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how do I not get caught?

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  • how do I not get caught?

    I’m 13 and I want to run away. I’m non-binary and my parents are extremely transphobic. It’s affected me to the point where I attempted suicide. I’m in ******** and I am not an expert on the laws here. I need to know how to not get caught.
    Last edited by ccsmod3; 02-13-2021, 01:14 AM. Reason: Edited to maintain confidentiality

  • #2
    Hey there. Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you felt comfortable making that decision. It sounds like things are pretty tough at home with your parents and their transphobia, and we're sorry to hear that. Feeling supported by the folks around us is important (especially our parents) and can definitely hurt when we don't have it.

    Running away is a big step, and it's generally a good idea to spend some time thinking through a plan before making that decision. Having an idea of where you'll go, how you'll get there, and what you'll do to survive once you're there are important things to consider. And while we can't give you specific ways to avoid getting caught, being aware of the different ways that you (and those around you) could be affected by you running away will likely help you work through the process of deciding what's next. One specific thing to think about is the likelihood of your parents filing a missing persons report with the police, as well as the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children. This will amplify who is looking for you, as well as how hard they are looking for you. If your plan is stay with someone that you know, it also has the potential to put them at further risk of getting into trouble with the law for harboring a runaway. However, it is good to know that whether you're reported as missing or not, anyone who allows you to stay with them is at risk of facing serious legal ramifications. Staying in a shelter could be another option, though they're generally for temporary and short-term stays, and laws vary from state-to-state on whether or not you have to provide parental notification that you're there, parental consent to be there, or if they have an obligation to notify the authorities that a reported missing person is staying there. Should you have any interaction with the law, they will put measures in place to get you back home (assuming it's a safe environment)--even if you're in a different state.

    And because you mentioned a past suicide attempt, we want to make sure you know that we're here for you. You can reach out to us at anytime if you need support, and we encourage you to do so. If needed, you can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by calling 1-800-273-8255, or chat with them live at (24/7). Another resource that you might find helpful is The Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ Youth Suicide Lifeline. Their phone number is 866-488-7386 and they also have a 24/7 live chat at In addition to being available and offering crisis intervention services, they also have their own sort of social platform embedded into their website for LGBTQ+ youth. If that's of interest to you, check em out!

    We hope that you find the above information helpful, but if you'd like to chat in more detail about your situation and talk through some of your options, we'd be glad to help. You can reach us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY or by chatting with us live at We're available 24/7 and are always happy to listen, and to help.


    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!


    • #3
      i am thinking about running away. 15 years old, utah. can i register for school, find somewhere to live, or cross state lines without a legal guardian?


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 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. It seems there is a lot that you are 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.
        The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something 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); (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
        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,
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