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Missouri 17 YO Runaway Laws

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  • #16
    RE: Scared of mom

    Hello There,
    Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline forum. We’re so sorry to hear about what’s been going on at home. No one deserves to be suffering like you do. Living with an alcoholic can be very challenging. It takes a lot of courage to reach out for help and we’re really glad you did so today.
    We’re sorry that DFS isn’t doing anything. Sometimes it does take time for there to be enough evidence to move on a case. Multiple reports can also help. If you wanted, you could give us a call here and we’d be happy to help you file a report, or any of the relatives you mentioned can certainly report as well.
    Otherwise, you should know that whoever does help you run away could get in trouble if the police got involved. Since you’re a minor, it would be up to your legal guardian to determine where you live and they can file a runaway report to get you returned home.
    If you wanted to talk to someone who specializes in substance abuse in the family, you could reach out to Families Anonymous. They can be reached at 1-800-736-9805.
    If you’d like to discuss this in more detail, please give us a call here. 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We’re 24/7 and confidential.
    Best of luck,
    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

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    • #17
      Im 17 and my dad kicked me out but said i ran away and now has the police involved any suggestions

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        We're sorry to hear that you are in such a crisis. We are non directive here at NRS so we are unable to tell you exactly what you should do in your situation. If you would like to talk more, please call our hotline or chat with us on our website. Best of luck!

        NRS

    • #18
      Hello, I've been with my boyfriend for well over a year now and my parents are very over protective and basically told me I can't date him anymore with no explanation other than they thought he didn't like our family which isn't true he's just nervous around them. I turned 17 and he's 18 do i have the right to continue dating him even they though they told me I couldn't and if they attempt to separate us and I leave what could happen to myself and my boyfriend.

      Comment


      • #19
        Hi, I've been with my boyfriend for well over a year things are serious and we both have good jobs. My parents are very over protective they've been aware of our realationship the whole time but they realise things are serious between us and basically told me I couldn't date him anymore. I am 17 and he is 18 do they have the right to make me stop dating him and If they try to make me can I leave and go live with my boyfriend's family and what could be our consequences. My boyfriend is also going to speak to a lawyer who deals with these kind of things but I'm anxious and he won't be able to talk to him for a few days.

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thank you so much for writing in. It sounds like you are in a very stressful situation. Nobody likes to be told they can't date someone they like, and it sounds like this came as a surprise after you have been dating your boyfriend for a long time. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. At 17, your parents are allowed to make rules for the house, including whether or not you can date. Parent's rules don't have the force of law and you can't go to jail or be charged with a crime for continuing to date your boyfriend against their wishes, however as a minor you are still the responsibility of your parents and they are allowed to make and enforce these kinds of rules. If you leave home without permission, they could call the police, who could search for you and make you go home. If you were to move in with your boyfriend's family, they could actually be charged with harboring a runaway, which is is a criminal offense. We aren't legal experts, however in general that is how it works. Your boyfriend talking to a lawyer is a good idea, since lawyers are legal experts they may be able to provide some more legal advice about what your options are. If you need to talk about your situation, we are here 24/7 to help however we can. Don't hesitate to give us a call or chat with us online. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

      • #20
        I wanna live with my boyfriend. I'm 17 and I can suppirt myself very well on my own already. My dad just acting crazy and doesn't want me to grow up. I'm thinking of just leaving and moving out. My dad saying that he is gunna call police and get them all involved. Help me.

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,

          Thanks for reaching out to us for help. Sounds like you are in a tough situation with your dad. It sounds frustrating to feel like your dad doesn't want you to grow up. We aren't legal experts but we can give you some general info. If you move in with your boyfriend, your dad can call the police. The police can search for you and force you to go home. Your boyfriend could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a criminal offense. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. If you have questions or you want to talk through the situation, please don't hesitate to give us a call any time. We can talk through some options and help you come up with a plan to deal with your situation and stay safe. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

      • #21
        I'm 16 right now and I know that in Missouri when you are 17 you are legally allowed to leave home but I live in Montana so if I leave Montana and go to Missouri when I'm 17 and live with my boyfriends family what can happen? Will the police make me go home? Can I still enroll in school there?

        Comment


        • ccsmod9
          ccsmod9 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you very much for contacting us at the National Runaway Safeline.  We’re here to listen and here to help.  It sounds like you’re interested in leaving home to live with your boyfriend.   It seems like you see your boyfriend and his family as a source of support.  It is wonderful that you have such people in your life.

          While we do not know your reasons for leaving, we can share some of the information we have regarding running away.  We are not legal experts.  If you are below the age of majority in your state, your parents can file a runaway report that then goes nationwide.  People who help runaways can be charged with harboring a runaway.  This could lead to fines or more serious consequences for them.  Typically, when youth leave home, police return them back to their parents. 

          Have you considered options such as asking your mom to allow you to stay with them?  Or, looking into applying for emancipation?  Emancipation is a somewhat expensive process where youth show the court that they can be independent from their parents.  They prove that they know how to provide for their own housing and income.

          We would love to speak with you more.  Please do call or chat with us for more individualized supports.  See our contact details below.

          Best,
          ​​​​​​​
          NRS

      • #22
        my boyfriend is 15. his dad has been emotionally and physically abusing him for years. forcing religious beliefs on him. if he were too come live with us or something, go live with someone else. what are the options for him to do this safely?

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello there, thanks for reaching out for your boyfriend. He is lucky to have a caring partner like you, and it is so not okay that he is being harmed at home both mentally and physically. Here at NRS, we truly want to help

          He does have the right to report the physical and emotional abuse to child protective services (CPS). If CPS finds the abuse highly dangerous he would be removed from the house. To learn more about what reporting might look like for him, you all might contact the expert child advocates at Child Help 1-800-422-4453. If he calls us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we can help him call out and make that report.

          The easiest way we can leave home is with his guardian’s permission. That sounds like it might be incredibly hard for him, but if he has a supportive extended family member or trusted adult in his life, he might include them in on the conversation with his parents to advocate for him moving. Depending on his state’s laws and his finances, he might be able to go through the emancipation process. Emancipation laws vary by state, but he typically would have to be 16 to file for it, and would have to prove to a judge that he is financially self-sufficient without with parent’s assistance.

          If he does leave home without permission, his dad can file a runaway report for him with local police. If he is found as a runaway by police, he would be returned home. While running away is typically not illegal for youth, they legal adult housing him is at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway; which is a misdemeanor.

          You might give him our number, if he would like to call or chat us so we can help try to brainstorm additional options for him. He so deserves to be safe and live free from violence.

          Best,

          NRS

      • #23
        If I runaway from Missouri to another state when I'm 17 years old what will happen

        Comment


        • ccsmod7
          ccsmod7 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello there, thanks for reaching out today.

          The legal age is 18 in Missouri, so at 17 it depends if your local police department will take a runaway report for you from your parent or guardian. If your local police department takes a runaway report for you, you typically would be returned home if you are found. Sometimes police departments have different protocol for 17 year old runaways compared to younger runaways. The best way to learn about those is to call the non-emergency police number and ask hypothetical questions about your situation. If they do take a runaway report for you and you are found in another state, it is possible that you could be detained until your parents can come get you. If you are found staying with a legal adult, they are at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway.

          Please call or chat if you would like to talk more about your situation.

          Be safe,

          NRS

      • #24
        Leaving @ 17

        there are major family issues that my boyfriend & I are both dealing w and we have a plan to runaway from Missouri to another state but we'll be over 17. I was told by someone in the child department of services or whatever that if I run away again ill be sent to jail but once I'm 17 I can run away w/o legal troubles right

        Comment


        • ccsmod16
          ccsmod16 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for reaching out. We’re sorry that you’re dealing with those major family issues, but it’s great that you’re taking steps to find a safe and supportive environment.

          We are not legal experts, but speaking in general, all youth are under guardianship until age 18. That means that youth do have to live with their parents unless there’s an abuse situation, which would then be handled through Child Protective Services. (If that’s applicable at all, you could call Child Help anonymously, and explore what options you might have: 1-800-422-4453.)

          It’s never illegal to run away, but if you’ve run away a lot it’s possible that they might place you in a youth program. That might be what the person you spoke to was referring to. It may also have been an idle threat.

          Finally, police departments vary in how they handle cases. In general, their job is to return you to your guardian, but they may not actively search. You could call your local police department’s non-emergency line anonymously, and ask how they might handle a case like yours.

          We hope this info is a help, but please call us if you’d like to talk through the situation you are dealing with in more detail.

      • #25
        Hi, im 17, 2 months from being 18
        my mom told me to leave last night and now she says i cant. . She just slapped me across the fce after i packed. Can i leave without getting in trouble?

        Comment


        • ccsmod6
          ccsmod6 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,

          Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us tonight! We're sorry that your mom changed her mind about you leaving. It sounds like there's some tension between you guy that is making things a bit difficult. Her hitting you is never okay, and we are sorry to hear that you had to deal with that. If her hitting you is a regular thing know you have the right to report it. You can call out to child help at 1-800-422-4453.

          So for the most part if you leave home before the age of 18 you could be considered a runaway. Your mom could call your local police department and file a runaway report for you if you were to leave home without her permission. Running away is not illegal but it is considered a status offense, so what means that you would not get arrested for running away or anything along those lines but you would be taken back home if you were found.

          Your being 17 makes thing a little bit different, though. Sometimes the police will not take a runaway report for a 17 year old because they are so close to being 18. This really differs from police departmentto polcie department though so you would actually have to call out to your local police department in order to find out what exactly they would do about your situation. If you want, you can call into our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we are 24/7 and we would be more than happy to call out to your local police department for you if you do not feel comfortable doing so yourself.

          We wish you the best of luck with everything! Again, please don't hesitate to call us with whatever else you need.

      • #26
        What are the runaway laws in missouri. I can't seem to find a sight for them

        Comment


        • ccsmod10
          ccsmod10 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi there,

          Thanks for reaching out to NRS through our forum. It looks like you’re interested in what runaway laws are in Missouri. While we’re not legal experts, we do have basic knowledge on those laws and what usually happens.

          Running away, as a minor (under 1, is a status offense. Your age is your status and as a minor, you’re not able to leave the house without your parents’ permission. If you runaway, your parents are able to make a runaway report with the police. They sometimes go looking for you, but not always. If they come across you, while you’re on the run, they usually just take you home. Sometimes they require youth to go through counseling, but it’s not common. You can’t be arrested for running away. If you runaway multiple times, the court can take different actions. Also, we see police not taking runaway reports on 17 year olds who are soon to be turning 18. Since we’re not experts on every states/cities runaway laws, we do offer to call out with youth or for youth, to their local police stations. So we can get the exact answer on their protocols. If you do runaway, we also have a database of runaway/youth shelters if you’re not sure on where you can go.

          We hope that our response is helpful and if you want to use our conference calling option with the police, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Our safeline is open 24/7, so we’re always a call away.

          Be safe, NRS

      • #27
        Hi, I am 17 and i have terrible family problems. Me and my dad don't ever get a long and we don't have any connection. When i walk through the door I don't feel welcome in my own home. I live in Missouri. I take prescription medication for a stomach problem. I have to take them to stay alive. Im worried that if I move out my dad can cut the medication plan and I wont have any way to get them. I was wondering if there is anyway I can pick up my medication even tho im only 17.

        Comment


        • ccsmod1
          ccsmod1 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hello,


          Thanks for sharing your situation and reaching out to us for help. We are really sorry to hear that you feel unwelcome at home. It sounds like you are having a really hard time with your dad right now, and it is understandable that you would want to move out. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. As for your medication and your health needs, if you do run away it sounds like you would still rely on your dad for health insurance. If you see the doctor or pick up your prescriptions, your dad will be able to find out about it on his insurance statements. It is possible that he could cut you off insurance, or that you may find yourself unable to access health care as a runaway. Denying you access to your medication could be considered medical neglect, which is an illegal form of child abuse, however this could be complicated by the fact that you are not living at home if you have run away without permission. You may think about making a plan for how you would afford your medications if you lost insurance. You should also know that anyone who takes you in while reported as a runaway could be at risk for criminal charges for harboring a runaway. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to give us a call. We are happy to talk through your options and help you come up with a plan to deal with your situation and stay safe. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

      • #28
        I turn 17 in a few weeks and my cousin who ran away last year plans on helping me move to a safe place in Texas with him.

        Would I... be okay to leave?

        Comment


        • ccsmod5
          ccsmod5 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hi,
          Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you’re in a tough spot and are wanting to leave. We’re not legal experts, but to our knowledge you need to be 18 years old to leave home without parental consent. If you do leave without permission, your family would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police find you, they may return you home. Any adult who houses you may be charged with harboring a runaway.
          That being said, we don’t have a lot of information about your situation and you know best whether or not it’s safest for you to leave. If you want to talk about the situation more specifically and figure out your options, please feel free to reach out to us by calling 1-800-786-2929. Best of luck.

      • #29
        Running away tonight

        Im planning on running away tonight and i have stuff packed, and my parents are asleep i don't know if i should go to my friend's house who lives a few minutes away from me or just not run away. It's nighttime where i am and i don't know if its safe to go now.

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand that it takes a great deal of courage to seek help. It sounds like you are planning on running away tonight. Your safety is very important. Having a plan about where you would go and how you would take care of yourself is essential. If you decide to leave home and need a safe place to stay, we could look up local resources for you. If you are under 18, and you decide to leave home your parents have the right to file a runaway report. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home. Running away is not illegal, but if you decide to stay with a friend they could get in trouble for harboring a runaway. If you have any questions or just want to talk, please feel free to contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.


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

      • #30
        Can I move out in Missouri if I’m a foster care kid? I’m almost 17 as in this weekend can I move out or do I have to ask my caseworker. I have a place to live with my friend and her family. They have a room for me and they plan to have it ready. I don’t like my place I’m living everyone is rude to me and treats me like crap. I don’t get to do anything either. So I was wondering what the rule was for moving out at that age. Please I need some advice.

        Comment


        • ccsmod10
          ccsmod10 commented
          Editing a comment
          Hey there,

          Thank you for being able to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. From what you shared, it seems like you are ready to leave but are not sure about what to do at this point. We want you to know that we are here to listen and to help in the best way that we can.

          We do want to mention that we are not legal experts here, but we are able to speak in general terms. With that shared, we are not necessarily here to tell you what to do, but we are able to explore some options. You mentioned that you are currently in foster care, meaning that the state has guardianship over you. If you are a minor and were to leave without consent, if you were found, typically you would be reported as a runaway. Talking with your caseworker will probably be the best option for you, in order to get verified answers to those legal questions.

          We want you to know that you are not alone, remember that you are able to give us a call and we will try to help you to the best of our ability. We wish you the best of luck and remember that we are here to listen and to help. 24/7.

          Stay strong,

          NRS
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