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  • I need advice

    HI. I'm turning 17 soon and I want to leave my family not because i'm in danger but because I need to grow up and I want to just get away from my parents for a certain time. A friend of mine had a friend who ran away for 6 months and they want to show me how to go away for a little but but legally. Should I take their advice. And if I leave a note saying that I'm ok, that i'm staying with a friend and i'll be home soon, and I have a mean to support myself, is that still illegal? Please help as soon as possible?

  • #2

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It is admirable of you to want to take the initiative in your life and exercise your growing independence. However, running away may not be the best way to achieve that end. It may be a good idea to organize your thoughts regarding what “growing up” means to you. While financial independence is a core part of adulthood, it often overshadows many other responsibilities that define maturity and that can seem less obvious when living at home. Wanting space from your parents is very understandable, but prioritizing that space over your safety on the whim of a friend without thorough consideration of how that decision may change things for better or worse could be a decision that you regret. It also may be worth considering that you are a little more than 1 year to having complete legal autonomy and the freedom to live and work wherever you please.


    That being said, ultimately, running away is your choice and we at the NRS trust your judgement. If you feel like running away is what you need and will get you what you want, we support you in that decision. While we’re not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience with runaways. To answer your specific question, running away is not illegal. Our understanding is that you should not be arrested for it or get into any legal trouble for doing so. If you do run away, your parents will be entitled to file a runaway report. Regardless of whether or not you leave a note, your parents will still be able to file a runaway report. If the police encounter you while such a report exists, they will be allowed to pick you up, notify your guardians, and take you home. If you are staying with someone else, your parents will be entitled to press charges against them for harboring a runaway, which is typically considered a misdemeanor offense.


    Of course, if you want to talk more specifically about what is going on at home or if you want help planning your journey, please do not hesitate to reach out to us on our confidential 24/7 hotline at 1-800-786-2929 or on chat at 1800runaway.org.

    Take care,
    NRS
    Last edited by ccsmod6; 04-09-2019, 10:32 PM.
    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
      My son’s girlfriend is in a very bad situation, she just turned 17 and her mother has full custody of her but her mother is abusive verbally and possibly physically. She kicks her out regularly but a day later tracks her down and tells her that she is her legal guardian and that she can’t go anywhere. If we pick her up can we get in trouble legally?

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        We are sorry to hear your son's girlfriend is in an abuse situation with her mom. You ask a good question. If her mom files a runaway report and she refuses to go back home, you could be accused of harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Of course, if the youth is in immediate danger there likely would be no harm in taking her in until an abuse report is made and the authorities can investigate. We cannot say for sure what would happen, but it's very possible anything like an extended stay by the youth with your family could result in harboring charges if a runaway report is made. So this is a pretty tricky situation. A short-term stay due to the youth being in immediate danger likely wouldn't result in a harboring charge; a longer-term stay -- especially if a runaway report is filed by her mother -- possibly could result in harboring charges being brought against you.

        One option the youth has would be to file an abuse report with her state's abuse reporting hotline. If either you or she would like to talk with us to discuss the situation (or to file an abuse report through us) we are here 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY or through our Live Chat option by clicking on the chat button on our website's main page.

        All the best,
        NRS

    • #4
      Hi. My situation is kind of complicated. My uncle who isnt even my legal guardian is kicking me out of his household. My dad does not want me either but if I talk to the cops I am almost 100% going to get deported to the phillippines because I was not born here. So I am a little confused what to do instead of run away.

      Comment


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to NRS. We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, please call or chat soon.
        Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe, NRS

    • #5
      I have a 15yr old daughter that has ranaway twice from a group home in a week. She is with me now, I dont want to get into trouble but I refuse to send her back. What can I do to get gaurgianship of her?

      Comment


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        We're glad you reached out. It must be extremely frustrating wanting to help your daughter but being bound by the laws of custody and guardianship. We are not legal experts, but we could help look up legal aid in your area. You can reach us at 1-800-786-2929. We would be happy to look those up for you and help you talk through some of your options.

        Best of luck,
        NRS

    • #6
      17 year old runaway pregnant (turns 18 in 8 months)

      I'm 20 my girlfriend is 17, she has ran away from home and came to live with me for a month or so, with in that month she has gotten pregnant.

      Her father keeps calling her saying he wants her home but she does not want to go back because he abused her and her older brother rapes her constantly.

      I don't want to take her back to that's place but, the father and mother have marked her as a runaway and the cops are now investagting and looking for her.

      I wanna know if we wait till shes 18 and till the baby is born will we get into any trouble with the law in California. She does not want to go back home as she is scared to get abused and loose the baby.

      But like i said the cops are involved and are actively looking for her. But what i want to ask is if she waits till she is 18 to go back will she get into any trouble with the law or police?

      I'm not sure if i should take her back cause I'm scared her father keeps threatening saying ill go to jail if they find her and i don't want that but i also don't want her to go through the abuse and rape again.

      What should I do please help

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 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 your girlfriend is 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 some things that raise concern for your girlfriend's safety and well-being. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you or your girlfriend have the right to report it. We are not experts on the issue, but generally once it's been reported, social services will either decide whether or not to take the case and further investigate. If they do take the case, they will send out someone from child protective services to do an investigation (interviewing people in the household) and from there they will decide the level of danger within the household. It generally ranges from no danger (the youth stays in the home, some services are given, and the case is closed), moderate danger (they will provide family services with possible temporary displacement) and high danger (they will remove the youth from the home and offer certain services).If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route 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 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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