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What are the consequences of a 15 year old running away

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  • ccsmod0
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have some questions regarding leaving home before the age of majority. We want you to know that we are not legal experts nor are we affiliated with the police so we can only speak generally about what could happen if a youth leaves home without the consent of a guardian. Leaving home without parental consent (running away) is not a crime, so the police will not arrest you. If you do leave home without permission your guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime it is a status offence (something that only a minor can get in trouble for: truancy, buying cigarettes, etc.) this means that if you have any interaction with the police they will simply return you home. On the other hand the people that you are found to be staying with could face legal consequences that vary depending on your state. You can find out more about how runaway’s reports are carried out by contacting your local police department. If you would like we could contact your local non-emergency number for you or with you. Just give us a call and one of our trained liners would be happy to assist you. 1-800-786-2929
    Again, thank you for reaching out.
    Best wishes,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ok I have a huge question. What would happen if you already have run away for about a day you got back home and you are in your house but your parents have already spoken to the cops I am 15 and need some help kinda fast

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod6
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello, and thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are living under extremely distressing and harmful circumstances and we will do our best to help you find some options. It takes a lot of strength and willpower to reach out for help when things are this hard. It also shows a great deal of compassion and thoughtfulness to be able to recognize not only your own sadness, but also that of your mother. With regards to your question, we are not legal experts, but generally running away is not illegal but it is considered a status offense. This means that if you run away and your mother files a runaway report, if the police find you they will not arrest you. Instead, they will notify your mother and take you home. However, it is illegal to house a runaway, so if your mother felt like it, she could press charges against whoever was sheltering you for harboring a runaway. You could, however stay there if you had permission from your mother if that is a possibility. You talked a little about living in an abusive environment. If you feel like you are in immediate danger, please contact 911. Additionally, you can reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or childhelp.org. They will be able to give a more concrete picture of what the abuse reporting process looks like and how it may result. If you are not currently in counseling or therapy, a good resource for finding tools like that is NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness). They are reachable at 1 800 950 NAMI or at nami.org. Finally, if you have any more questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our 24/7 hotline 1 800 RUNAWAY or on our chat service at 1800runaway.org.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I am a 15 year old female in the state of Missouri. Things have always been kinda rough at home but these past three or so years have been extremely hard on me. Ever since my parents divorced I have suffered from major depression and anxiety. It doesn't help that im bullied at school. I cant live with my father because not only is he in another state but he also is in a john 3:16 currently. Not only that but he has had bad issues with drugs and other sorts of things like sexual abuse and physical/mental abuse. My mom on the other hand im not so sure about. Im really worried about her in a way too though. Her current boyfriend is very abusive and has some really bad issues. With all of this stuff happening I have attempted suicide several times been in a mental hospital and suffered with ptsd too. Anyways, my question is, if i were to run away and stay with a friend what could the police do about it, and what may happen?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to NRS and having the strength to share your story with us. We are sorry to hear about your situation and what you’ve been dealing with. Ideally, home would be a place where people feel safe, loved, and valued, and you do not deserve to be treated that way. You’ve been very courageous to reach out for help and try your best despite the circumstances.

    You mentioned feeling depressed. We understand that living in a tough situation and feeling alone is very difficult. We would encourage you to reach out to those with whom you feel most comfortable, whether it is friends, school counselors, or others around you. Your life is valuable and you matter. If you ever feel in serious danger of harming yourself or ending your life, The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available by phone at 1-800-273-8255, or online at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

    Although NRS is not a legal agency, we can try to give a general idea of possible outcomes if you were to run away. If you are considered a minor in your state, you are still under your mother’s guardianship, therefore at any point when you are gone, she is legally within their rights to file a runaway report. Being a runaway is a status offense, and while you would not be charged with a crime, if police came across you, they would probably return you home. They could also potentially press charges against people who took you into their care for “harboring a runaway;” these charges would be misdemeanors, but still criminal offenses.
    In regards to your plan of going to California, we would encourage you to consider guardianship, school enrollment, how you would take care of your needs (eating, sleeping, healthcare), and how you would care for your safety if something were to happen. If you were interested, we also offer conference-calling as an option, where we would mediate a constructive conversation between your guardian and yourself in order to reach an understanding.

    If you would like to talk about other resources and support, feel free to call our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or use our Live Chat.
    We hope this information was helpful and take care.
    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I am always depressed and I feel alone I want to run away and go to California or kill myself im 15 almost 16 in oct I looked up how old you have to be to run away in Michigan and it's 17 I just can't wait till then. im adopted and I live with my foster mom and my adopted brother my foster mom im a good kid I don't do much I might not get good grades or clean my room or the kitchen al the time or the right way but that is no reason to get wiped out of your sleep with a jump rope or punched in the chest my foster mom makes me feel like her disappoint my adopted brother gets good grades "cleans the kitchen" "does what he's asked " but he is disrespectful and rude and mean and my foster mom doesn't say anything about that but if I say something under my breath I get threatened I just want to leave, to be honest, I don't care where I go as long as it not here in Michigan

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod10
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hey there,

    Thanks for reaching out to us. We're sorry to hear you're in a situation where you feel like you need to run away.

    It would be good to check if a runaway report has been filed for you. You can do this by calling your local police station and asking them if there is a report for you. If not, you would not technically be considered a runaway, and it would probably be okay if you went to stay with your uncle and aunt (however, we are not legal experts and cannot guarantee this). If there is a report for you, your legal guardians could potentially charge your uncle and aunt with harboring a runaway. They would need to take your uncle and aunt to court and provide proof that you were staying with them, so this does not happen very often, but it is a possibility to be aware of.

    You mentioned feeling unsafe in your current situation. Depending on the situation, you could possibly file an abuse report. If there are any trusted adults in your life, it could be helpful to reach out to them and talk through what's going on. Perhaps your uncle and aunt would be a good place to start. You could also try talking to a school counselor or trusted teacher. If you'd like to learn more about this or any other options available to you, we encourage you to reach out to us at 1-800-786-2929. We are available 24/7 and are anonymous and toll-free.

    We hope to hear from you soon, and best of luck to you in everything.

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, im 15 and I have been planning on running away for a while. I live in new mexico and would my uncle and aunt be charged with harboring a runaway if I stayed with them? I just don't really feel safe here anymore.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out today.

    Sounds like you are looking for ways to approach your parents to ask for permission to live with your girlfriend. It is really smart of you to reach out with that question. You know your parents best, so you might think about what ways to approach them that they would best respond to. If there is a trusted adult you know that they listen to, you might include them in on the conversation so they can help advocate for your needs. Sometimes it helps for parents to hear things from trusted adults when they are not hearing you.

    Here at NRS, we have a conference call service if you would like to have a mediated conversation over the phone with your parent(s). It can be a safe place for all parties to talk through how they are feeling and to mediate conflicts. If that is a service you are interested in please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also call us if you want to practice what you are going to say to your parents with someone.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out if you ever need. Good luck talking to your parents!

    Best,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    hey well i'm not sure what to do and i need advice. It's that i'm moving and i wanted to ask my parents if i could have permission to live with my girlfriend. My girlfriends parents said it was ok if i lived with them but only if i got permission from my parents. and i don't know what to do i need some advice

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi, thanks for posting today. It sounds like you are in a really rough situation and may even be unsafe at home with your dad and grandparents.
    We are here to help the best we can!
    We are not legal experts, but generally, if you leave home before age 18 in most states, your parents can file you as a runaway. This is not a crime but if the police do find you, they may try to return you back home. However, you did mention being abused. If you tell the police that, they would likely involve child protection services to make sure you are safe. We can also help you make an abuse report if that is something you are interested in: 1-800-786-2929.
    Additionally, Child Help can help better define abuse, provide info, and be the first step in filing a report if you want more info: 1-800-422-4453, childhelp.org.

    We are here 24/7 so please reach out if there is anything else we can help with or if you want to talk more about your situation.
    You have shown a lot of strength in posting today.

    Best of luck!

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    im 15 and i want to runaway. my father hasn’t been there for me at all and my mother was recently arrested . my mother knows my situation with my father & grandparents but she still wants me to go over there . ive been mentally, physically & emotionally abused to the point where i dont think i can take much more. it is so uncomfortable being with my father & grandparents.. i have a friend who’s house i could go to & be well taken care of , her house is right by our school as well. if i runaway & my grandparents file a runaway report on me what would happen ? how do i get out of this situation.. how do i get to the point where i can live with the friend & provide for myself ? what happens if i am caught ? what happens if im not ?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod7
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hello there thanks so much for reaching out today. Sounds like living with your mom's boyfriend is taking a major toll on you and you are wanting to move out at 16. You seem very responsible and it makes sense that you want to live in a supportive environment. We are not legal experts but we can speak generally about runaway laws, and we truly want to inform you and be there for you during this difficult time.

    You mentioned that your mom has told you that you can go. The easiest way you can leave home at 16 is with your parent's permission. However, permission is not legally binding so if your mom told you that you can leave during a big fight once but now does not want you to go, she can go back on that permission. You might try to include a trusted adult in on that difficult conversation with your mom such as your dad or your girlfriend's mom or someone who can get through to your mom. If you have a good relationship with your dad and he has any custody rights over you, you might reach out to him to see how he can help.

    18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. If you leave home without permission, your mom 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. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. So it is possible that your girlfriend or her mom could be at risk of harboring. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

    You mentioned experiencing emotional abuse which may be reportable against your mom. Please keep in mind you by no means deserve any type of abuse, emotional or otherwise. Unfortunately, emotional abuse is often harder to provide evidence for compared to physical abuse which is often what CPS relies on when conducting an abuse investigation. That said, we can’t be 100% sure what the outcome will be if your local CPS decides to open a case based on what you share. Sometimes CPS decides to remove minors from the home and other times they offer services such as family counseling or mediation instead. The only way to know the outcome might be to reach out to them directly and if you’re ready to do that we are here to help you through that process. Reaching out to Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org may help to get a better understanding of what may happen before and after a report is made.

    We hope this helps. Please reach out if we can offer any further support.

    Be safe,

    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    So I'm 16 and wanna leave home.. I hate my mom's boyfriend we live with, my sister's live with their dad already because they don't like him either. He tries to disilpne me and not his own kids he turns my mom against me and they just emotionally abuse me so much to the point I can't even be in the same room as them. I have a job make my own money and pay for my own phone. My girlfriend and her mom both said it was fine for me to move in with them so I wanna take the offer and leave and when me and my mom got into a big fight she told me I can. So what would happen if I did? Could the police force me home because if they did I'm scared of what would happen.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there, it sounds like you’re going through a really difficult time right now. We’re sorry to hear your father doesn’t want you and your mother and you are fighting. You have the right to feel safe and wanted at home! You mentioned that you are planning on running away with a friend.
    Just to let you know, we are not legal experts. Technically it’s not against the law for you to run away from home, in most places it’s considered a ‘status offense’. However, anyone you are caught running away with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’ should your parent or legal guardian decide to call the police and report you missing. It might be a good idea to talk to your friend about this risk. Nothing is 100% guaranteed, if you wanted to call and talk to us we can help you come up with some options. The National Safe Place at https://www.nationalsafeplace.org/ is another great resource if you need a safe place to stay in an emergency.
    You also mentioned killing yourself. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 is also here for you if you wanted to talk to them about what you are going through. Please give us a call so we can help you make a safe plan for what to do next.
    Please remember that we are here 24/7 and are always here to support you any way we can.
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