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Going across the country with 18-year-old

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  • Going across the country with 18-year-old

    My two significant others and I have been planning to run away. We have no other choice. Two of us are in very unstable, unsafe homes and we don’t have any other options. We wouldn’t be going anywhere for another year, but we’re trying to figure out legal stuff as soon as possible. If two of us are 17 and one of us are 18 when we go, are we gonna get in trouble? We have a plan for food, work, and housing. We even have backup plans if our plans for shelter and work falls through. I have friends over there that have been through this before and are helping. First of all, if i’m going all the way across the country, will the cops still find me? How far will they go? I’ll be doing all the obvious stuff to stay unfound from old friends and family who might try and bring me back or contact authorities. I would only be 17 for a little under a year, and the other for a few months at most. Would we be okay? I also really don’t want my partner that would be 18 at the time to go to jail or something. We just want to be safe and happy, and this might be the only chance we get.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out, we hope to help as best we can. If you feel unsafe in the homes you’re in, then by all means to what you may need to regain that sense of safety and security. You mentioned having already thought out food, shelter, and some basic necessities. 18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. It does tend to get more difficult for police to find a youth once they cross state borders, still the reports for runaway minors may populate in any state so if you or your significant others are stopped for any reason the report will pop up. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. This may be the only thing that your 18-year-old significant other may want to be wary of since they would be the adult in the situation. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth. Once you all turn 18, all reports of you all being runaways will automatically be erased.
    We hope this helps! If you have any other questions or would like to speak in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us via chat or phone call. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); (click on the chat button).
    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Be safe and 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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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