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NJ runaway laws

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  • NJ runaway laws

    Hi, my name is Bee. I'm 13 and I'm part of the LGBTQ community, (which my parents do not support)
    every day I feel neglected. I am also mentally, emotionally, and even sometimes, physically abused. My parents give me threats [to harm me] when even doing the slightest thing wrong. My grades are tumbling and I am losing motivation. I talked to CPS once and it didn't end very well and my parents lied their way out of it. I've talked with the CRISIS text line, The Trevor Project, and even the NSPL ( National Suicide Prevention Lifeline ) and felt no hope. I was and still am trying not to harm myself nor killing myself but with each day, that is becoming more and more difficult. I have no family that lives near me so there is no other place I could go. [other family lives 2 hours (by car) to 14 hours (by flight) away] An idea that has been at the back of my head for quite some time now is running away. I want to know the following:
    1. What are the run-away laws in NJ, USA?
    2. What should I look out for when I run away?
    3. How can I board a bus/train without parental supervision/permission?
    4. Can I travel to other states [nearby] as a minor without a form?
    5. Where can I find a place to stay [if I run away]?
    6. How can I keep myself mentally stable if I chose to NOT run away?

  • #2
    Hello Bee,
    Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. You made a great first step to finding the help that you may need. It sounds like you are going through a lot and the people around you are not being supportive. You deserve to be treated with respect, to experience acceptance and to feel safe.

    We want you to know that you are strong for having gone through so much already. It is perfectly okay to deviate from what others or the common population believe to be “normal”. You’re bravery and resilience is so admirable. You are so strong for having gone through so much without having the acceptance that you do deserve for just being you. Remember that you are not alone. If you ever want to talk more about what you are experiencing or get additional support we are here 24/7 at 1800-RUNAWAY or our live chat service. The GLBT National Hotline at 1888-843-4564 is another option to gain great support from those that are familiar with the issues and experiences of those that are also a part of the LGBTQ community. You can access their website link bellow to utilize all the other possibly useful resources they have to offer: Another resource which might be helpful with the way you are being treated at home is called Child Help. They can help report what is going on at home and help work with you. Their number is 1800-453-4452 or you can chat with them at We can also help report for you as well. Your safety is our first priority. You are not alone in this.

    You mentioned that you were considering the options that may be best for you. By all means, if you do fear for your safety either now or in the future, do not hesitate to take the necessary steps to regain your safety. This may mean calling the authorities or possibly reporting the things you may be experiencing. Other options to think about may be other family members, friends, or a trusted adults that would be able to provide you with support or a safe place to stay. It is great that you thinking ahead. Should you feel like leaving home is best, it may be a good idea to think about how you will provide necessities for yourself such as food, clothing, showers, healthcare and other basic needs. You may want to also consider how your parent’s will react to you leaving without permission. We are not legal experts here, but typically as a minor (under the age of 1 you need permission from your parents to leave home. It is not illegal to runaway, but it would mean that your parents could file a runaway report with the police. This is usually done in an effort to try to return you home as the police are required to do so.

    If you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or reach out through Live Chat at we can try to find some youth shelters that may be near your city and state by utilizing our database of resources. We can also try to call out to shelters with you or on your behalf to advocate for you.

    Stay Strong,
    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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