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Legal question regarding "running away"

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  • Legal question regarding "running away"

    I'm 16 years old and I live in New York State with my aunt. If my friend and her mom were to pick me up (without permission from my aunt)and bring me back to their apartment complex, and then my friend and I went to the park and just hung out for a few hours, could my friend and her mom legally be in trouble? (my mother and father live in the same complex, im staying with my aunt due to abuse and domestic violence)

  • #2
    Hey there,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact the National Runaway Safeline and we appreciate you sharing a bit about your situation. While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally on this.

    If you leave home without permission, your aunt can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal and it is not something you would be arrested for. If your aunt knows where you are or you come into contact with law enforcement, they would likely just bring you back home. Whoever you are staying with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. From what we know this is not very common and only becomes more likely if someone lies to police about you staying with them or actively hides you. There is not a universal way that police respond to runaway reports and it can vary. You or your friend's mom can call the non-emergency line for the local police department to ask more specifically about what they might do.

    We hope this information helps. If you have any more questions or you want to talk more about your situation, we are here 24/7 to listen and help. You can reach out to us anytime by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or via our live chat

    Stay safe,
    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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