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Running away at 17 to live with my boyfriends family in another state.

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  • Running away at 17 to live with my boyfriends family in another state.

    Hi I'm 17 and my birthday is on Nov, 9. ill be 18 this year. I was wondering what would happen if I ran away from home in California to live with my boyfriends family in Utah?

    Heres some background. Im 17 and my boyfriend is 18, I already committed to going to college at Santa Clara University and I would be able to get aa job and pay for my own tuition. His family knows that I would be running away and that they could be charged with Harboring a runway. The reason im running away is because I snuck my boyfriend in my window one night over 4 months ago and ever since then my parents would not let me see him and they even get mad at me when I talk to him. I get it since sneaking someone in is bad but after 4 months they're still not over it and were gay and I only recently came out as gay to my parents which has also caused issues in my house since every-time I tell them I'm talking to him especially my dad he looks so disappointed in me and I think its because he doesn't like the fact that im gay and talking to a boy let alone one who snuck into my house. Although ever since then they've taken my phone away every night and restricted me from going out and so much because they think im going to sneak around and meet my boyfriend even though he lives in Utah. more over these past four months and anytime I ask to see my boyfriend or for them to meet his parents they make up excuses as to why they can't. im essentially losing my whole senior year of high school and now my summer because they are mad about something that happened over four months ago. Every time I try to talk to them to make things better it just ends up in them cussing at me because I keep asking them when Ill be able to see my boyfriend or them not even acknowledging me. They are also going through a divorce which could be the reason they are this way but I'm not sure. The main question im trying to ask if that if I call the police in Utah where my boyfriend lives and ask if they would return a child in this exact situation and they say no do I have anything else to worry about, my boyfriends aunt mentioned that his parents could be charged with kidnapping, is that true?

  • #2
    Hey there. Thanks for reaching out to us here at NRS. We know that it can take a lot of courage to reach out for support, and we're glad you took that step.

    It sounds like things at home have been pretty tough for you lately, and we're sorry to hear that. It can definitely be difficult to have consequences put in place that we don't necessarily like or understand, especially when it feels like they're really taking away from our relationships with others. It's understandable that you've been spending some time thinking about your next steps. That said, there are definitely some things to consider when thinking about running away. 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. 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.

    If you'd like to chat in more detail about what's going on and explore your options, please feel free to reach out to 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.

    Take care.

    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)

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