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

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  • Do i have to go home if my parents say so but they are abusive to a piont?

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    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      Thank you for reaching out to NRS. Asking for help is really brave and takes a lot of strength. Home is supposed to be somewhere safe and you deserve to feel supported. Abuse of any kind is not okay and it is never your fault. Your safety is very important to us and we are available 24/7 to listen and help.

      Generally speaking, you do have to return home if you are under the age of 18. Until you turn 18, if you leave without permission your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. You would not be arrested or charged with a crime, but police will likely return you home.

      Your parents are supposed to make you feel comfortable at home and from what you shared they are not doing that. One option that you do have is to report the issues at home. A child abuse report can get a social worker involved to help. This can be a scary decision to make and you do not need to make it alone. If you want to know more about the reporting process or you would like to start the report, you can call the national child abuse hotline at 1-800-422-4453 or go to https://www.childhelp.org/hotline/. Additionally we are here by phone and chat 24/7 to listen and help.

      We truly want to be a support for you during this difficult time. Do not hesitate to reach out by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services on the website homepage to talk more about your situation.

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • My friend ran away yesterday first day of Dec, he would usually talk about how his mom would yell at him and hurt him... I’ve been through that and can’t stand to hear him upset so I insisted to stay up all night with him. two days ago before he ran away... I made him laugh and tried to help him think positive bc letting yourself down is just terrible..so yesterday before he ran away, in the morning for my church service we hangout in what was called a bonus room, my friend Seemed to be happy but didn’t mention anything about running away or being sad/ depressed in fact he seemed to be perfectly fine and I’m really good at knowing whether people are OK or not btw but when 2nd Service came around apparently I had to leave and didn’t get to go to second service because my parents had a change of plans. Before I left I gave my Friend a hug but I couldn’t help but feel like I should’ve gave him a 2nd hug... when I arrived to my house I took a nap woke up and when to my nana’s at 8pm I got a call from my dad while I was drawing and jamming out with my papaw, it was my dad, I wondered why he was asking about my friend And being my stubborn self I asked “why ask these miss serious questions, is my friend OK?” My dad finally told me he ran away... and apparently it hasn’t been his first time doing so... apparently something happened at his place and he finally ran away again...so now I’m wondering what would happen at the age of 14 if you ran away a 2nd time? Would my friend be sent to a mental place? Will he be ok? Or will the cops ask his mother questions on why this is his 2nd time running away? I’m hoping for his safety and that he doesn’t get in trouble

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    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Your friend is lucky to have someone who cares about him so much. It sounds like you're really worried about him. It might be a good idea to talk to your parents about what he told you about his mom yelling at him and hurting him. That is what the police would consider abuse and something they would want to know. If they did find him, they would bring him back home to his parents. He would not be arrested, but he may be in trouble with his parents when he gets home. The police are just concerned about his safety.

      Having a space to vent and explore options may often bring out a solution previously not thought of. We are here as support to help you and your friend through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

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

      Take care,
      NRS

  • Hi I almost got in trouble with the law and my mom doesn't understand nothing I say everything I say she repeats and tells my dad. And my dad just threatens to punch me in the face everytime something happens, Im 15 and I live in Georgia is it illegal for me to runaway and what would happen to me if I were to

    Comment


    • ccsmod8
      ccsmod8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there –

      Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on. We are mainly here for support and help find some guidance to local resources that might be able to help a youth through their particular situation and we aren’t here to tell you what to do because you know your situation a lot better than we do.

      Now as you have read in other replies or threads that we aren't legal experts here so we can only offer you general knowledge of the runaway laws and what might happen if you were caught. We have answered that question multiple times throughout this thread, so we would advise you to look back for those answers. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us via phone and/or online chat.

      Best of luck!

  • My parents beat me up with a stick, and abuse me with their words. Sometimes, I do absolutely nothing and I will get hit. Every day, I feel like running away, or doing something. They've been giving me everything, but since I have turned 13, my parents have been treating me like absolute s***.

    Comment


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are so sorry to hear about the inappropriate and abusive way that your parents have been treating you. It is extremely not okay for them to beat you up or verbally abuse you. Everyone deserves to be treated with love and respect in their own home and you are no exception. It might be in your interest to consider reporting what is going on. If you are interested in learning more about that process or what could come of it, please reach out to the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453. If you ever feel in immediate danger, it might also be worth thinking about calling the police. If you need somewhere to go immediately, you can go to nationalsafeplace.org in order to find the nearest National Safe Place that may be able to take you in. You also may want to consider asking a friend if you can stay at their house if you feel unsafe at home if possible. If you are unsure about how to proceed or if you want to talk about what other options you may have, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS

  • I was just spanked and now I'm bleeding. What do I do? I'm only 14.

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now and you mentioned being harmed. 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 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. It may also be a good place to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

      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 would like to talk more in detail please chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best

      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • Can i get in trouble for running away to my moms house in Alabama I live in Michigan. My dad has full custody of me and his wife is so hateful and abusive to me and my brother. My mom has told my dads mother what was going on and they flipped the script o mb my mom for bringing it up. Now my dad is keeping me from my mom and I dont want to live with him bo more. I want to live with my mom.

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to listen and here to help.
      It seems like you are going through a difficult time right now.
      We are not legal experts but if you are a minor and runaway your legal guardian could file a runaway report. If the police do find you they most likely would bring you back home. Also whoever you were to stay with could potentially get in trouble for harboring a runaway.
      We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We wish you the best of luck!
      NRS

  • i’m 14, i live in georgia and i want to runaway not saying the reasons why but i have a place i could go but i don’t know wether i should do it or not. my mom has already called the cops on me for “running away” and going to my boyfriends house but my brother literally told me to.

    Comment


    • ccsmod10
      ccsmod10 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.

      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • If I were to leave a note saying I didn't want to be looked for and that I was moving out could I do that. I just hate my home life because they mentally abuse me all day and I don't know what to do. I just wanna leave home right now.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for taking the time to write us here at NRS. It can certainly be stressful at home when the adults in the household are not supportive. Emotional abuse does get overwhelming and it can be tough to cope with on your own. Abuse of any kind is never okay and not your fault. Doing your own research while thinking about the decision to pursue emancipation is really responsible and resourceful!

      Generally speaking, your parents are your legal guardians until you turn 18, so they can decide where you live. If you do choose to leave without permission, your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This means that if your parents know where you are staying then they can have the police return you home.

      The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parents’ permission. In this case, they would be allowing you to live somewhere else where you are safe and being cared for. A helpful step is to start reaching out to friends and family members you might be able to stay with. Sometimes having an adult advocate on your side can make communicating your needs more effective to your parents. Perhaps an adult family member, a friend's parent or a counselor at school can talk to your parents with you about your experience at home and the possibility of you leaving.

      Child Help is an organization that advocates for young people in abusive and unhealthy situations. You can contact them at 1-800-422-4453 or go to childhelphotline.org to talk more about strategies for coping with the emotional abuse at home and options for having a trusted adult intervene to help. They can also be another resource to add to your support system while you navigate this challenging time.

      We truly want to be a support for you as you decide on your next steps. We are available 24/7 to listen and help as much as possible. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you would like to talk more in-depth about your situation and explore your options. You can contact us by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or use our live chat services at www.1800runaway.org.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

  • Is it illegal to run away. I think in my opinion we should be able. I hate my parents a lot and the hate me too 1 in particular but I go and run off and they come looking for me but then I go to them but i really don't want to go to them but my instinct is too.

    Comment


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. Running away is not a criminal matter, it is a status offense. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. 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. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.Be safe.

  • hi, im 14 and i live in conneticut. My parents are major christians and i somewhat believe too. But the thing is, i like to watch certain stuff that entertains me, for example, anime or supernatural shows and my parents take away everything that has to do with tv now. They even restrict stuff in my school computers so i don't try to watch anything in study halls or free periods. they want me to just keep doing work work work. It's to the point that they took everything away from my room; the tv, my gaming console, books, and even Toys! its really stressful and boring in my room now. It's to the point where all i CAN do is just sleep or look at a wall. I plan on running away and hiding out at my friend's house, and his mom is alright with it as long as social services dont come knocking on her door. my parents doesnt know my friend or his mom so i think i should be fine, but i just feel very scared of what would happen if my parents find me. Can i really run away?

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    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us. It seems like you are going through a really stressful time right now. You deserve to have hobbies that interest you, even if your parents don’t understand.

      We are not legal experts, but I can give you some information on what might happen. Since you are under 18 years old, running away would be considered a status offense. This means that it is prohibited because of your age. It isn’t technically illegal, and it won’t come up on your permanent record. However, if you do leave without parental consent, your parents can go to the local police station and file a runaway report. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while you are reported as a runaway, they will likely return you home. Other services, such as family counseling, may be offered but that depends on your location and situation. Also, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them could be charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to all your local police station and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. If you would like to talk in more detail please call or chat with us. Our phone number is 1800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You can also go to www.1800runaway.org and click the char button.

      Be safe, and good luck.

  • Hi, I'm 14 and I'm doing things my mother does not approve of. She takes her anger out on me and leaves marks on my body, I want to run away but I feel scared I would get into to much trouble with my mom and the police. but I don't want to go into foster care. What am I supposed to do?

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. Wow it sounds like you are going through a really difficult time right now, and we want you to know that you are not alone.
      You do not deserve to have marks on your body, or have someone take their anger out on you. If you believe this is abuse you do have the right to file an abuse report. You can file an abuse report by calling Child Help: 1800-422-4453. Or you call us and we would be more than happy to help you make a report. Also if you are ever in immediate danger please call the police.
      If you were to leave home without permission your mother does have the right to file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. One option to consider is to talk with a school counselor about what is going on at home, they would be able to help you see what options you have.
      We hope that this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support. Best of luck!
      NRS

  • Hi. I'm 14 and am in a really bad situation right now. I have really religious parents who would never except me for being bisexual. Being at home sucks and I tried to tell my mom about my depression but she did nothing. Even after I broke down crying and begging her to get me help.All she did was take away all of the things that made me happy. I've been forced to go to church my entire life even though I never understand anything that's going on there. I don't have understanding supporting parents so I could never tell them about the time my brother let his friends rape me. I'm not close to any of my brothers so I wouldn't really mind leaving them. My dad constantly verbally abuses me and my mother but my mom is afraid to stand up to him because of his past where he used to get violent and beat her. I have a friend who's mom is cool with me maybe staying at their house for a couple of days but I don't know if it's illegal to run away and I don't want to get anyone in trouble. I need to leave this house.

    Comment


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi
      Thank you for reaching out to us; we are so glad that you did. All of the things you talked about are serious issues and we believe you. We are absolutely here to help you. Running way to be safe from a dangerous situation is not illegal but doing it the right way can be complicated.

      Your situation, for so many reasons is clearly really hard, and you have been so brave to have survived it. The religious issues and your dad’s verbal abuse and violence and your mother not protecting you from him are bad enough. Adding your brother’s friends raping you and you not being able to get help for that, it is understandable that you broke down crying and begging for help. We are here to help you. You deserve to be helped. We believe you.

      Identifying as bisexual in a home and culture that wouldn’t accept you for who you are is and added sadness and complication in you life.

      You are and have been so very brave, and so strong, intelligent and creative. You found us, and were brave again to ask for help. We are here to help you. The best way for us to help you is by talking with you. We do have a live chat that you can use, but what you are going through is very serious, honestly if you can call our hotline, we can help you the best. We are all really nice and we are all dedicated to helping exactly you. You deserve help. You deserve to be safe.
      Maybe you can arrange to sleepover at your friend’s house so that you can call us in privacy. If that isn’t possible then try to call us sometime when you have an hour or so away from the house, even from the backyard if you have one.

      If that isn’t possible, the please reach out by chat. It will take longer to type back and forth, but we are here 24/7 and are ready to help. We believe you. We care about you. We want to help you to be safe in a way that is comfortable and right for you. Our services are confidential and we are a safe and supportive resource. You are not alone in this. You have us and you have your excellent friend for support too, and his mom. We are glad that they are in your life and are strong and true friends.

      The best way for us to help you is by talking about it by phone or live chat.
      We are here for you and you can reach us 24/7 on our hotline at 1800-786-2929 (1800-runaway) or via live chat through www.1800runaway.org
      We truly hope to hear from you soon.

      Sincerely,
      NRS

  • i am 14 and live in nsw australia i really feel mistreated and like my mums neglecting me for her partner who physically hurts my brother and i sometimes and child services are involved what happens if i run i just want answers

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It's not OK for your mom's partner to hurt your brother - no one deserves to be abused. The National Runaway Safeline is located in the United States of America (USA). Our knowledge of helpful community based resources and our understanding of youth in crisis related laws is limited to the USA. If you are located in a country outside of the USA, you can use this link to find a youth helpline in or around your country: https://www.childhelplineinternation...pline-network/.

      We hope that by reaching out to a local resource, you are able to get the support you need from an organization that understands the laws and circumstances that affect youth in your country.

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • I wanna run away so bad bc I'm being mistreated on a daily basis and getting grounded for the stupidest things but I'm only 12 although I am turning 13 in a few months. I just don't wanna get caught I wanna live with my friend that actually supports me and her mom as well. My parents are getting a divorce and it's been causing a lot of stress to my mom so she always taking out her anger on me and always treating me like garbage like if I were her maid. She always tells me to do clean the house and if I do one thing wrong she would always hit me. I always end up with bruises all on my body. Plus I don't even feel loved by my parents I don't remember them saying "I love you" and meant it or thank you or anything like that. When people come she treats me like a mom that anyone can imagine. She's always up in my business and never gives me any privacy. She always says "I'm your mother so obey me" so I feel like she's just taking advantage of that. I'm always getting grounded and I just want my space. I just wanna run away from all my problems because recently I switched schools which really hurt me because all my teachers and friends there supported me those were the only ones that treated me like if we were family and I loved everyone there because they get me and support me and I just feel loved there but now since I switched everything is new and I don't really have friends to talk to or support me. The things is that I've always wanted a baby sister and I have her here and I love her but my mom always hits her and there's nothing I can do because I would get grounded and hit. I tell my mom how I feel but she just laughs and mimics me or she would be sarcastic like " oh poor you the little lady isn't getting treated very well so let's show her" and she just hits me with all her force. I've attempted to cut myself but I just cant and it won't even help the situation. Please help me I'm tired of being mistreated.
    ​​​​​​

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,
      Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story with us at NRS. We know it can be hard to share these things and talk about the mistreatment you are going through, its brave of you to reach out for help and you don’t deserve to be treated like how you described. Your mom should never hit you like that, if you have bruises that means you have proof of her abuse. You don’t deserve to be hit, and grounded and feel threatened by her presence. It makes sense to want out of such a scary situation and you deserve a safe place to call home. Divorce is certainly stressful but it is no excuse to treat you poorly or like a maid.
      From what you have described it seems like how your mom treats you and hits you qualifies as physical child abuse. As such it is reportable to CPS/DCFS so that they know what is happening and can send someone out to talk to you and investigate the situation. If you have physical bruises that is usually strong evidence for physical abuse, if you can take pictures of the bruises and write down dates and times that abuse occurred that can help your case as well. They have the authority to possibly take you and your sister out of the house and place you with foster parents or another family member to keep you safe. There is a chance you would end up separated from your sister as well though. For more information about child abuse and reporting https://www.childhelp.org/ is a great resource to start with. We are also able to help you to file an abuse report if you need help doing so.
      If you don’t have phone access you can chat with us online at https://na0messaging.icarol.com/Cons...d=254&cc=en-US and we can help. We also have a phone line at 1-800-786-2929. We hope to hear from you again soon so that we can listen to your situation and explore how we can best help you through this tough time.
      Good Luck,
      NRS.

  • I wan't to runaway.... I am getting screamed at, and i feel like a failure. My parents are threatening to send me to military school. I live in Georgia and I wan't to run to Ohio where i'm from. I need to know what will happen if i get caught and can i get arrested for running. I know that they wouldn't be able to find me and that i would be able to get a job at the supermarket or with family in Ohio. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I GET CAUGHT!!! I need to know. I would have a good safe place to stay if i ran but i don't want to get arrested. I'm 14 and my dad left me when i was 2. I hate this place and i need to know what will happen if i get caught!!!!!

    Comment


    • ccsmod8
      ccsmod8 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello there -

      Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. No one deserves to be treated that way at all. You are very strong to go through something like that and still keep pushing and fighting for a better life for yourself. We do want to say that it must be very hard for you to have to go through all of this. It sounds like a very stressful situation for you at home and you find it hard to cope with certain things.

      Since moving out under the age of 18 years old is such a common question that we get and can be easily found on this thread, we aren’t going to get into what would happen if you left without permission from your legal guardian. If you have some specific questions that you want to ask us or maybe find a place to vent about what you are feeling right now you can reach out to us via our 24-hour hotline and online chat.

      Best of luck!
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