday that passes is detrimental thanks also i do have joint custody nd believe i am custodial parent but police cant enforce it and he doesn't abide by it he told sitter he was gonna get her for kidnapping not sure he can and unsure if hes reported anything because we dont speak never really been good with each other at communication just want my daughter to b able to b a child nd enjoy life like she should and feel faulted over all this because I could've gotten full custody awhile back but I didnt I trusted he had kicked his habit nd wanted to b the father she deserved again (used 2 b the best to her and my son from previous relationship until we split)so gave him a chance when I shouldn't have and now were here PLEASE HELP US HELP HER

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,

    Thanks for contacting NRS and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you with figuring out your next steps in this difficult situation. Asking for help was really responsible and smart of you. We are sorry to hear things are so unstable at home. You deserve to live somewhere that makes you feel safe and supported.

    It sounds like you would much rather live with your brother and he would provide a much more comfortable living environment for you. However, if you leave without the permission of your parents, they do have the option of reporting you as a runaway since you are still a minor. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. While you would not get into any legal trouble, if your parents know where you are staying or you come into contact with law enforcement then a police officer might bring you back home. In some areas police protocol is more lenient and they do not necessarily consider an individual who leaves home at 17 a runaway. If this is the case for your area then police would not force you back home. You can anonymously call the non-emergency line for your local police department to ask about how they handle runaway reports.

    The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parent's permission. We know you mentioned your mom in particular can be very difficult to communicate with, but if you think it is possible to sit her down for a conversation this could make leaving easier for you. Sometimes explaining to parents why leaving home could be beneficial for both you and them can get them to consider your perspective a bit more. If there is someone who your parents trust, you can reach out to them to ask for their help as a mediator in this conversation to keep things calm.

    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.

    Stay safe,
    NRS
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