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Harboring a runaway

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  • Harboring a runaway

    Hello, I’m a 14 year old in Ohio and I’m looking to run away from my verbally and mentally abusive household. I have somewhere to go although I’ve found that harboring a runaway is illegal. Is there any possible way that the people I’m staying with can make it legal to take me in? If so please provide anything possible. Thanks!

  • #2

    Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It can be difficult to share things of that nature and we are thankful to know you feel comfortable discussing it with us - you do not deserve to be treated that way. Although we are unable to offer legal advice, we can try to provide you with some legal resources.

    It sounds like you have a safe destination in mind and have taken actionable steps to ensure your safety. There can be legal consequences for you and the person/people you stay with if your parent or guardian files a Runaway Report with police. In order to stay somewhere legally that is not your current household, you must have permission from your parent or guardian and the head(s) of household for where you'd like to go. This is called an Alternative Living Arrangement. For more information you can visit Community Legal Aid or the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

    While it may seem intimidating, you also have the option of filing an Abuse Report against member(s) of your household. You can reach out to local police, school officials, or contact National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY or use our online chat feature. Our services are available 24/7 and we are here to support you however we are able. If you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, please call 9-1-1. You are not alone.

    Best of luck,

    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
      If you think you are being abused, call the national abuse helpline at 1.800.422.4453. They will help keep you safe. PLEASE DO IT. No one deserves to be abused. This is also another good recourse: All calls and chats are confidential. Open 24/7. You could also tell a police officer, a teacher, or a doctor. Again, please tell someone, no one deserves to be abused


      • ccsmod13
        ccsmod13 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for your response to another user’s post. Reaching out for help from Child Help or a trusted adult are both excellent ideas if anyone is feeling unsafe at home!

        Often forums are a place of support and understanding for many youth. It often may be validating and helpful for users to read similar situations as well as exchange feedback to one another. For anyone experiencing any difficulties or challenges, the National Runaway Safeline encourages youth to reach out to our 24/7 crisis support line either by phone or chat for immediate services.

        Thank you, NRS
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