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Is it illegal to runaway when you're 14? what can happen?

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  • My parents are driving me crazy and I left 2 days ago with no money and no trace what do I do from here???? I'm actually rlly scared right now help!!!!!

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      If you are in need of immediate help, it would be best to call in to our hotline so we can speak more directly about what's going on. We are available 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929. You can also chat with us on our website.

      Best,
      NRS

  • I don't really feel like saying why i want to so if you could help me out with what im telling you that would be great. Im 14 years old and live in Arizona. One of my friends knows my eaxct situation and says that i can run away to her house. Ive talked to my Grandparents (legal guardians) about living with my aunt, they said no. I've also talked to them about living with my friend, they said no. I feel held hostage here for many reasons. So what im asking is what would happen if i ran away to my friends house at the age of 14 in arizona.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      We are glad you reached out, it sounds like you are in a really difficult situation with your grandparents. You mention you tried talking with your grandparents about living with your aunt or your friends, and they said no to both options you gave. It sounds like you have family and friends that are willing to support you, and we are glad to hear that because this can be really hard to deal with on your own. You ask a great question in wondering what would happen if you ran away to your friend’s house. While we are not legal experts we can speak generally on your situation. Generally speaking, in Arizona the age of minority is 17, meaning until you are 18 years old you would be considered a minor. Running away is a status offence, meaning it is illegal to do because you are a minor, but you cannot be arrested or charged. One thing to keep in mind, is that whoever you are staying with could be arrested or charged for what is called “harboring a runaway.” Running away is a really tough decision to make, so it is a good step to make to gather information to help you in making that decision. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to also help you in your planning:

      -Do I have a place to stay?
      -What about school? Would I continue to get an education?
      -Am I going to be gone awhile or coming back in a few days?
      -What would I do for money? Shelter? Food? Transportation?
      -Who can I depend on if I leave home?
      -Do I have a safe, solid plan?
      -What is my plan B in case my first plan doesn’t work?
      -What have I done to make things better at home?
      -What can I do to make these better at home?
      -Who have I reached out to make things better at home?

      We know this can be a tough decision to make, and we are available to talk more in depth with you about your situation at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are 24/7 and you can remain confidential. We also have an online chat service available from 4:30PM CST to 11:30PM CST.

      Best,
      ~NRS

  • I'm 14 yrs old and I've been practically abuse since the age of 4 verbal and physical and I've been suffering from depression as well and I live in california ,I've also had several suicide attempts
    I was wondering is it illegal for me to run away and what are the consequences and if I where to to go to live with another person (trusted adult) that's not my relative will they be in trouble as well

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      We are glad you are reaching out to us because we are here to help! It takes a lot to ask for help and you are trying to figure out your options which is good to see! To answer you question, we aren't legal experts, but we do know that running away is not illegal and that it is considered a status offense. That means that your parents could file a Runaway Report, and could press charges against anyone that takes you in! A runaway report could impact the trusted adult you mentioned if your parents were to file one. Do you think that your parents would file or press charges against the adult you had in mind?

      You said you've been physically and verbally abused since the age of 4, have you discussed that with anyone before? You don't deserve to be treated that way! We are here to help if you would like to talk about it with us or if you would like to report the abuse. We could help you through the process and offer information that could be helpful in figuring out your options!

      You also mentioned that you have been suffering from depression and have had several suicide attempts. We want you to know that we are here for you as a resource 24/7. We also know of other resources that are available to you. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) is available to talk about how you're feeling or any thoughts you might have. To Write Love on Her Arms at twloha.com is also a good as well.
      Again, we are really glad that you reached out to us! We're here to listen and here to help at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929)!

  • Hi, im 14 and i want to runaway
    I know it may not be the best decision but im tired of living my life with my so called "family" im not getting abused its just that my father is an awful father, he doesnt have what a real father would have, he doesnt show compassion love he yells at me sometimes and always tells us that we're horrible children and he never supports us for things like school or clothes, and my brother is mean, he always takes the side of both my parents, but never mean, he always gets to do things on his own while i have to stay in the house and do nothing, he always insults me and makes fun of me, and my mom is no better, he always has favored her two sons and not her daughter, she always wants me to act like someone else and not me, she insults me all the time, saying im no good that we are lazy and fat, that she doesnt know why she even had children, so yes it may not be such a big in my case but i want to runway because im tired of living my life here

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’ve been going through such a tough time with your family. We want you to know that everyone deserves to be treated well, and you should not have to go through that. That sounds hurtful to hear your family say those things, but you’ve been showing a lot of strength by enduring this and we’re here to help you in any way we can.

      ​​​​​​​There are many resources out there that could help you find a safe place if you’re in need, work through conflict with your parents, or help you out with anything else you may need. If you would like more information about resources or if you’d like to talk more about what’s been going on, you can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us online. If you haven’t already, you could also consider reaching out to a teacher, school counselor, or trusted adult for help as well.
       
      Again thank you for contacting us. You’ve been going through so much, but you’ve shown strength by 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.

  • Originally posted by unregistered View Post
    help

    i need help. My parents are driving me insane, they dont understand that i am a teenager and constantly abusing me with their words. I need to get out of here, i have many places that i could live in, but will i get in trouble?
    i swear its like a prison the way my parents treat me i just want too get the heck out of here

    Comment


    • ccsmod8
      ccsmod8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there –

      Thank you for taking the time out of your day to get into contact with us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. Hopefully by supporting you there are other that are reading through this thread that can relate can feel helped as well. But it sounds like you really identify with this particular poster. It’s great that you are able to reach out and express your feelings of wanting to leave home due to the way that your parents treat you.

      Since we get so many post and emails a day, we can only reply to individuals three times. So certainly not a way to get the full support that you deserve. If you give us a call on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help you find resources in your area and could potentially help you brainstorm a possible solution to the issues you are having with your parents. We would love to talk to you about what has been going on recently. We also have an online chat service available every day.

  • I am going to run alway tonight bc my mom gets mad over little things .im 13 will I go to jail if I runway and hid for like a week or two days

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us today. We are sorry to hear that your mom gets mad over little things and that it is making you consider running away! We can definitely give you some information on runaway laws so you're fully informed before making a set decision.

      If you leave home before the age of 18 without permission you could be considered a runaway. Running away is not illegal - but it is considered a status offense. What this means is that you won't be arrested for running away, but your parents or guardian could file a runaway report for you with the police. You would then be put into a national runaway database and the police would be looking for you. If the police found you they would take you back home. It would not go on your permanent record or anything, though.

      If you want to talk more about what you're going through please don't hesitate to reach back out to us! You can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we are 24/7 so someone will always be here to listen to you and see what else we can do to help you.

  • im 14 and live in Michigan i cant stand the way my mom acts shes so rude and unkind I can't take it anymore and I am planning on running away but I don't want the police to catch me what should I do ?

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out to us today. It sounds like you're in a really rough spot right now with not wanting to live with your mom. We are sorry things are so tense with her right now, we understand how living with someone who you think is unkind could be difficult.

      Running away is a pretty tricky thing to do. It can be a little difficult to leave home without your parents' permission at the age of 14. When you leave home before the age of 18 your parents have the right to file a runaway report with the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is considered a status offense. This means the police would be looking for you and would have to take you back home if they found you. You would not get arrested and it would not go on your record, though.

      We don't ever want to tell you what to do here. What we can do though is talk things out with you, including your options and the pros and cons of a situation. We would be more than happy to do this with you if you'd like to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, we are 24/7 so someone will always be here to answer and see what else we can do for you!

      We wish you the best of luck with everything!

  • Hi I'm 12 and I ran away to my friend Hannah's house and I was so scared that I would get in trouble with the police I have thought of running away bc of things that have happened at school so the day I ran away my step dad had token my phone just bc I wanted to live with my father so I walked to school that day crying to my friend Hannah we both had the idea that should run away from my home and idk what I was thinking but I wanted to get away from my mom bc all she did her whole life was lie to me and it really got me mad

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey 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 sounds like you ran away from home. 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. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. 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. 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 that you’re not happy living with your mom and step-dad, and you’d rather live with your dad. NRS offers conference calling services. Maybe we could facilitate a call between you and your parents to see if you could live with your dad or see him more?
      Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. You are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. If you are going to run away, maybe we can talk through a safety plan or try to find shelters in your area. If you have a teacher or school counselor that you’re close with, talking to them could provide you with more support.
      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe, NRS

  • I'm gay and wear makeup they are constantly bullying me with there words I have runaway before and stayed with a family member my father did not call the cops because he did nit want to mess with my school work and every time someting about gay bisexual or transgender people come they say loudly so I can hear "THATS NOT GOOD" I really want to runaway because I'm tired of this I want to be the way I am without being judged I need help is there anybody out there.?

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. It takes a lot of self-awareness and bravery to feel comfortable reaching out for help and we want to acknowledge that. It sounds like you’re going through a very difficult time at home and we want to help you find resources.

      You mention that your sexuality and the way you present yourself raise tension at home. We want to offer ourselves as a resource for emotional support. We also can help you find shelters that may target LGBT populations, so that you have a place to sleep at night in the event that you do run away. You can reach us at 1-800-786-2929 if you want us to act in either of these ways. There is also the LGBT National Hotline, which provides callers contacts to LGBT-specific resources (1-888-843-4564, http://www.glbthotline.org/national-hotline.html).

      As far as your parents’ comments regarding LGBT people go, it may be helpful for you to seek out friends when you are upset by your parents’ comments. You may also find it helpful to speak with someone at school you trust, like a teacher or a counselor. If you are unable to or uncomfortable with reaching out to people in this way, we also would be very willing to listen to you. Also, it sounds like your father takes school very seriously and does not want to interfere with your academics. Because of this, it might be helpful to participate in school-related activities so you do not have to spend as much time at home.

      Again, we are thankful that you reached out to us. We hope that these options are helpful for you, and we offer ourselves as a resource for anything you might need. We also wish you the best of luck with your home situation.

  • am 14.
    life is ********
    i cant handle anything anymore
    i want to run away
    i want to fake my death
    i want to restart

    Comment


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

      Sounds like you are unable to handle life at home anymore and you are planning of faking your death and running away. Seems like you are in an incredibly stressful situation, and you are feeling like this is your only option. Here at NRS, we are here to support you through this difficult time.

      We are not legal experts, but we can speak in general. Running away is usually a status offense due to your age, meaning it is not illegal it is just something you cannot do since you are under 18. So if your guardian files a runaway report for you and you are found, you typically would be returned home. However, faking your death is typically a serious offense and against the law.

      It sounds like you are feeling like running away and faking your death is your only option. If you call or chat us so we can get a better idea of your situation, we can attempt to brainstorm other options for you. Here at NRS, we are primarily concerned for your safety so we truly want to help. If there is abuse at home we can talk about your options focused on that and Child Protective Services, we can also look for youth shelters in your area.

      We look forward to hearing from you through a phone call or chat so we can better help. We truly wish you the best and encourage you to always be thinking about your safety.

      Take care,

      NRS

  • i'm only 14. i don't like being home. i always get blamed for everything. my mom always wants me to take big responsibility on her kids . they aren't my kids for me to be acting like their mother. i've ran away a couple of times but when i get home they threaten me telling me that they're gonna press charges on me but i don't think that's even possible, thing is i've been dealing with it for a long time now and i wanna finish school but the school always seems to get informed that i ran away from home and i get into trouble for it and i just wanna run away and go live with my older sister and go to school without there being any problem . please help. idk what to do .
    Last edited by ccsmod7; 06-08-2017, 10:52 PM.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, we are sorry to hear that you’re having such a rough time at home. It sounds like you’ve been taking on a lot of responsibility and that can be really difficult. It takes a lot to ask for help, and it’s good to see that you’re exploring all of your options.

      Just to be clear, we aren’t legal experts, but we can definitely help give you some information on what running away typically involves. You are correct, they can’t actually press charges against you. They can, however, file a runaway report. It’s considered a “status offense,” so you won’t be charged with anything, but the police may return you to your parents if they file a report. It completely depends on your local law enforcement as to exactly how they’ll handle the situation.

      Talking with your parents about what your responsibilities should and shouldn’t be is always a good option. Sometimes just being open with what you feel with them can help you come to a compromise and find a solution that works for you and your parents.

      Overall, it sounds like you’re managing a lot on top of school, but it’s great that you’re making sure you finish school and are considering all of your options with your parents. If you’d like to talk more, feel free to reach out via call or chat and we’d be happy to discuss it more.

      Were here to listen, here to help.

      Best of luck,

      NRS

  • I want to run away because my dad and mom dont like my boyfriend is it illegal im i live in maine

    Comment


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

      Sounds like you are wanting to leave home since your parents do not approve of your boyfriend. That sounds really hard to deal with.

      Typically running away is considered a status offense, meaning something you cannot do due to your age, rather than being illegal. So if you do leave home without your parents’ permission, they can file a runaway report for you with your local police. If you are found by police you would be returned home. While running away might not be illegal for you, the legal adult that houses you is at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway; which is typically a misdemeanor offense.

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk more about your situation. We are here 24/7 via phone and here to help.

      Best of luck,

      NRS

  • I keep upsetting my parents because i keep making mistakes no matter how hard i try i mean i know my parents love me but they always seem so mad ans disappointed when it comes to me i feel it might be better for them if I just ran away they would be stress free and happier.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thank you for reaching out to us, we know that it is not always easy to ask for help. It must be really hard to feel as if you are upsetting your parents and that you are letting them down. It is very considerate of you to be thinking of ways to help make you parents happier, it shows that you are a caring, thoughtful child.

      We are not legal experts here, but we can give some general information about your situation. While it is not technically illegal to runaway, in most states if you are under 18 your parent’s can file a runaway report which would mean that if the police found you they would take you home. Also, anyone a runaway stays with could be charged with harboring a runaway if your parent’s decided to press charges. Have you tried talking to your parents about how you have been feeling? It might be helpful for you to talk with them about ways that you can all work to make everyone feel less angry. One service that we provide here at the National Runaway Safeline is we can complete a conference call between you and your parents. This would mean that we can help you think of the best ways to talk to them and then act as a mediator and help make sure that everyone is heard. If this is something you are interested in, feel free to give us a call any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY and we can talk to you more about what that would mean and set up the call.

      Best of luck,
      NRS

  • Hi, im 14 and im planing, or at least contemplating on running away. Im currently in florida, brevard county. If i were to go through i would probably be going to skip over a ouple counties. Im doing this to be with my sister and live happily with her. She is 12 years old. We are in foster care and we arent able to see each other so much. If you could give me advice on my situation it would be great , thank you.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      It sounds like a very difficult situation to be separated from your sister and not being able to see her as much as you would like to. Although we are not legal experts, we can provide some general information regarding your situation. If you runaway, your legal guardians would be held responsible to file a runaway report. This will notify the police and they could potentially take you back to your legal guardians. Also if your sister’s legal guardians allow you to stay with them without permission from your legal guardians, your sister’s legal guardians could get into trouble for harboring a runaway.

      We hope this information was helpful. If you would like someone to talk in more detail about your situation, you can always call us at the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).

  • Im 13 and nobody cares about mr and im really in a bad positiin right now and need to go sonewhere else is it illegal to runaway to Maryland from Georgia

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thanks for reaching out. Asking for help when you’re in a difficult situation takes a lot of strength, and we want to acknowledge that. It sounds like you’re going through a lot, and we hope we can help.

      Running away is not illegal. It is a status offense. This means that because of your status as a minor, you are not permitted to do certain things, like break curfew and run away. We are not legal experts, so we can’t tell you exactly how the law is practiced where you live, but we can give you general information about what might happen if you run away. If you run away, your parents can file a runaway report on your behalf to the police. Oftentimes, when police find youth whose parents have filed these runaway reports, the police simply return the youth home to their parents. However, if you cross state lines as a runaway and the police come into contact with you, then your chances of being detained until your parents can retrieve you might increase. If anyone houses you while you are a runaway, that person may be charged with harboring you, and unlike running away, that is illegal.

      It is also often helpful for youth to make a plan regarding what they will do to survive as a runaway. It is important for you to be able to get food, water, and shelter. We can help you look for youth shelters in your area that can house you after you run away. We also can help support you in your time of need. If you would like help finding resources, or just want to chat about what’s happening right now, we invite you to call us at 1-800-786-2929. We are confidential and staffed 24/7.

      Again, thank you for reaching out to us. We wish you the best of luck, and invite you to contact us if you need more help.
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