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I want to assist a runaway

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  • I want to assist a runaway

    Hello I have a friend who is 17 right now and is planning on running away. I told her that I could get her a plane ticket from Tennessee (her current location) to Georgia (where I live). I am 15 and I live in my grandparents basement. If I could get her in a shack in the woods or even a tent would I be doing anything wrong? She feels emotionally neglected and I really want to help her..... Would we be charged with anything? We are both willing to do it, as long as nothing happens to us legally.

  • #2
    Re: I want to assist a runaway

    Hi there,
    Thank you for posting today. And, thank you for your being such a caring friend and for wanting to help. Sorry to hear that your friend is feeling emotionally neglected. Please share with your friend that she can contact us at any time for whatever support she needs. We are here to listen and here to help.

    You asked if you would be doing anything wrong and are concerned about the legality of the situation (very smart of you to think about that). While we are not legal experts, we can give you some general information about potential consequences.

    It looks like in Tennessee the legal age of majority, when a youth is considered an adult, is 18 years old. If a youth under 18 were to leave home without permission, their legal guardian would have the right to file a runaway report with the police. Being reported as a runaway is not a criminal offense and does not go on your permanent record, it is a status offense. Usually, unless someone is on parole or has other extenuating legal circumstances, there are no legal consequences for running away, the youth is just returned home. But, it is difficult to know exactly how the police would handle this situation. When it comes to whether or not you could get in trouble, “assisting a runaway teenager may result in criminal charges for harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor” although these laws are not often enforced we like to just share as much information as we know with you.

    If you have any further questions or would want to talk to someone about what you have been experiencing, please feel free to reach out to us. Our lines are opens 24/7. We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.

    Best of 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!


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