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  • 16 runaway in Ohio

    I'm a 16 year old female living in Ohio. I'll be 17 in September. I'm a senior in high school. My family life isn't a mess, I'm not pregnant, but I'm very done living here. My best friend turns 18 in 4 months and wants to go with me. Someone very close to me lives in Michigan, about 4 hours away who we could both possibly stay with. I'd like to know my legal options- both if I left now and if I waited until I was 17. I don't want him to get in trouble, or myself. I've never had any legal issues before, don't wanna start now. I don't necessarily plan on my parents knowing about it, maybe lying that I'm at a friends? I'd just like some advice on how to handle this, thanks!

  • #2
    Re: 16 runaway in Ohio

    Hello there,

    Thanks for reaching out on our bulletin boards. It sounds like you recognize things could be worse, but you’re still wanting to leave home. Please keep in mind we aren’t here to judge and different people have different reasons for wanting to leave home. We aren’t legal experts; however, we can go over what may happen in a runaway situation. Most cities/states recognize running away as a status offense. The legal risks tend to fall on the adults helping the runaway instead. Harboring a runaway, crossing state lines with a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minors are common crimes associated with helping a runaway. Reaching out to law enforcement both in your hometown in Ohio as well as in Michigan could be a way to get more answers regarding the legalities of leaving home. We’d be happy to speak to you further about your situation and encourage you to try out our Live Chat for further help and support. Hopefully this gives you a start. Good luck!
    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


    • #3
      I'm a 16 year old male living in Ohio if I run away from home can I be forcibly returned home?

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,

        Thank you for reaching out. 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. So the answer to your question is yes, you can be forced to return home. 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. A good way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. You can also give us a call any time if you need to talk!

    • #4
      I’m a 16 year old living with parents who were terrible for so long. I’ll be 17 in a month and they just recently as in a couple of years many three or four at the most have actually started trying to be parents. But their doing it all the wrong ways. I can’t stay here much longer I’ve been a self harmed for years now and I’ve been clean for over a year now and I really don’t wanna relapse but living here has become unbearable and I feel as though I’m slipping through the cracks and I’m gonna end up hurting myself again. I’m still a virgin and I’ve been told how I’ve “********ed three grown men” and all different kinds of things. My step grandmother is willing to take me in but I’m scared that if I do leave and go to her house my parents will call the cops and she’ll get in trouble and I’ll be forced to come back home. Is it possible for me to go there and me not get in any trouble with the law or be forced to go back home?

      Comment


      • #5
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline and sharing a little bit about what is going. It takes a lot of courage to reach out and especially in a time where you have a really tough and complex situation at home. We are sorry you are experiencing your parents just starting to be parents and it can be hard to adjust to it. You mentioned hurting yourself and that you have been clean for a year, congrats, and a website that may be helpful or supportive is twloha.com.

        It can be difficult to know how to talk to your parents and express your feelings about how you are feeling, especially about living in an another location. At NRS, we do offer a service call conference calling, where you can call into our hotline and then we would reach out to your guardian and help advocate for you, help you express the needs of to your parents.

        Also another way you can seek help is reaching out to a friend, teacher, or counselor at school that can help you look for resources. Your mental health is important. You can also look at SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) at samhsa.gov or call them directly at 1-877-726-4727 to help you find the support that you need. If you do ever feel in direct danger, to yourself, or some else makes you feel that way, please call out to 911 or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255).

        We aren’t legal experts, but we have general knowledge about running away. In most states, running away isn’t illegal, but what is called a status offense. You can’t get arrested for it but it will mostly likely go on your record until you are 18. The police will only know if you have runaway if your parents/guardians file a police report. We can’t say for sure how the police will respond, but we hear a lot that police will take potential places you might be and will actively search for you. If they come across you, the most likely will return you home to your parents. Sometimes we hear that if you are staying with someone who knows you are a runaway and are not actively trying to return you or finding shelter for you, your guardians/or police can press charges against the people who are housing you, with something that is called harboring. One of our main goals is to make sure you are safe, so if you ever seriously decide to run away and need shelter, resources, or a safe place to go you can find safe locations at nationalsafeplace.org or reach out to us directly and we can find local resources in your area.

        We are here for you and will support you in anyway that we can. Please feel free to call into us directly as we can talk further about your situation and find resources that are best for you in your area. Stay strong and you are not alone in this! Our number is 1-800-RUNAWAY we are open 24/7.

        -NRS

        We hope this response was helpful! We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey.

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

        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


        • #6
          Hi i am a 16 yearold female with a baby on the way and my home life isnt the best its really bad im at risk of being kicked out but i can not get emancipated with out parent concent what do i do?

          Comment


          • #7
            Hi there,

            Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

            We are not legal experts, but we can tell you that because you are a minor, if you leave home and your parents file a runaway report, you could be returned home. There could also be legal consequences for whomever you stay with for what is called harboring a run away. If you want a liner to help you walk through other options like us mediating a conference call between you and your parents or thinking through possible adults that you could turn to or could advocate for you, don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). It also would be considered neglect to be kicked out while you are a minor, so that could be reportable against your parents. If want help walking through that option with an expert, you can reach out to Child Help at 1-800-422-4453.

            Let us know how we can best help,

            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


            • #8
              Hi I'm 17 years old and I ran away from ohio. I need to know if I'm found in another state will they expedit me back to ohio and if I had 90 days over my head can they add onto that 90 days and can I go back home when I turn 18 without getting into trouble since its juvenile charges?

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out. It can be very overwhelming trying to figure out what to do in your situation. It sounds like you have legal questions about what might happen if you the police look for you when you have crossed state lines. We are not legal experts so we cannot say what will or won’t happen. It often depends on what the local police choose to do. There is a possibility that someone you live with or a guardian could file a runaway report. If this happens the police could look for you and there is a chance they would bring you home. Sometimes if a youth is close to 18 they don’t always do this.
                In terms of adding 90 days, we can’t say what might happen in that case. If you are concerned about it you could talk to your probation officer. If you would be interested in legal resources we could find a reference for you.
                Again, thank you for emailing us. It takes a lot to ask for help. If you would like to talk further about your situation or resources feel free to call us. We’re here to listen, here to help. 1-800-786-2929

            • #9
              Hello I am asking on behalf of a very close releative, i am referred to by this person
              ​​as a (non blood related) brother. My cousin wants legal information and is unable to access it. I will not say anything personal but this. This 16-year old teenager is having family issues up to being slapped in the face by parents reglarly, he is homeschool which makes this all the worse and his dad has controller issues up to isolating him from nearly every social group and being present in every social interaction. Is it legal for him to run and stay away from home, can his parents stop him, can he go to jovinile detention for this, does he need a GED? does slapping someone in the face regularly count as abuse? Assuming he does not leave home can he chose to go to public but school agianst his parents' will? And can he join the US armed forces independently? He does have a job to sustain himself but can his parents force him to quit? He lives in Ohio. What are his legal opinion because this is getting out of hand.
              ​​​​​​
              ​​​

              Comment


              • #10
                So I’m almost 16 and I live in Ohio my home is very mentally and emotionally abusive and they my grandparents use to be physically abuse until I called the sheriffs on them it’s so stressful I am ignored and when I’m not it’s to degrade me or to do whatever work needs to be done I broke down last night and I can’t help but think when I was cutting and suicidal I don’t do that anymore but i need to leave I have a place to go but I don’t want them in trouble because I doubt that my grandparents will sign away their parental rights what do I do? I need to leave here I fear that I will relapse.

                Comment


                • ccsmod9
                  ccsmod9 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. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services.
                  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

              • #11
                Hi I’m 16 and Im not planning
                to run away at the moment but I have twice. Once when i was 12 and once when i was 13 My grandparents have custody of me and they’re super strict they won’t let me get a job which is hard because they aren’t planing to save up for my college and I’m a sophomore in highschool and they won’t let me get my drivers license I’m literally not prepared at all for the real world this year was my first time riding a public bus. EVER! And we are struggling financially.

                Comment


                • ccsmod6
                  ccsmod6 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that your parents are treating you in a way that is making you feel stifled and restricted. Your situation sounds very difficult and we would like to do our best to offer you what help we can. If there is something in particular we can assist you with, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-786-2929 or chat us at 1800runaway.org.

              • #12
                If I where to run away from home at 16 and on juvenile probation.....would I get in troble if I came back when I am 18 could I still get charged with my juvenile offence warrant

                Comment


                • ccsmod7
                  ccsmod7 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hey there,

                  Thanks for reaching out to us, it seems like you are in a tough situation and it’s understandable to want to get out to a potentially better place. It seems like you may want to leave the state if you are avoiding juvenile probation, as such there can be some legal issues as you may have guessed.

                  First we are not legal experts here, depending on your exact plan it may be good to consult a lawyer familiar with your case, or who knows the laws in your state. Generally running away is not considered a crime. However any crimes commited in the act of running away will be a separate matter. So if you were violating the terms of your probation by running away then you could likely still be charged or be penalized in some way.

                  As for if you would be in the clear once you turn 18 it is again a matter of the legal issue. A normal runaway with a runaway report out on them when they turn 18 it would roll over into a missing person’s report and the police wouldn’t necessarily be looking for you to bring you back home since you would be an adult. But for probation violation there may be a longer time-period before that gets wiped off. It may be that police aren’t looking for you actively, but there may be penalties remaining past when you turn 18.

                  Keep in mind that we are not legal experts, so you may want to reach out to legal professionals with these questions as well. We do have legal aid resources if you wanted to call in at 1-800-786-2929. We can also chat online through our website. We wish you the best of luck in the future.

              • #13
                I am 17 years old and going to be 18 in 7 months I haven’t ran away yet but I am considering it greatly. I was just wondering how I would be able to finish my high school education if I moved to a different state I have a car so I can get to where I need to go but can the police find me by running my plates? Should I drive my own car or try to hitchhike? I have a job and enough money to get about 4-5 months in before I have to find another job but I was just wondering mostly about going back to school when I settle down in another state because it’s almost half way over with and I don’t want to do it all again next year.

                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. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do. In terms of police response, we aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, if you do opt to leave your home your parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. Runaway reports are entered into a national system so police from any state can find if a runaway report is filed, and if you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home.

                  If you do opt to leave home or find yourself to be homeless you still have the right to your education under what’s called the McKinney-Vento act. This act guarantees you the right to stay in your original school and be provided transportation to and from school (to the extent possible), enrollment in a school in your area, receive free school meals and to receive services like educational supports and basic needs. To find out more about how to take advantage of the McKinney-Vento act we suggest calling your school directly.

                  It’s important to consider all the possibilities that can occur if you leave home. You will need to plan out how you will cover basic necessities like travel, food, clothing, etc. If you have a place to go in mind, it’s good to see what the expectations of the living arrangement will be like; rules, the amount of time you’re allowed to stay, if you’re expected to contribute financially, etc. Living on your own can also bring about many safety risks. You will need to consider ways that you can protect yourself from physical harm as well as the possibility of sexual and labor exploitation. This can all influence your decision to leave.

                  If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

                  Stay safe,
                  NRS

              • #14
                i'm a 16 year old male my bday is in 5 months and im living in Ohio. I have self harm issues and i'm considering on running away. my reasons are bc of my guardians i do have a girlfriend who is with her gma and she is willing to take me in and her gma works with kids and has more than enough money to fit my needs and there's, also bc of my family's past with drugs and my mom is saying a lot about me which is causing problems for me while im on probation. so i was just wondering if there would be any way for me to get runaway safely and responsibly and for it not to be illegal and if not that way what are some very helpful ways to be able to take the steps to move out from my guardians house or home to a new place and yes i'm willing to take any essentials i have to make this happen including getting a part time job and taking any classes i have to, to show responsibility as a teen to other adults around me..?

                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. 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. You mentioned being on probation. Leaving home may have serious consequences legally. This may be something you would want to run by your probation officer and see if they could link you to any resources in your area.
                  In regards to your self-harm, there are a few organizations you could reach out to if you are feeling like you need to talk to someone about these major stressors in your life. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you text NAMI to 741741, you can text with a crisis worker. You can also always reach out the us at the National Runaway Safeline.
                  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 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
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