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

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  • @Khvylx How did life turn out? Are You ok? Did You get help?

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    • I'm tired of living with my adoptive parents
      my dad is abusive and I don't wanna move I don't know what to do but run away and find a new sweet family in Evanston IL

      Comment


      • Reply: I'm tired of living with my adoptive parents

        Hello,
        Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

        We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
        Some situations can be disappointing and even upsetting thus making things uncertain about what to do or where to turn.
        We understand and we want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. You mentioned that your father is abusive. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way.
        If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to or seek emergency assistance immediately. Perhaps there is another family member or even a social worker at your school you can talk with about your situation or report any abuse.

        We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org.

        NRS is here to listen and here to help.
        We hope to hear from you soon.

        Be safe,
        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


        • Is it illegal to move out at 14?

          I'm 14 (almost 15) and i am desperate to move out. My mum and my grandparents don't get along at all but i'm allowed to see them. See, my grandparents adopt children with disabilities to give them a better life- however my mum is uncomfortable around these children. I am really unhappy at home- all i do is eat, homework and sleep. I have to share a room with my 13 year old sister and my brother (who is autistic). Over the past year and a half, I've become much closer with my grandparents and the kids, and i am thinking about moving in with them. My mum and her boyfriend work full time and when i do see them, they are usually shouting at me or telling me off for doing something wrong. For example, the other day i accidentally forgot to give my brother a drink with his lunch and they took my phone off me and i was grounded for it. I understand that i made a mistake and i should have consequences for my mistakes but i feel this was a bit extreme.Anyway, about two weeks ago i finally told my mum i am unhappy at home and that i want to move in with my grandma. as you can guess, she was not happy about this. Now, she is calling me selfish and saying that i'm tearing the family apart etc etc. I feel like crap and i always feel like i'm doing something wrong. Since year 7, I have been part of a higher students education course for Maths. I completed the full course about two months ago, after three and a half years of hard work. I was really proud of my achievements, and i decided to tell my mum about it. She said i was a smart-ass and that i'm just lucky to have been born that way. It doesn't sound like much, but if you knew about the effort i put into my studies, then you'd understand why i was so hurt. I do at least 4 hours a day of home-tasks, along with my coaching at Gymnastics. I just never feel like I am wanted at home, so i don't understand why i should have to stay at home and be unhappy- than be with my grandparents and the kids and happy. I am only ever wanted when they need me to do something (babysit my brother, cook tea, do the dishes, p etc). I just want to know if it is actually legal to move to my grandparents, and who i should talk to for this to happen. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

          Comment


          • ccsmod10
            ccsmod10 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi,

            Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are going through a rough time, and we are here to see if we can help.

            You mention wanting to know if it is legal for you to move in with your grandparents. It sounds like you are a lot happier when you are with them and the kids they take care of, so it is understandable why you would want to live with them. Because you are 14, you are still considered a minor, meaning you are obligated to live with your parent or legal guardian. However, it is legal for you to stay with an “alternative living arrangement”, like with your grandparents, if your parents give you permission to.

            However, it sounded like your mom did not take it well when you asked her. We have a service here where we hold conference calls between youth and their parents. If you were interested, we could conference call your mom together to have this conversation with you. This may be a good place for you to feel heard and have someone on the line to mediate the conversation. Feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you are interested in doing this. Otherwise, maybe there is someone else in your life who would be an advocate for you in this conversation with your mum. Sometimes this is a teacher, coach, or school counselor for some people. Have you brought up this conversation with your grandparents? Do you think they would be helpful in talking with your mum?

            Thank you again for contacting us. Please give us a call if you have any questions or just want someone to talk to- 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

            Good luck!

        • im 14 and my foster sister who is 24 or 25 gets me into trouble all the time saying i ignore her. she makes out that she says there is dinner there for me but in truth never tells me. she tells my foster mam i have abused animals and am cheeky to her. im grounded for the rest of the year what can i do. i want to run away

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. It is very brave of you to seek help. We are very sorry to hear that your foster sister continues to get you into trouble. It must be very frustrating to get in trouble for something that you didn’t do. You can try to talk to your foster mom when your foster sister is not around. You may also want to talk to someone that you trust such as your caseworker, they may be able to talk to your foster mom for you. You mentioned that you want to runway, having a plan to ensure that you are safe and can take care of yourself is important. Since you are 14, your foster mom can file a runaway report on you. If the police find you, they may return you back to foster care. If you would like to continue this discussion, please feel free to contact us directly through our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.

        • I cant handle living like this...I know people are in worse situations then me but it still hurts a lot. I don't know what to do, I tried talking to an adult but all he said was how stupid I am to think about that.

          Comment


          • ccsmod0
            ccsmod0 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello, Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are feeling immense amount of pain from being at home. Even though there are other people in the world this does not mean that you pain is less valid than their or you don’t have the right to express how you are feeling. It was really brave of you to try and express yourself to an adult and too bad that they did not respond the way that you deserved. We want you to know that we are not here to judge you or tell you what to do with your life. We just want you to be happy and safe. If you feel comfortable you can give us a call and we can talk about all of your options. 1-800-786-2929
            Best wishes,
            NRS

        • Me and my friend and planning on running away. We both are so stressed out with school, we are both so tired of our parents yelling at us constantly, I can’t go to school without getting judged or bullied and I can’t tell my parents that I don’t want to go to school because they will just tell me to suck it up and go anyways. I tried to have them schedule me an appointment to see a counselor but they are just not doing anything about it I really just want to leave but I also know that I will get caught.

          Comment


          • Reply: Me and my friend and planning on running away


            Hello,
            Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

            We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
            Some situations can be disappointing and even upsetting thus making things uncertain about what to do or where to turn.
            We understand and we want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. You don’t deserve to be yelled at when you are at home or bullied at school.
            It must feel pretty frustrating for you.

            Perhaps since you cannot get your parents to set an appointment for counseling you might consider talking with a counselor or social worker from your school.
            Sometimes exploring for more options can help bring about somethings not thought of previously.
            We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
            Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org.

            Again tell us what it is you would like us to help you with and we will be happy to explore some options with you.
            NRS is here to listen and here to help.
            We hope to hear from you soon.

            Take care,
            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


            • Hey there! I'm also 14... along with just about everybody on this site. I was adopted at age 9, and had been in several foster homes before that. I have three sisters and a half brother, but only live with one of my sisters. She has ADHD and an attachment disorder, and my "parents" are fed up with her. At least once a day they have a full blown argument about shoes in the middle of the floor, or a jacket that hasn't been hung up, or because somebody didn't laugh at my sisters joke. It's been really hard for me, and I feel the need to get away. I always feel relief when at another family members house or at a friends. I've never run away before, but have been considering it fr years. The only thing that is holding me back is my braces. Yeah, really. I want to get them off before go anywhere, I don't want them permanently stuck on my teeth.

              It would be really nice if I could talk to someone who is in my same shoes, so I hope it's okay if I put my email out here for a nice chat.
              Last edited by ccsmod0; 11-08-2017, 12:01 PM.

              Comment


              • ccsmod0
                ccsmod0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello,
                Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. 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. You mentioned that the only thing that is holding you back is your braces. This sounds like a serious concern and something that you are going to have to deal with eventually.
                We are not here to tell that you should or should not leave but we can talk to you about your options. If you would like to give us a call we can help you figure this thing out. 1-800-786-2929
                For anyone experiencing any difficulties or challenges, the National Runaway Safeline encourages youth to reach out to our 24/7 crisis support line either by phone or chat for immediate services.
                Best wishes,
                NRS

            • my name jay , im only 14 running away soon. i hate being with my mom she only care about mmy sister , i look at her everyday n tell her yuh gonna wish i wan shere , n went in my room i just cant stay here anymore ,people telling me not to go they think my life is good i been through hell with this lady since i was born , she cant even sit down n talk to me n aask me why i wanna leave , nobody under stand me but the boy thats helling me but i wanna know if i come bk or not will i go to jail ?

              Comment


              • ccsmod16
                ccsmod16 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hey Jay,

                Thank you for taking the time out of your day to get into contact with us here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. From your message to us, it sounds like you have are going through a very hard time right now. Seems like your mom isn’t paying as much attention to you as you would like and just pays attention to your sister instead. That’s got to be really frustrating, especially if you don’t know why it’s happening.

                Now we aren't legal experts here but like we tell a lot of our callers, the laws on that specific subject of running away vary from state to state. Generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states), your parents or legal guardian would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. Being a runaway is a status offense, not a criminal one. Police just bring you back home, or to the station then have your mom pick you up.

                Dealing with parents can be really hard, especially when they seem to be playing favorites. We do offer a service that is basically a Conference Call where the parent, the youth, and us would be on the phone talking about what has been going on. This way there can be a mediator in between keeping things calm and productive. If you’d feel more comfortable with doing that, just know that it’s always available. It might be a great way to talk about what you are thinking about doing and some of the reasons why you want to leave. Something constructive so that it certainly opens the lines of communication.

                If you do feel like running you can give us a call on our 24/7 fully confidential hotline, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and could potentially help you brainstorm a solution to the issues you are having. We also have an online chat service available every night from 4:30-11:30PM CST that is available through our website (www.1800runaway.org) if you don’t feel like calling in to talk on the phone.

            • What if you run away from
              Kentucky to Virginia?

              Comment


              • ccsmod9
                ccsmod9 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello,
                Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’re thinking about running away and are weighing your different options. It’s good that you’re trying to get as much information as possible so you can make an informed choice.

                In answer to your question about running away across state lines, we’re not legal experts, but we can tell you that if you’re a minor (under age 18 in both KY and VA) and your parents or guardians file a runaway report to the police, your information is placed in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). In the case of a runaway who is in the NCIC data base they might be detained by law enforcement (in any state) and have their guardian contacted.
                Even though running away is not illegal, there may also be against harboring or aiding a runaway, so there could be legal consequences for the person/people you run away to stay with. Most places also have a compulsory school age (usually 16 or 17) which means there could be legal consequences if you stop attending school before that age.

                Please give NRS a call at our 24/7 crisis hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) if you would like us to help talk through some different options.
                You can also visit our website at www.1800Runaway.org and visit our Live Chat service to obtain this information or discuss your situation.

                We thank you again for contacting NRS.
                Take care

            • Hey i am 14 and i have been having problems around my two homes and i wanted to ask if leave home and going to a fiends that you trust would that be considered running away. My mom has told me stories about my older sister and i don't believe her... but that doesn't help my situation. Would i be able to do that?
              At home with my dad, we live alone in an apartment and i wanted to talk this out but i don't have a phone of my own yet... i wanted to know if there is another private way to talk with you guys?

              Comment


              • ccsmod10
                ccsmod10 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                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 between homes. It sounds like it’s creating a lot of stress for you.

                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. You mentioned having a hard time talking on the phone, we also have a chatting service via our website. However that service is not open 24/7 like our call center is.

                We wish you the best of luck with everything!

            • If I were to run away, when I come back (if I even do) wouldn’t it be worse? I already have my things packed if I need to flee.

              Comment


              • ccsmod5
                ccsmod5 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thanks for reaching out to NRS, we’re here to listen and to help.

                It sounds like you’re feeling frustrated with your current situation and want to leave, but are considering what the consequences could be if you were to come back home. It’s good that you’re thinking through your options ahead of time, that speaks a lot about your level of responsibility and maturity.
                You asked if it is illegal to run away when you’re 14. Although we’re not legal experts, we can tell you that running away before you reach legal age of majority for your state is generally considered a status offense; similar to getting caught smoking underage. Generally not something that will go on your permanent record or get you incarcerated.
                Something you should be aware of, however, is that while running away is not illegal, harboring a runaway is against the law, so any adult/of age person you stay with after you run away could get in trouble, and generally speaking, there are more serious legal consequences to that. Again, we’re not legal experts but it is something to be aware of.
                It’s true that running away could make the situation worse if you needed to come back home after some time, so it is important to consider that. Have you ever thought about getting counseling for your situation at home - if that is an option you think would be viable? If that interests you, we could refer you to counseling resources available in your area, we have a database of resources that we can research. Another option could be to see if you can temporarily go and stay with a trusted relative or friend’s family, if that is something available to you.
                If you were to leave – and it sounds like you’ve gone as far as having things packed if the situation at home becomes unsafe or more unhealthy for you – it’s good to have a plan A and at least a plan B of where you would go, what you would do to cover your basic needs/shelter, and how to keep yourself safe – as your safety is very important to us.
                If you think having a neutral 3rd party mediate a conversation between you and your parents/legal guardians would help the situation you’re in, that is also a service that we offer, to help open the lines of communication. You’d just need to call us on our 24 hour/7 day a week hotline to start the process for that.
                We hope this information was helpful to you and provided some of the answers you were seeking.
                Please know that you can always call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat us at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30-11:30pm Central time every day if you ever feel like you need some support or someone to talk to. Best of luck and stay safe.

            • Im 14 and want to run away

              I live in florida and want to move to California. I have grown farther and farther from my family. My family is really insane. My mom always yells at me, my sister thrashes around and tries to hit me and my family, my brother doesn't really talk to me much, my dad is working alot but gets mad with alot of things i do. I have enough money to leave i have over 1600 saved up. I just wana know what are the consequences if i just leave and fly to cali. Will i get arrested will i be charged will i have that on my record for ever?

              Comment


              • ccsmod7
                ccsmod7 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello there, thanks for reaching out. Sounds like you are going through a whole lot with your family at home, and you are planning on running from Florida to California. That is a pretty long way to go, and it was smart of you to reach out with that question.

                Laws vary from state to state and we are not legal experts, but we can speak generally. Typically running away is considered a status offense rather than being illegal; which means it is something you cannot do because you are a minor. So it does not typically go on your permanent record.If you leave home before you turn 18 without permission, your parents can file a runaway report for you with local police, and if you are found you would be returned home. If a report is made for you, you would be entered into a national police database as a runaway so if an officer runs your name they could see that you are listed as a runaway. You would typically not be charged with anything since it is a status offense. Since you are planning on going across the country, one thing to keep in mind is if you are found far away from your parents, it is possible that you could be detained until police can figure out how to send you back home or until your parents can come get you.

                It sounds like you are pretty fed up with home life right now. That seems really understandable with your sister trying to hit you, your dad getting mad, and your mom yelling. If you ever wanted to have a mediated conversation with your family to let them know how you are feeling, here at NRS we have a conference call service if you call 1-800-RUNAWAY. It could be a safe place to let your mom and/or dad know how you have been feeling, and how family life has been affecting you. You deserve to be heard and supported.

                Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever need resources or if you need to talk. We truly want to be there for you during this difficult time.

                Best,

                NRS

            • Help me my life is bad my dad has cancer and I have 2 brother with issues and than my mother who is a workaholic and in the summer all the time my brothers will try to fight each other which made me sad I never thought about killing myself but sometimes I wanted to run away I use to Hated it when my mother or father would leave me home with them I would call and make sure there on there way I just wanted school to start but even when that happend northing changed and I still have to deal with it everyday all day and j know I do things to but it’s just my brother Antonio he’s always screaming and yelling at the game and sometimes I just want to leave this house and go somewhere but I know I can’t do that. Now every time I go to school I would be excited to go I never felt this way never ever and it get worse each day and my dad is hurting and so is my mom and I know it I just wish that god can just take my brother Antonio away somewhere I’m just just so tired of it always trying to pull my brother away each other so they want have to fight each other and kill each other to death. And my parents don’t understand the stuff I go through. HELP I just want to leave this house I get crazy in this house help me plz I prayed about it nothing happens what did I ever do wrong

              Comment


              • ccsmod5
                ccsmod5 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,
                We're so sorry to hear about your father and the incredible challenges that you are facing at home. It sounds like you are dealing with more than any one person should have to handle by themselves. It takes a lot of resilience to persevere in your situation and you are courageous for reaching out for help. Thank you for contacting us.
                First, if you are thinking about killing yourself, please know that there are resources available to help you. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be contacted at 1-800-273-8255 and they are available 24/7. You can also reach out through their website at suicidepreventionlifeline.org. If you are seriously considering harming yourself, please consider reaching out to these experts.
                We definitely understand wanting and needing to get out of your home. Sometimes when parents are in a lot of pain, it is difficult for them to provide the love that their children need. It sounds like you have a lot of thoughts and feelings, have a desire to process them, and it also sounds like being at home feels isolating to you. None of what is happening to you is your fault. It’s not your fault that your brothers fight, that your dad is sick, or that your mom is always working. It’s also not fair to expect you to bear all of this by yourself.
                We’d encourage you to do everything you can to cope with your situation in a healthy manner. It sounds like school might be an outlet for you. Getting more involved in your school, through academics or extracurriculars can be very healthy and helpful. Outside of school, attempting to explain to your mom how you are feeling might be worthwhile. Friends, relatives, or other trusted adults can also be really helpful counselors and confidants for you. Building and utilizing a support system is crucial to processing all of these experiences that you’re having. We’d encourage you to think about who in your life can be there to best support you.
                Regarding your questions about legal issues, first, we should mention that we are not legal experts but there are a couple items to mention. As a minor, if you have parental consent, you are able to leave home and live somewhere else (potentially with a friend or another family member). If you don’t have parental consent and you choose to leave home, as a minor this would be considered a “status offense.” A status offense is not a crime, it is something you cannot do because of your age (on par with smoking a cigarette). If you decided to leave without parental consent, your parents would be obligated to file a runaway report. If the police found you, they would most likely return you to your home, but probably not hold you and it would not go on your record. Finally, once you reach legal age (18 in most states), you are able to leave home with or without parental consent.
                At the National Runaway Safeline, we have a couple services that we’d encourage you to utilize. First, we have a telephone hotline that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). We also have a chat service that is available through our website daily from 4:30- 11:30pm CST. We will be best able to assist you through one of these services.
                Thank you again for contacting us. We care about you and want what is best for you. We would love to chat further to better understand what you’re going through and talk through anything that might be helpful. Best of luck and stay strong.
                -NRS
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