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My 14 year old friend wants to runaway and stay at my house.

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  • My 14 year old friend wants to runaway and stay at my house.

    My 14 year old friend has decided he wants to runaway and stay at my house, because he does not want to live with his parents anymore because of how they treat him. Him and I are worried about legal issues that might come after that. If his parents contact the police, and the police find out he is staying with me, my dad could get charged with harboring a runaway. What do we do to make sure this does not happen, and he can still stay at my house?

  • #2


    Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. You have asked some very intelligent questions and we will answer them, but first we want to thank you for being such a good friend. Having you by his side is making your friend’s difficult situation a little better.

    You are right, the legal issues would fall on your dad if your friend’s parents wanted to push it. It depends on the state you live in what the consequences are for harboring a runaway. There isn’t a way to make sure that the police don’t get involved because that is a decision his parents would make.

    Two things that you can do are: 1. with both parent’s permission, see if your friend can stay over sometimes; maybe once a month or more, so that he can have a break from his home life; and 2. See if your friend would reach out to us. We are here for him to listen and to help. We can help him make a plan that might help him feel better at home, or if he chooses, we can talk about child abuse reporting in his state. We can help with that if he wants us to. If he feels that he does need to leave, we would help him talk through what that might look like.

    The best way for us to help your friend is by talking about it by phone or live chat.

    We are here for you both and you can reach us 24/7 on our hotline at 1800-786-2929 (1800-runaway) or via live chat through

    We truly hope to hear from you soon.


    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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