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

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  • ccsmod5
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi there,
    Thanks for reaching out, we know it can be difficult to take that first step. We hope to help as best we can. You mentioned being abused and it having stopped about 3 years ago, we want to share this resource with you in case you ever feel unsafe. 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. You deserve to be in a home where you feel safe. If you feel unsafe and feel the need to run away from home, we can help find shelters and resources in your area.
    If you are under the age of 18 your parents 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 in more detail, reach out to us via chat or phone call.
    Stay strong,
    NRS

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Im 14 and School is just to much for me to take. I have tried to run away before but never had the courage to do it considering my parents. I cant take this life anymore I was physicaly abused when I was younger and my father left me for another woman. The abuse has stopped for at least 3 years but I feel so stressed and I have tried talking to my parents about it but it never seems to help me. When Im outside alone I feel free and ready for anything I need to RUN I need to get away! And all this politics going on is also stressing me the ******** out. Whats up with the police in texas? Will they come search for me? and how do I get to a shelter?

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    Thanks for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. It’s a big decision to run away, so it’s very smart to find support. It seems that you and your mom haven’t had the best relationship, and it’s probably frustrating to not be able to feel safe or treated respectfully at home. Your safety is the most important thing. If you start to think about suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 for support. The service is confidential and free.

    We’re not legal experts, but it’s generally not illegal to run away. It’s considered a status offense, which just means that you left without your mom’s permission. Each police department decides how they handle runaways. You can always call your local non-emergency police department anonymously and ask how they handle runaways. Depending on what state you live in, there may also be harboring laws in effect. These laws essentially say that it may be illegal to knowingly provide shelter for a runaway. Before you choose to run, there are some other things to consider, like where you’ll stay, getting food, earning money, etc. In addition to help planning and providing resources, we can also identify and explore other options with you. You can reach us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or live chat at 1800runaway.org. We’re here 24/7 and confidential. Best of luck!

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi I’m 14 and I’m sick and tried of my mom treating me like I trash so I’m running away when she leaves too the farm today all she does is yells at me we can never have a normal conversation without her yelling and I get scared and I have in the past try too commit suicide

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  • ccsmod13
    commented on Guest's reply
    Hi, thank you for posting here on the National Runaway Safeline Forum. You are brave for reaching out to talk about everything that you have been going through. I want to remind you that you are not alone and that you matter. It must have been difficult losing your dad and your other family members, but you are strong for continuing to persevere through these losses and everything else that has happened.

    Everyone copes with loss and stress in their own way, including doing things like smoking. Although you may wish that your mother would quit smoking, you cannot control what she chooses to do. However, there is no excuse for her take out any of her anger or frustration on you. You never deserve to be hit or called names. These things are abusive and are not acceptable. One thing that you may want to consider is filing an abuse report about what has been happening. A resource that could help you with this is Childhelp. They can provide you with information about abuse reporting and can support you through the process if you choose to file a report. You can call their hotline at (800) 422-4453 or go to their website at www.childhelp.org/.

    You mentioned the possibility of running away to go to your friend’s house for a little bit before returning home. Something you may want to think about is how your mom will react to you leaving. Although we aren’t legal experts, running away before you are legally considered an adult is a status offense. This means that while it is not allowed, you would not be charged with committing a crime. If you choose to runway, your mom has the option to file a runaway report. This means that if the police find you, they could take you back home. They could also potentially charge your friend’s parents with harboring a runaway if you choose to go and stay with them.

    It’s good that you have friends that you can trust. Having supportive people around can be a good resource to help you cope with what is happening. It sounds like there is a lot going on at school, both with your grades and with other students bullying you. You show a lot of determination in continuing to work hard to get good grades even when you are struggling with other things in your life. One option that you have available to you is to reach out to an adult at your school that you trust. This could be a teacher, a counselor, a coach, or another person that you would be comfortable talking to. You could talk to them about what you are struggling with, including your grades and the bullying that you are experiencing. You also have the option to talk to them about how things at home have been going and how you are doing mentally. They will be able to provide you with additional support and guidance. You said that you are struggling with depression and anxiety. If you contact our hotline directly, we would be happy to look into counseling resources in your area who you could talk to about how you have been feeling. You could also reach out to the National Alliance on Mental Illness to talk about how you have been feeling and to find more resources to help you cope. Their hotline is 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) and their website is www.nami.org.

    You are strong for reaching out to seek support. If you would like to chat more about your situation, you can contact us 24/7 at our number 1-800-786-2929 or through our live chat under the “Chat” tab on our website https://www.1800runaway.org/. Stay safe.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Hi, I’m in a bit of a predicament. I’m 13 turning 14 in 3 weeks and my dad had died when I had just turned 8 years old. Ever since then my mom has been a wreck which I understood considering the loss of my father. They were married and they were really happy together until he was diagnosed with a lung disease that killed him in a time span of 3 years. My mom would start to hit me a lot and picked up her smoking again. She goes through at least one pack of cigarettes everyday, and spends a lot of money on it (which we don’t have and are currently struggling due to financial problems). I have told a close friend about it and have been close to running away a numerous amount of times. He always says that I can run to his house and I can talk with his family and then after blowing off steam his parents would take me home to settle things with my mother. About 3 hasta since my dad died she had started dating this guy named Miguel who is still currently with us now. He’s always protected me all the time and stood up for me when my mom would call me names saying that she hated me and she would call me a **********. One day I did something which was completely dumb and I take full responsibility for my actions, but I pretended to drink and recorded it and posted it on Snapchat. One of my classmates viewed the video I uploaded and had contacted administration about it. Afterwards my mom was also contacted. Shortly after, she picked me up from my friends house because I would go home with her and her mom because her job was far from my school and had to have someone pick me up. After she picked me up she started screaming which I expected because of what I did. She grabbed my hair and slammed it against the car. I’m not sure what the word for this specific part is, but it is the stick in the front seat where you are able to move the car from reverse, park, neutral, and drive. She was banging my head against it with the windows down calling me the b word saying she hated me. We came across a red light and she stopped then grabbed my hair harder and slammed it harder against that stick. I had a headache for 4 days. Someone saw and heard her saying those things so someone called the cops as other people just started and I could see in their eyes they felt bad but they still continued to drive. This man who stopped my mom and got out his car was arguing with her because he was watching what she was doing to me since we had stopped at the red light. He threatened to call the cops and she said screamed and I quote “Go ahead I don’t fing care!” After I got home about 5-10 minutes later the cops rang the doorbell and I told the officer what she had done and I also said that the cause of it was my fault but she blew it out of proportion. The cop had left after asking for our names. Ever since then it’s been getting worse. She calles me names slams my doors forces me to eat when I end up throwing it up because I am so angry I couldn’t even swallow the food. She had left me home alone today for about 45 minutes and I do online school due to the pandemic. I’m showering so I am unable to hear her so she starts banging on my door and I start crying and screaming thinking someone her entered the house and then I heard her voice so I immediately knew it was her but I was still shaking because I was terrified. At the time, it was 1:18pm and I have to be back to my computer at 1:30. I was hurrying up and 5 minutes later my mom was screaming at me to get back banging my doors and had her fist over me screaming at the top of her lungs telling me my room was a mess and so was my bathroom. That is literally the reason WHY she was screaming. That stupid reason. In my school I get about 10-15 assignments daily and she knows that because I show her my assignments. I never have time on the weekdays or weekends because we also get homework and classwork on the weekends as well. (Which she also knows). I am also failing school with 2 F’s in Math and Science. For the past week I have been trying my absolute hardest (and I always have) to bring up those grades. I wake up at 7am and don’t go to sleep until 1 or 2am doing homework for that day and missing assignments at the same time. I’m always in a rush and I suffer from severe anxiety and depression because of what happened to me as a child, what happens at school (because of bullying), and what’s going on now. Not only do I have that but I haha a lot of family problems and loved ones getting sick and dying every 1-2 months. Every single day I stay in this house it gets worse and I feel like the walls are caving in on me. I feel so sad and angry in my own house. If I take naps she has a problem with it but if I don’t sleep it’s the phones fault. My phone and my friends are the only thing helping me right now. They understand me, and when she finds out I tell people she takes my electronics away from me. She’s on a new medication that helps with her addiction to smoking and she uses it as a excuse for her actions and why she’s mad all the time when even when she wasn’t on it she was still like this. I have nobody I feel so alone and sad 24/7 I cry myself to sleep most nights wishing things would change in my house. I want to have a good relationship with my mother like I used to but she doesn’t meet me half way. I try so hard in school and at home but it’s never good enough for her. She always says it is, but then never appreciates the good things I do.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod0
    commented on Guest's reply
    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

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod8
    commented on Guest's reply
    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!

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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!!!!!

    Leave a comment:


  • ccsmod15
    commented on Guest's reply
    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.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    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.
    ​​​​​​

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  • ccsmod1
    commented on Guest's reply
    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
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