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Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away!

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  • Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away!

    I'm 17 and my 16 y/o girlfriend lives really far away from me but in a very dysfunctional home. She lives in California and I live in Minnesota, so talking to her hasn't been very easy. I care for her so much and have been keeping her from running away for almost 1.5 years now but her parents have beaten her, threatened her with kicking her out if she doesn't join the military on her birthday, and abused her mentally by calling her names and telling her that she is worthless and that nobody cares for her. She has tried everything else and she is still stuck there, harassed daily. She can't take it anymore and has decided she wants to run away a month before her 17th birthday. She wants me to go there and being her home, and I want to too but I don't know what could happen to me or her legally. I need help because this has been bothering me for months and I don't know if I should do it. Please help us, we don't know who to talk to or trust.

  • #2
    RE: Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away!

    Hello,

    Thank You for reaching out to us here at The National Runaway Safeline. It seems that your girlfriend is going through a very tough time, and is very overwhelming to her and to you because of the support you are trying to give her. Sounds like she’s becoming very feed up and wants to leave. It also seems like it’s becoming very difficult for you all to talk to each other due to the distance and other home issues she’s dealing with at home. It also sound like you all have come across the option of her leaving home and coming to live with you and that you both are worried about what would happen legally.

    We are not legal experts but some general information we can give you is: Running away isn’t a criminal offense and is a status offense which means that you all as minors will not face any criminal charges. If she was to run away, her parents have the option of filing a runaway report, which is just a notification to the authorities that she did not have their permission to leave home. This also means that if they had any idea of her location the police would be sent to that location to look. Since you both are under 18 you won’t face any criminal charges for her staying in your house however, if she was to come live in your home any adults that are there, they could face a criminal charge called harboring a runaway (sometimes called contributing to the delinquency of the minor) the way these offenses are handled varies from state to state. Also because she is trying to leave her state if there are any inclinations that the adults were involved that could possible become a federal case and have federal charges.

    You mentioned that her parents are threatening to kick her out if she doesn’t join the army on her birthday and that she was being mistreated at home. She always has the option of filing an abuse report is any physical abuse is happening or if there is any neglect. She can also report other types of abuse but it’s at the direction of the agency if they want to step in on that issue. A resource she can reach out to is Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453, she can ask any questions regarding abuse and if she wanted to , she could file an abuse report. Another option she has is contacting the police if her parents kick her out and refuses to let her back in because that is against the law and can be considered neglect, depending on the state/county. You can also contact the local police department and ask general, anonymous question to see how they would answer that.

    We’re really glad you reached out to us. It takes a lot of courage and maturity to reach out for help. It’s really good to see you go over your options and thinking them all the way through. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call or chat with us. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away! 2

      Originally posted by ccsmod11 View Post
      Hello,

      Thank You for reaching out to us here at The National Runaway Safeline. It seems that your girlfriend is going through a very tough time, and is very overwhelming to her and to you because of the support you are trying to give her. Sounds like she’s becoming very feed up and wants to leave. It also seems like it’s becoming very difficult for you all to talk to each other due to the distance and other home issues she’s dealing with at home. It also sound like you all have come across the option of her leaving home and coming to live with you and that you both are worried about what would happen legally.

      We are not legal experts but some general information we can give you is: Running away isn’t a criminal offense and is a status offense which means that you all as minors will not face any criminal charges. If she was to run away, her parents have the option of filing a runaway report, which is just a notification to the authorities that she did not have their permission to leave home. This also means that if they had any idea of her location the police would be sent to that location to look. Since you both are under 18 you won’t face any criminal charges for her staying in your house however, if she was to come live in your home any adults that are there, they could face a criminal charge called harboring a runaway (sometimes called contributing to the delinquency of the minor) the way these offenses are handled varies from state to state. Also because she is trying to leave her state if there are any inclinations that the adults were involved that could possible become a federal case and have federal charges.

      You mentioned that her parents are threatening to kick her out if she doesn’t join the army on her birthday and that she was being mistreated at home. She always has the option of filing an abuse report is any physical abuse is happening or if there is any neglect. She can also report other types of abuse but it’s at the direction of the agency if they want to step in on that issue. A resource she can reach out to is Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453, she can ask any questions regarding abuse and if she wanted to , she could file an abuse report. Another option she has is contacting the police if her parents kick her out and refuses to let her back in because that is against the law and can be considered neglect, depending on the state/county. You can also contact the local police department and ask general, anonymous question to see how they would answer that.

      We’re really glad you reached out to us. It takes a lot of courage and maturity to reach out for help. It’s really good to see you go over your options and thinking them all the way through. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call or chat with us. We can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).
      Thank you so much for replying, I think I will call and see if I can figure out more. One thing I am wondering is how the police would react if they were told to look in Minnesota but nothing else.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away! 2

        Thank you for your response. It sounds like you are trying to come up with a plan for your girlfriend. We are happy to hear that you feel comfortable calling the resources we provided. You asked another really good question. Generally the runaway report are on a local level. However if her family believes that she has left the city or state then the runaway report becomes nationwide. Because she is 16 the police could actively search for her, which means that they look for leads and will follow up with them. Or the police may say that if they come across her then they will bring her home. This usually means if she has a run in with the law and they have to be called to handle the situation. By calling the local police department of where she would be leaving from, that is where you might be able to get more detailed and direct information related to your girlfriend’s situation. It is really great that she has you as support and we glad that you have reached out.
        We hoped this helped and if you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can always give us a call on our hotline or chat with us on our website. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the 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

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ccsmod13 View Post
          Thank you for your response. It sounds like you are trying to come up with a plan for your girlfriend. We are happy to hear that you feel comfortable calling the resources we provided. You asked another really good question. Generally the runaway report are on a local level. However if her family believes that she has left the city or state then the runaway report becomes nationwide. Because she is 16 the police could actively search for her, which means that they look for leads and will follow up with them. Or the police may say that if they come across her then they will bring her home. This usually means if she has a run in with the law and they have to be called to handle the situation. By calling the local police department of where she would be leaving from, that is where you might be able to get more detailed and direct information related to your girlfriend’s situation. It is really great that she has you as support and we glad that you have reached out.
          We hoped this helped and if you would like to discuss your situation in greater detail you can always give us a call on our hotline or chat with us on our website. We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you the best of luck.
          NRS
          Thank you so much for all of the help but I do have one final question before I call the help line. Would anything be different if she was to wait until she was 17 y/o? Or would the cops or anybody care? Because I've been looking at this stuff all day and I saw someone say that some places won't look for a runaway if he/she is 17 but I don't know if it is legit.

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: Help, I don't know what I should do to help my 16 y/o girlfriend run away!

            Thank you for reaching out again. We are not legal experts but we can speak generally. Sometimes law enforcement do respond differently when the runaway is closer to 18. That is something that varies from county to county. You can certainly contact the non-emergency line for your local law enforcement and ask how they pursue runaway reports of people that are almost 18. We hope this helped. Good luck.
            Last edited by ccsmod9; 06-30-2015, 02:51 AM.
            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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ccsmod9 View Post
              Thank you for reaching out again. We are not legal experts but we can speak generally. Sometimes law enforcement do respond differently when the runaway is closer to 18. That is something that varies from county to county. You can certainly contact the non-emergency line for your local law enforcement and ask how they pursue runaway reports of people that are almost 18. We hope this helped. Good luck.
              Hello, it's been a while since I made this thread but I have been digging and scouring through laws and restrictions but there is one thing I was wondering if you could help me out with. I have found a way to go about this without breaking a single law or endangering anyone but I was wondering how the cops would go about looking for her if her parents filed a runaway report. I can't find the protocol stuff for searching for a runaway, some people tell me they just send out pics and say "If you see her then tell us" but someone else said they would send search cars and I wanted to know who is lying because I've never heard of police cars being sent out when a teen runs away from home without being in danger or breaking laws.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re:Re:Re:Re:

                Hello,

                Thank you again for reaching out to us.

                We are glad that you are still working to make sure your girlfriend is safe and in a good place. Again, we cannot speak in definitive terms about how the police would handle this specific situation. If her parents did file a runaway report, the particular police department would handle the situation in their own way. If you would like a definitive answer, you may be able to call her local police department and ask them hypothetical questions to see what they might do.

                Again, it is great that you are really trying to do the best thing possible for your girlfriend. If you would like to talk more about your situation, please feel free to call our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us online through our website.

                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

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re:

                  Originally posted by ccsmod11 View Post
                  Hello,

                  Thank you again for reaching out to us.

                  We are glad that you are still working to make sure your girlfriend is safe and in a good place. Again, we cannot speak in definitive terms about how the police would handle this specific situation. If her parents did file a runaway report, the particular police department would handle the situation in their own way. If you would like a definitive answer, you may be able to call her local police department and ask them hypothetical questions to see what they might do.

                  Again, it is great that you are really trying to do the best thing possible for your girlfriend. If you would like to talk more about your situation, please feel free to call our hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us online through our website.

                  Best of luck,
                  NRS
                  Hello, once again it has been a while since I last talked with you guys.
                  As you know- it has been a few months since I first contacted you here and I have been learning a lot about this kind of stuff.

                  I have learned so much more than I thought I would, and now it just all comes down to my own mentality. I'm scared and shaky, and I can't help but worry. I am so scared that I am going to do something wrong and get not just me, but her into trouble. She is all I care about and I only want to make sure she is happy and safe. But now I need help just like her.

                  We have a plan, and we have made sure that if we do this and she runs away we would not break any laws. But I am getting so many mixed signals that my mind is frying and it's causing me to lose my head. (An example: Some people have told me that she would be "hunted" down, turned on, looked at as a criminal, and eventually detained or put away.) This is more of a cry for help from me than anyone else. I am afraid, and so is she.

                  So many different sources tell me so many different things, and I need help clarifying what I am told. She isn't allowed to use her phone or the internet, so I am the only person who is able to seek help for her and find these sorts of things out which is putting a lot of pressure on me. There are gaps in my knowledge and I am scared of seeking help because I'm worried that if I did it could hurt us. I need help but I can't reach for it without going into more detail and I'm scared that if I tell anybody anything (including you) then everything would turn on us. I need help, but I don't know who to go to.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Re

                    Hello again,

                    It sounds like you’ve had a few months to figure out a plan for you and your girlfriend. So that we can best help you and make sure we’re understanding the situation correctly, we ask you to please reach out to us directly. If you are most comfortable reaching out online, we strongly encourage you to Live Chat with us. In addition to our normal evening hours 4:30 to 11:30pm CST, we’re trying out overnight hours as well beginning at midnight CST.

                    We recognize how frustrating it can be when you’re getting conflicting information from different sources. Unfortunately, that can be quite common online, but can also happen reaching out to legal aid or law enforcement. Often police or sheriff will consider runaway situations circumstantial and while they may be able to share whether or not they’ll still take a runaway report at 17, they aren’t always able to state the outcome of a runaway situation ahead of time.

                    We understand your concern as far as reaching out for help and then worrying about being turned on if you share more detail. It might help to know that you only have to share the information you are comfortable with on Live Chat or by calling our hotline. If you are seeking for more direct answers, we can offer to call your local law enforcement as well as your girlfriend’s to ask general questions regarding running away. However, we would not do so unless you wanted to go that route. Again, we want to help you to the best of our ability. Given the complexity and to keep our threads by individual posters within a reasonable length, we ask you to please chat or call. Best of 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!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                    Comment

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