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Will the police search my bedroom?

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  • Will the police search my bedroom?

    Other people have been telling me to leave a runaway note, but hide it in my room. That way when the police check my room, they know I'm not kidnapped or anything, but I'm hiding it well enough that my parents won't find it, and only police will upon search. How do I even know they're going to search my bedroom? Do they always do that?

  • #2
    Thank you for reaching out to us; you’re being really strong. We are happy to help support you the best we can, though we are not legal experts, and no one would know whether police might search your room in a particular situation. However, if you are a minor under 18 but have parental consent, you can leave home and live somewhere else (potentially with a friend or another family member). If you don’t have parental consent and you choose to leave home, for minors this would be considered a “status offense.” A status offense is not a crime, but it is something you cannot do because of your age (on par with smoking a cigarette). If you decided to leave without parental consent, your parents would be obligated to file a runaway report. If the police found you, they would most likely return you to your home, but probably not hold you and it would not go on your record. There are also laws against other people who “harbor” or help runaway youth. Finally, once you reach legal age (18 in most states), you can leave home with or without parental consent.

    However, if your home is not safe, you can call 911. You also have the right to file a complaint with Child Protective Services if abuse or neglect is occurring in your home. You could also tell people who are considered “mandated reporters,” like a teacher, doctor, etc. They must file the same report and it might be easier for you to talk to someone you already know. If you would like to learn more or support with this, please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We’re open 24/7 and it is completely anonymous and confidential.

    If safety, abuse, or neglect are not occurring, it can be helpful to share your feelings about what is going on at home with someone else. You could consider if there is a friend or family member who you could talk to about the issues. Sometimes having another person in a conversation with your family can help resolve a situation. You could speak to a counselor or therapist, such as at school. Deciding if running away is the best option for you can be difficult. If you would like to speak to someone at the National Runaway Safeline, we can be reached at the phone number above or our chat service on our website The live chat is available 7 days a week.

    We hope this information helps but if you have more questions about your situation please call our toll free 24hr crisis line or feel free to try the NRS live chat. If you’d like more help brainstorming other options, we’re always here!
    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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