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Running away at 17 and 6 months

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  • Running away at 17 and 6 months

    I need to runaway only for a week during the summer to meet up with my long distance boyfriend because he is planning on visiting me. What would the police in Maryland do if my parents reported me as a runaway? Is it possible for me to leave a letter behind telling them that I will be back on a specific date and if I'm not then they can look for me and take me back home? The reason I can't tell my parents that I'm meeting up with my boyfriend is because they are extremely controlling, religious (since my boyfriend is Jewish and I'm Christian they would disapprove but it doesn't matter to me since we are planning on getting married in two years), and very set on me getting married to a "nice Christian boy" that they approve after I finish college. The only reason I am here is because this is the only time my boyfriend can come visit me because after he will leave for bootcamp (another thing that my parents wouldn't approve of). However the problem is that I'm still technically a minor under their control. Since I am so close to being 18 and I'm closer to 18 than 17 can I legally runaway without them having to force me to come back home even if the police get involved? I would like to have a clear idea on what I can do in order to make this work for my boyfriend and I. Thank you.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have a lot of plans in the works and we really appreciate you reaching out for our help. We are not legal experts and each police department gets to decide how they respond to situations like yours so it is hard for us to say exactly what they would do. Generally, if a runaway report is made and the police know your exact location they will most likely return you. 17 is a gray area for most police departments and so they may decide to not accept the report or to not put much energy into returning you. However, that is not guaranteed. The best way to get a more concrete answer is by reaching out to your local non-emergency police line and asking them directly how they may respond to a situation similar to yours. If this is something you are uncomfortable with, we would be happy to assist you with the call or make the call for you. You can get in contact with us by phone by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or live chatting with us through our website. A note may not prevent the police from searching for you and possibly returning you, but letting your parents know either where you generally are or that you have decided to leave home for a week may prevent anyone from thinking you disappeared or something worse. It could also be good to think about transportation and housing while you are gone if you haven't planned that out already. It could also be helpful to consider back up plans if anything falls through and you become stranded or in crisis. We are always here to do our best to link young people with resources or help out with safety planning. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss anything in further detail, don't hesitate to reach out to us via phone or chat. We hope you stay safe!

    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)


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