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I have some questions regarding the legality of leaving home

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  • I have some questions regarding the legality of leaving home

    I am 16 and from Missouri, and have these questions about running away that I have not been able to find through general searches: 1. If I leave, what kinds of action can my parents take to find me, 2. can I be forced back into my home by law, 3. is it even legal for me to run from home, because some places have said that 17 is the legal age that you can leave home from, 4. if I was to stay with someone else, what kinds of legal trouble could they get in (my parents are the type that would peruse the most legal action against someone that they could), 5. is there anything I could do to prevent my parents from coming after me if I did run away?
    Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Hi, thanks for posting today! We are happy to answer any questions we can, though we are not legal experts. We are here to help and are glad you reached out! Running away is a big decision! ‘
    If you leave before age 18 in Missouri, your parents can file a runaway report with police and if the police find you, they usually take you back home unless safety is a concern.
    It is not illegal to run away. It is a status offense, like missing school. You cannot do it because of your age basically. However, any adult (18 or older in the state of Missouri) you stay with is at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway if your parents choose to charge them with it. It is up to the individual police station to decide how they will ultimately handle any run away or harboring cases.
    We can conference call out to local police if you want to call in to us and do so: 1-800-786-2929. We can also offer other resources such as shelters, counseling, and conference call to parents and other agencies if you want to. We are always confidential and anonymous and we are here 24/7 online and by phone by live chat and at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929)
    We hope this information has been helpful and feel free to reach out again anytime!
    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!


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