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Do police look for a 17 yo runaway in washington?

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  • Do police look for a 17 yo runaway in washington?

    Hey there, I am considering running away until I am 18. I turn 18 in January but I do not want to wait that long. I still want to finish high school and get a Ged. I have a place to stay which provides food shelter and clothing. I have a job and a steady income. I just feel as though I am ready to live on my own without parental authority and I am ready to take responsibility and make my own choices. I have a question though. My mom said that if I left she would call the cops, but can the cops make me return home? And do they even look for 17 and 1/2 yo runaways? I have not left home before so I have no previous history. I just want to know what the police will do if they are called. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Do police look for a 17 yo runaway in washington?

    Thanks for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like you are seriously considering running away and have thought about your basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing. It sounds like school is important to you and that you would to either receive your high school diploma or get a GED. How do you this would be affected if you left home? If you haven’t had a chance to fully explore our website, here is a link to some common questions to think about before leaving home. http://www.1800runaway.org/youth_teens/nrs_help.html We cannot make the decision for you to run away or not, but should you want to further discuss possible options you can always call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You are able to remain anonymous, confidential, and can call us anytime.

    As far as the legalities and what the police would do, to our knowledge running away is just a status offense. This basically means that you cannot leave home without permission based on the fact that you have reached the age of majority which is 18 in most states. If you mom did decide to call the cops, they may take a runaway report which would most likely put you in the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) database. The police do not always actively look for runaway youth, but if they get caught for something else (like curfew, theft, etc.) the runaway status might come up. Sometimes they will temporarily detain youth until they can be released to a parent/guardian, but if the youth is still within the same general area and hasn't committed a major crime, they ususally just take the youth back home.

    Many states do consider harboring a runaway a crime though. Do you think your mom would try pursuing charges against the people/person whom you plan on staying? If you would like more specific legal information, we would be happy to provide you with legal aid referrals based on your town/city. As we mentioned above, you are welcome to call us at any point. We wish you the best of luck!

    -NRS
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Do police look for a 17 yo runaway in washington?

      I dont know about Washington but in South Carolina they dont come get you.

      Comment


      • #4
        what can I do

        What can I do about letting my girlfriend to stay with me she's 17 but turns 18 in 4 months what can I do ?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: what can I do?

          Hi,

          Thanks for contacting us today, it’s really great that you are reaching out to get information to help your girlfriend. Here at NRS we aren’t legal experts, so we can’t say exactly what would happen if she were to move in with you. However, we can say that running away isn’t illegal, it’s just a status offense. So as long as she is not on probation and isn’t caught doing anything else illegal, the biggest consequence would probably just be the police returning her home. However, 17 is a grey area for a lot of states, sometimes the police will treat it like any other runaway situation, other times they won’t even take a runaway report or if they do, they will just make sure the youth is safe but not return her home.

          One way that you can get more specific information on what could happen in your girlfriend’s situation is to call your local police department’s non-emergency number. You can do this totally anonymously and just talk about a hypothetical situation to see if they consider 17 year olds runaways. Another thing that you may want to ask about, because she would be staying with you, would be if you could get in trouble for harboring a runaway. It can sometimes be a little scary to call the police on your own, so if you want assistance making that call or just want to talk about the situation and need other resources, you can always call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929), we are here 24/7.

          Or, you can live chat with us on our website, www.1800runaway.org, everyday 4:30pm-11:30pm. You can also pass along our information to your girlfriend in case she wants to talk about what’s going on or needs other assistance.


          Good luck!
          NRS
          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!

          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

          Comment


          • #6
            Please Help

            My family's really messed up I don't really want to explain why because that's a lot to right but is it legal to get emancipated at the age of 15 and will the police come get me if I leave my house without permission at the age of 15?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Please Help

              Hi there,

              Thanks for reaching out to us. It sounds like things must be really difficult for you at home right now. We’ll do our best to give you some useful information. If you feel like you need something more specific, feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You wouldn’t have to tell us anything you’re not comfortable sharing, but we might be able to provide more specific information over the phone.

              First, most states have some process for becoming legally emancipated, although the exact details differ from one state to the other. You didn’t mention which state you’re living in, so we won’t be able to provide those details right here, but usually you need to be able to demonstrate to a judge that you are mature enough to support yourself while still attending school. One of our liners can give you a little more information about resources in your state, or you might be able to find some information by searching online.

              Second, running away is not against the law, although if you’re under the age of 18 in most states your legal guardians can file a runaway report with the police. That would make the police aware that you are missing, and if they locate you they would be required to bring you home. That said, if you do decide to run away, it’s helpful to know where you can go. Our liners can help you find resources if you do take that step.

              It’s completely understandable to feel like you want to escape from a difficult home environment. Know that if you are being abused in any way you have the right to contact your local police department or the Child Protective Services in your state. Again, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our liners if we can provide any more help.

              Best wishes,
              NRS
              Last edited by ccsmod15; 12-30-2015, 07:05 PM.
              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)
              https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

              Comment


              • #8
                17 years old

                I am 17 years old, if I leave home because of abusive circumstances, to a home that I will be paying rent as, as a roommate, meanwhile not letting the renter or owner of the home know I am a runaway could they get in trouble? I want to remain in my school I have a steady job and bad home. Will me leaving in that scenario be a threat to either of us? If I live in washinot on state and leave to Idaho will they try to track me down and follow me there?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Do police look for a 17 yo runaway in washington?

                  First of all thank you so much for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline! It sounds like you have been going through a lot and are looking to get some help and it’s great that you are looking for more options. You mention that you experience abusive conditions at home. It’s important for you to feel safe and supported at home. Something to think about is reporting that abuse. This may or may not be something you are comfortable with and that’s okay. If you do want to report the abuse you can talk to a teacher you trust at school, call the police, or call us at NRS.

                  If you don’t want to report the abuse, you mention that you want to runaway while living in an apartment. Since you are still legally a minor your legal guardians would be able to file a runaway report with the police. Depending on the city and state you live in, your local police department may handle this differently. We here at NRS are not legal experts, but the police could actively search for you, and in some cases they may charge the people you are staying with, with harboring a runaway. Something to think about is contacting your local police department and asking them hypothetically how they handle runaway reports when filed. If you are uncomfortable with that you can call us and we can call them on your behalf.

                  It’s great that you are looking out for yourself and are trying your hardest to create a living experience that would be supportive for yourself. Feel free to call us at anytime at 1-800-RUNAWAY to get more support and resources for your specific questions. We are available 24/7 and are completely anonymous and confidential. We hope this was helpful and wish you luck with everything!
                  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)
                  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Help
                    I just want to leave my mother house right now I don't have a job but I have a plan to go but not right now and I don't want to go back to school because people there are mean to me. To the point where I have wanted to die. I just want to leave asap. What should I do??

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod2
                      ccsmod2 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hey there,

                      You seem to be having a hard time between school and your home life. If you are a minor and you decide to leave home, you could end up with other stressful situations even though you are no longer at home. Running away may not change your feelings or thoughts, or people being mean to you in other situations. Unfortunately we cannot tell you what you should do since we are non directive. If you are feeling stressed and need someone to talk through your thoughts with, you are welcome to call or chat with us.

                      Take care,
                      NRS

                  • #11
                    I’m 17 1/2 and I want to runaway to my boyfriends house who is 19. Can he get in trouble for harboring me, and can I get in trouble and sent home for runing away?

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Hi there,

                      Thank you for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are here 24/7 to listen and to support.

                      We are not legal experts, but generally speaking because you are a minor, if you run away and your parent or guardian files a run away report then you could be returned home if found. It is not illegal to run away, but there could be legal consequences for your boyfriend for what is called harboring a runaway. This is often a misdemeanor but would be dependent on the actions of both your parent or guardian and the police. Not all departments take runaway reports for 17 year olds because they are so close to being considered a legal adult, so one thing you could do would be to reach out to them directly and ask. You could inquire anonymously about how they handle runaway reports for 17 year olds by calling their local non-emergency number. If you need help getting that number or want to talk through your options don't hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We're here to listen, here to help.

                      We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                      Best,

                      NRS
                      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!
                      https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        me and my mother are going through another rough patch in our relationship, recently my dad passed and when i get in trouble she throws/ takes his things away from me, its getting very stressful to the point where i really am debating on weather to leave or not, if i do what would happen, i would go stay with family but if i do would i get a charge?

                        Comment


                        • ccsmod7
                          ccsmod7 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are going through so much with the loss of your dad and having a rough patch with your mom. It seems so hurtful that she takes away his things when you get in trouble. Your dad and his memory should never be used against you like that. You so deserve the time and space to mourn, and to be supported rather than put down during this time of grieving.

                          To answer your question, running away is generally a status offense rather than being illegal, so you would not be "charged" or arrested if you ran away. A status offense means something that you cannot do due to being a minor, such as smoking a cigarette as a minor. Typically, if you are under 18 and you leave home without permission your mom can file a runaway report for you with local police, and if you are found you could be returned home. While you usually cannot be arrested; if you are found far away from your mom it is possible that you could be detained until police can get you back home or until your mom gets you. The only one that could get in trouble is the legal adult who knowingly houses you as a runaway; they could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. However, you mentioned you are going to family so you might think about whether or not your mom would try to press charges against other family members.

                          It's understandable that you are frustrated with your mom for the way she has been treating you and how she is using your dad's things as a form of punishment. If you haven't already, you might try to talk to her about how her actions are making you feel and what your needs are during this difficult time. If she is not hearing you, you might try to include a trusted adult in on the conversation to help advocate for your needs. Here at NRS, we do have a conference call service where we can facilitate a mediated conversation between you and your mom. It can serve as a safe place to express how you are feeling. During this time, it is important to think about your own self care and what you need. If you are interested in finding counseling services focused on grief you might look at the National Alliance for Grieving Children's resource directory: https://childrengrieve.org/find-support#.

                          Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever need. We can talk through your situation, provide support, help brainstorm your options, and look for helpful resources for you.

                          We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.

                          Best,

                          NRS

                      • #14
                        Hey I'm 17 years old. I turned 17 in February. Between my family and school, I don't want to live with my family because they invade my privacy. They don't let me go out like other kids at school do. I'm not allowed to be like 17 year olds and live the last year of my teenage years the way that other 17 year olds do. They don't let me hangout with my friends (if I told them I was gonna go hangout with a friend after school and be home at a good time for me to be home, my parents will punish me and get mad and even yell and say you know your not suppsed to do that. You're grounded! Other kids parents are different. They let them hangout with their friends as long as they know where they are and have a way of getting ahold of them and having a time to get home by. They won't let me enjoy my last year of being a minor like the other kids get to. For example: if I dont finish one can of soda I'll get punished. (They like the kind of friends I hangout with). All the other kids have privliges at my school that I'm not allowed to have. I grow sick of how my parents treat me. If I'm having a conversation with my parents and I say something they don't like they will get mad and scream in my face saying don't say another word. There was something I wanted to say one last that was important and they slap me hard and my dad comes at me and slams me hard against the couch and gets more mad as he hollars and screams at me in extreme outrage. These things my parents do in outrage and slapping me and stuff they do, they do it for years and its still continuing as im 17 and my dad tries to cause a fight alot. When i was 15 my dad made me bend over and he would get out his belt and spank me hard more than 5 times. I think he made me take my pants off once or twice to spank me like that. That' one of the ways he punishes me by beating me. My dad has pulled My Hair sometimes. My mom would leave a red mark on my arm from slapping me so hard. I don't wanna keep living like this. I'l be 18 in like 10 months from now. I know places I could go to where I would have arm good place to sleep, a place that has food and I would help chores around there. I wanna so badly be free from the physical and emotional pain my parents give me. I grow very tired of it. And all I feel like doing i crying and hiding in my room but my parents get upset and mad that i just want some alone time with peaceful and quiet and my dad gets mad and says door stays open or else I will take the door off. What do I do it escape this!?

                        Comment


                        • ccsmod5
                          ccsmod5 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hey, there,
                          Thanks so much for reaching out. It sounds like you’re in a very stressful situation and we’re glad that you wrote in for support. It must be really frustrating that your parents don’t give you the freedom to enjoy yourself in the same way that your friends are able to. It is concerning to us that your parents have been slapping you and hurting you. You never deserve to be treated that way. You deserve to feel safe and supported where you are! We aren’t legal experts, but this may be considered abuse. You have the right to file an abuse report to let child protective services know what’s going on. You can do this by confiding in an adult in school or by calling the National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-422-4453, which is confidential.
                          It sounds like you’re thinking about options to “escape,” which is understandable given your situation. Since you are under 18, you would still be considered a minor. You would need parental consent to leave home. If you leave without permission, your parents would have the right to file a runaway report and if the police are able to locate you they may return you home. That being said, some police choose not to pursue 17 year old runaways. If you want to know how your local police handle 17 year old runaways, you can call your local non-emergency police line and ask hypothetically. With all of this in mind, if you still believe leaving home is your best bet, you might want to consider the following: where you’ll go, how you’ll get there, where you’ll get money and food, and whether you have clothes appropriate for extreme weather.
                          It sounds like it’s very important to you to have some independence from your parents. If you think it might be helpful, we are able to offer conference calls between youth and their parents. We would act as facilitators to help you have a conversation that is fair and hopefully productive.
                          Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
                          https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
                          Stay safe!

                      • #15
                        hi my names jacob.im 17 1/2and i live in idaho. i was adopted when i was three. my life at home is very rough and im treated very poorly. i recently got in contact with my biological father. he lives in washington. my question is if i runaway to his house without permission. will the police try to track me down in washington?

                        Comment


                        • ccsmod2
                          ccsmod2 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Hello There,
                          Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. We are sorry you are going through such a difficult time right now. One option is you could try and talk to a school counselor, sometimes talking to a professional can help you feel better.
                          We are not legal experts but we do have general knowledge of the laws. If you were to run away your legal guardian does have the right to file a runaway report. If the police do find you they most likely will bring you back home. One option you could consider is to talk with your adopted family and see if they would give you permission to stay with your biological father. At NRS we offer conference calling where if you call us we will call out to your parents. Conference calling allows you to be heard and we are there to mediate the conversation and provide support to you.
                          We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. Please give us a call if you have any more questions or would like to explore more options. We are here 24/7 to listen and provide support to you. We wish you the best of luck in your situation.
                          NRS
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