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Want a new start at 10

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  • Want a new start at 10

    I want to runaway, but I'm only ten. Is it illegal?

  • #2
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out with this question. Here at NRS, we truly want to help inform you. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms about runaway laws.

    18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. If you leave home at 10 or before 18, it is generally a status offense rather than being illegal. A status offense means something that you cannot do due to your age, like smoking a cigarette. 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.

    You mentioned wanting to runaway and we want you to know that we are here for you. If you call or chat us we can talk through your situation, provide support, and help brainstorm your options. We can also look for safe places and emergency youth shelters near you if you need.

    Please do not hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat us!

    We look forward to hearing from you.


    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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