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What are the consequences of a 15 year old running away

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  • Hello. Im 15. Ive been planning on running away for years now and my friend is saying that they will harbor me. Im not really worried about myself getting in trouble since i know ill be beat within an inch of my life when im forced home. What im worried about is my friend. How much trouble could they get in for harboring me?

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    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that your home situation has been going so poorly that you are planning to run away. It is very kind and thoughtful to think about your friend before yourself and to be concerned for their wellbeing. While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways. To break down our understanding of your situation: as a minor, if you leave home your parents are entitled to file a runaway report. If a runaway report is out on you, the police are usually entitled to notify your parents and take you home. Additionally, if you are staying with someone your parents, if they have the financial resources, have the option of hiring a lawyer and taking the adult in charge of the household to court for “harboring a runaway”. Usually this is considered a misdemeanor offense, which can vary in consequence by state.

      If you would like to talk more specifically about what is going on or would like some references to legal services, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our 24/7 hotline 1-800-786-2929 or on chat at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • I need help I run away 3 months ago I’m 16 & really wanna go back to school but I don’t want to go live back with my adopted parents. At the moment I’m living with my real older sister and her soon to be husband which my adopted parents know nothing about look I really need help going back to school I’m tired of not doing anything I’m stressing so much and have no idea what to do please help me stay with my sister but go to school I have nothing Ion have any of my papers for school and have already try contacting my adopted parents so they we could work something out but they won’t answer help please

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    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 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.
      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'm 15 and I'm treated like ******** at home and at school.. my mom lives with this guy and hes always got something nasty to say about me... I really need to leave here but I dont know where to go because I dont have a home but I was thinking of going to the raft when I turn 16 in 6 months because I cant tay here anymore this guy says things to my mom like "I hope she gets suspended from school" and stuff like "if she stops out of school shes not staying here anymore shes out of here." He has threatened to dump dog ******** in my room.. If I refuse to take the dog out that isn't even mine... I wanted him as a child but when I was younger my parents still had the option to say no still but they chose to get one and we started having problems training it and now that it's full grown it's always havin to go out and I dont mind doing it sometimes but this guy kept making me take him out ever 20 or 30 minutes a day and he would only force me to do it... he wouldn't ask my grandma or do it himself he would always ask me because he knows I'm not a dog person.... My dad has passed away only 2 weeks ago and I'm already feeling lost.. plus I got hit around and slapped by kids at school yesterday because I wouldn't fight my ex friend that started a fight with me this past weekend when I was throwing up sick I need to leave please can someone suggest some ideas

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey thank you for reaching out, it seems like you have a lot going on that’s making life at home hard so it is understandable that you want to get out. Adults shouldn’t be treating you like that and making threats and negative comments all the time. Forcing you to be responsible for a pet, while still being in school and you not being a dog person is unreasonable and it seems like the guy you all live with is being a bully. On top of that your dad passed away recently, which has to be hard and just adds to your stress. School is usually a place that you can be with friends and find support but they are forcing you into fights instead. With all of this happening it’s understandable that you want to get out of the situation or change it.

      It seems like the main issue at home is the man you and your family is living with right now, have you ever asked your mom about moving somewhere else? If that isn’t an option we would usually suggest finding a school activity to join to help you have an excuse to stay out of the house in a safe way. In this case since school has baggage attached have you considered picking up a part-time job? You may have to wait until you are 16 but it can get you out of the house. Also having your own money can help you to sustain yourself in the long run, or to potentially care for yourself if you end up in a jam. Something that may help either way is talking to a counselor, either at school, or finding a personal one. There are many that operate on a sliding scale and even family counseling may be an option to help improve life at home.

      If you need someone to talk to you can also chat online with us, or call our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).

  • So me and My friend are about to go on a run away because we don't fit in and we need some where else to go and we hate where we live currently. I wan't a different family away from my parents. But just to clarify my parents are NOT abusive I just don't get along or fit in neither is my friends parents. Are parents are fine its just we wanna just go away.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 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 and your friend are faced with right now and you’re wanting to run away. That must be really hurtful and isolating to feel like you do not fit in where you are. Here at NRS, we want you to know that it is okay to be different from those around you. Seems like those differences have gotten to a point where you are feeling that you have to leave where you are. If you would like to talk more about that please do not hesitate to call or chat us. We are non-directive, non-judgmental, and confidential. So if you contact us we can provide support and help you brainstorm your options. We do have youth shelter resources as well if you all need to get to a safe place.

      Having a space to vent and explore options may often bring out a solution previously not thought of. We are here as support to help you and your friend through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat. 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.

      We’re here to listen and to help and hope you or your friend can reach out soon.

      Take care,

      NRS

  • Hello, I am 15 and i walked out of my family just three days ago because ever since i was 10 i didn't fit in with my family and my mother refused to allow me to be a teenager. me and my mom get into loud fights and in the end i feel like i want to disappear due to the fact that she never listens to what i have to say and goes on about how i am only doing it for attention. i decided i have had enough packed a bag and told her that I was leaving for a friends house, she said she would call the police and place me in a mental asylum. i told myself i would go back when i was ready but i had to retrieve a item i forgot last night and had a small panic attack. i am afraid of what she will say or do. i really don't want to go back because of this fear.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      We’re not legal experts here at NRS. Generally it’s not illegal to leave home, but your mom could file a runaway report, the police could get involved, and they could bring you home. The people you’re staying with could potentially get in trouble for having you stay there. 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 your state.

      If you haven’t already, you could consider reaching out to a trusted adult, relative, worker/teacher/counselor at your school for help and support. You could also consider talking to your mom about how you’ve been feeling or having another trusted adult help you talk with her. Just so you’re aware, we have a conference calling service here where we could help mediate a conversation between you and your mom.

      You mentioned some struggles with a panic attack and mental health concerns. If you want further information about mental health resources, you could check out the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); 1-877-726-4727; samhsa.gov; findtreatment.samhsa.gov/.

      There are also many resources that could 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 for 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.

  • What happens if you run away and you're 15, and you don't feel mentally safe at home. And you run to another adults house to escape the situation at home?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you're in a tough situation. It's great that you're taking steps to find a supportive environment.

      FYI, we are not legal experts at NRS. But our understanding is that it's not illegal to run away. It's a status offense. If a youth runs, their guardian can file a runaway report. If they do that, the police's job is to return the youth to their guardians.

      Sometimes guardians don't file those, and youth can find stability living with another family. Runaways have a right to go to school wherever they are.

      If your situation at home is verbally abusive, or neglectful, you could also consider making an abuse report. If you want to explore this option without committing to anything, you could call Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. They are mandated reporters, so if you give your name, and report any abuse, they have to file a report. But if you call anonymously, you can talk about what you're dealing with, and they can describe next steps.

      Also, if a guardian allows it, a youth can live elsewhere. This can help give everyone space. So consider if an arrangement like this might help in your situation.

      If you do move to this other adult's house, reflect on if you trust them, and maybe think about talking about ground rules for the both of you, so it can be a safe and comfortable environment for everyone. Also, consider having a support network: people you can call to vent, and people can reach out to if the situation changes and you need to leave.

  • hi my parents and i had gotten into many loud and physical fights i want to leave for a week or two but still go to school because of many reasons. I dotn know where i would stay my best friend is miles away from me i really want to leave. If i do where is a good place to go and how would i get there i have my go bag ready with a tent in it

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thanks ever so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like things have gotten really tough for you at home, and you are thinking about leaving, but you’re unsure of where to stay and how to get to where you want to go. It’s really brave of you to reach out to us, and we want you to know that it is never ok for anyone in your household to be physically aggressive towards you. With that said, we can go over your options with you in this reply, but we encourage you to give us a call or send us a chat if you can if you need additional information.

      Your options for where to stay really depend on whether you’re considered a minor in your state. One of your options is a youth shelter, but if you’re considered a minor, they will require parent or legal guardian consent in order to allow you to stay there. A friend is also an option, but it sounds like that would require someone giving you a ride, or finding public transportation to get you there. Depending on your age, Greyhound may require a parent or legal guardian to ride with you if you want to use their services.

      We’re not legal experts, but if you are considered a minor, your parent or legal guardian would have the right to file a runaway report if you left without their consent. The police may or may not actively look for you, but if they do come across you, they would typically bring you back to your parents or have your parents pick you up. Regarding school, If you’re planning on continuing to go to school where you are currently enrolled, they may or may not look for you there if they suspect you’ll go. You do have the right to go to school, and if you decide to go to another school, the McKinney-Vento act details your rights as a youth to receive an education. You can find more information here: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg116.html

      Finally, we want you to know that it is never acceptable for your parents to physically hurt you. You are not alone, and we are here for you if you would like to talk about what’s been going on, as well as your options regarding the physical fights. You have the right to report what goes on to your local child protective services. If you don’t know how to reach them, Child Help, available at 800.422.4453, www.childhelp.org , are there to support you.

      Whatever you decide, know that we are here for you. You can reach out to us 24/7 by phone at 800.RUNAWAY (786.2929). We are also available every day via chat. We’re here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!

      -NRS

  • Im 16 years old , i live in South Carolina , my dad is giving me a hard time right now , he has been to be honest . I need to leave , i want to runaway , i have a job , money , i even have a place to stay at if i do runaway . But i dont know what to do , my dad knows where i work , what school i go to . my mom isnt doing anything but believing anything my dad says about me , they are tag teaming on me and i just dont want to be there nomore and hear my dad talk sh** about me or to me anymore , how can i legally move out without them getting me back home , becuase if i runaway from home , and the cops bring me back home , there aint no telling what my dad would do to me . what should i do ? i turn 17 in 9 months but i cant wait that long . i need help .

    Comment


    • Hi,

      Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you do not know what to do, though you certainly know what you want. Good for you for reaching out for help. We want to be here for you in any way we can.

      It must be difficult to be getting such a hard time from Dad, and to not have Mom believe you and support you. You deserve to feel heard and taken care of at home. From your message, it seems that you know how to take care of yourself, and that if you were to runaway you could sustain yourself and be safe. These are important things to consider when contemplating running away. You bring up another important thing to consider, which is the legality of running away. If your parents do report you as a runaway, the police will be obligated to make a good faith effort to find you and bring you back home. Perhaps to get around this, you can talk to your parents about your thoughts. If you are able to get their consent to live in this other place, it would remove you from the potential of having the police involved. Maybe introducing the idea as a temporary solution would make them more understanding and willing to consent. You can also consider the process of emancipation, though this is a very long and involved process. If you want, you can call us to explore this option as well as other alternatives.

      We know it is not easy to feel like are without help, but we hope we were able to support you through a process of healthy decision making. If you are looking for more ideas, you can always call us. Our number is 1-800-RUN-AWAY. We are open 24/7, and are here to listen and help. Good luck on your journey.

      Sincerely,
      National Runaway Safeline
      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
      info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
      1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

      Comment


      • Hello, I'm 14 and a young lady, 15 in August. I might want to run away soon, I'm not sure. I love my family, and they love me. But, they take things badly. Like, if I get in trouble, they get angry. I have a relationship with a woman my age, three days apart. She is technically a male but she identifies as female. We might run away together if things get bad. I feel like my family doesn't trust me enough, the relationship is a secret between us two. In the future, we're definitely getting married. I just want to be happy and free without my family getting angry about me loving someone. They're possible homophobes and transphobes, and I don't want them to disown me for loving who I want to love. They feel so overprotective all of the I understand that they're just doing what they think is best for me and that they love me, and I'm afraid of telling them how I feel in fear of having things like my phone taken away or privileges of visiting my friends taken away. None of my friends or family would know about us running away in fear of being hunted down. I would leave my parents a note telling how much I love my family and why I've left. I just don't know what to do, I refuse to tell anyone how I feel because I know the consequences. Please help, give advice too. This is all a secret and I wish to keep anonymous. Thank you.

        Comment


        • ccsmod2
          ccsmod2 commented
          Editing a comment
          Thank you so much for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline, we are here to listen and to help. It sounds like you are going through a lot; whatever you discuss with us is 100% confidential, always. It probably hurts to have to keep secrets from your family for fear that they will respond negatively. It's clear that you really care about this young lady. We are encouraged at National Runaway Safeline not to give advice to callers, but rather offer options and help make a plan that feels safe and secure for you. If you decide that running away is what you want to do, we could discuss things like where you would go, how you would find shelter, food & water, a bathroom, etc. We could also discuss what talking to your parents would look like. One of the things we offer at NRS is a conference call, whereby we would act as a liason between you and your parents, to help you discuss the things you want to talk about and have a support on the phone to help you do it. If talking through these things sounds desirable, please feel free to reach out to us either by phone or chat through our website- www.1800runaway.org, 1-800-RUNAWAY. Thanks again for reaching out, we're here to listen and to help!
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