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14 runaway, can she legally run away to her dads?

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  • 14 runaway, can she legally run away to her dads?

    I have a friend whos 14 and her mother has full custody over her. She's run away to her dad's house and she doesnt want to go back. Ever. But her mom is threating to call the cops for kidnap (even though i think its 'harboring a runaway'). Her mom is FORCING her to return home against her will. She doesnt want to go back home and deal with all the yelling and fighting, but she also doesnt want to get her dad in legal trouble. Please please please help us. Help her!

  • #2
    Thanks for reaching out to us at NRS. It is great that you’re doing what you can to help out your friend; she is very lucky to have you!

    If her mom does have full custody, and she hasn’t given permission for your friend to stay with anyone else, her mom is technically able to call the cops and have her brought home (and her dad could get in trouble for harboring a runaway). The only exception to this would be if there was confirmed abuse in the home (physical, sexual, or verbal) or neglect. If your friend is unsure if the yelling and fighting could qualify as abuse, she can read more about it at, or she can call us at 1-800-786-2929 to help her decide an option that is right for her.

    Since we are not legal experts, we are unable to determine exactly what would happen in her specific situation, especially since it’s involving custody between her parents. If her dad is interested in pursuing custody, sometimes it is helpful to reach out to his custody lawyer to see what his rights are and what steps can be taken to ensure he does not get in trouble.

    Hope this gives you some guidance. Again, you and your friend are always welcome to call us at the number above. We are 24/7 and completely confidential. Good luck!
    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!


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