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

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  • I am 14 years old and I lived in Omaha Nebraska till today I moved states to Arkansas with my mom and sister. Me and my sister didn’t want this because we have nothing over here and we had a future over there in Omaha. My sister is 17. We have family and close friends that were willing to take us in but my mom just wanted to move and forced us to. Me and my sister have been depressed and sad because were leaving so much behind. I need help what can I do? I want to go back where I grew up and me and my sister want to run away back to Omaha.

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 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 with your mom and the move. 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.
      The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
      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 would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
      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

  • my mom recently drug tested me and i came back positive. my family has a history of marijuana use and most of my older cousins use the substance. they offered me some and i said yes because they said it could help with my anxiety. my mom is super extremely mad at me but we have family staying over right now so she isn’t saying anything. she has kicked me out before because my therapist talked to her about how i can’t ever sleep and she just blew up on me. she’s extremely verbally abusive and manipulative as well. i want to runaway because i’m sure she’s gonna beat me and kick me out. i do not want to deal with any of this. my parents also recently got divorced and i no longer talk to my father but my mom tells me about all of her problems she has in her life and she expects me to be in a perfect mood with everyone at all times after she tells me all about how bad of a person my dad is and how she can’t pay bills. i understand her and i like that she tells me things huh i never know what to expect from her. she’s treating me super well one second and the next second she’s blowing up on me calling me a disappointment and many other things. not to mention that i try my best to not let my younger sibling suffer through listening to my parents argue amd their manipulation. i truly am tired amd she’s gonna kick me out and get the police involved because of my drug use. i told her that i had only done it once so she wouldn’t get as mad. please keep in mind that i am not addicted to marijuana it is just something that helps with my anxiety. i don’t smoke at all seconds of the day and i don’t smoke smoke everyday either. i only do it when my anxiety is super bad and i’m gonna have an anxiety attack. one of my cousins wants me to let her come with me but im not sure if it is smart. she hasn’t done anything wrong and her mom does not deserve to worry about her. she also smokes but rarely. she said she wants to go with me because she is in a similar situation but her mom did not drug test her. i really need advise on what to do. i want to runaway because i want my mom to see what it would be like without me because i do so much in the youse and it seems like no one in the family cares and they only care about my mistakes. please help me by giving me advise

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi,
      Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are so sorry to hear you are in this tough situation, and we hope to help in the best way we can.
      It sounds like you are enduring some serious emotional abuse at home, and feel in danger of physical abuse by Mom after your other family members leave. We want you to know that you do not deserve to be treated like this. You should be safe and comfortable at home, and it does not sound like this is the case. You can always report what is going on at home by contacting Child Protective Services in your area. We can help you locate this number if you call us (1800-RUN-AWAY) or instant message us (1800runaway.org). If you have questions or concerns about abuse reporting, we encourage you to reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453. If you find yourself in immediate danger of abuse or neglect (Mom kicking you out), you can always call 911.
      It sounds like you really want to leave your home, and like your cousin might come with you. It is important you know that if you leave the home without parental consent, and without an active abuse report, you are liable to be brought back home by police, if you Mom decides to report you as a runaway. It is not illegal to run away, but the police will make a good effort to find you if they are called.
      You are incredibly brave to have reached out to us. You might find it helpful during this tough time to enlist the support of the family members that are staying with you. Perhaps they can advocate on your behalf and ensure Mom does not hurt you. Or they can request to be able to safely keep you for some time so that you are protected from Mom’s volatile behaviors. You should never have to endure any kind of abuse, physical or emotional.
      We hope you found some of this information useful. If you need something more, please call us. We are here to listen, here to help.
      Stay safe and stay strong out there.
      Sincerely,
      NRS
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