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I'm 17 and dont know whether its best to run away now or wait for after i turn 18.

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  • I'm 17 and dont know whether its best to run away now or wait for after i turn 18.

    I turn 18 in a month. I have been homeschooled and severely isolated my whole life and hate the fact i cannot leave while im still a complete teen and i know i will hate myself for only getting out and being able to experience anything once im an adult. I really really want my life to begin while im still 17, and i cannot mentally bare the waiting feeling. I do have shelter and a ride sorted out. However there are several complications.

    1 - i would probably be going down to florida, and i am in virginia. is it more of a problem when its between states? Would i get the friend im staying with in trouble (hes also underage)

    2 - i do not want any complications for my online boyfriend (different than the friend im staying with) and he doesnt either. I imagine my family or the police would get his number off the phone company and either track him down or harrass him, even tho i would not be with him. He also turned over 18 a month ago and i dont know if thats bad. Ive caused him enough pain before and dont want to be this much trouble. He would be the prime suspect of who im staying with. Whats the most trouble he could get in to? What would be in store for him?

    3 - i do not want my parents searching my messages. Yes im on my dads verizon account. Ive heard that he would only be able to access dates of messages and to what person, but not the actual messages. is it true?

    4 - i do not want a big police investigation and especislly not CPS. do police actually look for almost 18 year olds? reddit says no but quora says yes they bring you back home. my mom says cps would come and arrest her and she would die in jail and i dont want that to happen. i also dont want to be tracked down

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We really appreciate you reaching out for help. It is totally understandable to feel isolated and want to get out of your situation.

    At 17, you are still considered a minor and your parents have the right to file a runaway report with the police. Running away is not a crime, but it is a status offense like breaking curfew. That being said, since you are about to turn 18, the police may not accept the report. We cannot say exactly what will happen, and it typically depends on your local police department where your parents would file the report. So, if you are in another state, they would likely file the report in Virginia, where you live now. As for the friend you would stay with in Florida, if you are only staying with him, usually harboring charges (charges brought about for keeping a runaway minor in your home) are for adults. If there are no adults in the house, it is less likely for a minor to get in trouble.

    If you would like to know exactly how law enforcement in your county may handle your case, you can contact the non-emergency line for your county’s police station. One outcome that is possible is that you could be filed as a missing person instead of a runaway. Or, nothing at all could happen. It usually varies as taking on a case of someone who is almost 18 might not be accepted.

    To answer your question about your online boyfriend, unless he is involved in your runaway process or has broken the law, he will not get in trouble. If a report were filed and accepted by the police, we are unsure whether he would be contacted. And as for your messages, we are not technical experts, but it would be unlikely that your parents could access your text messages unless they have your login credentials. The account holder usually only has access to their own messages. If you would like to have the technical questions answered, we suggest contacting Verizon. CPS will not be contacted unless a report is filed with them.

    We know that this response may not be satisfying as there is not a guaranteed answer to your question. As previously mentioned, we suggest contacting your local law enforcement to find out information about how they handle runaway cases of minors who are almost 18. We are here to support you 24/7. If you would like to talk in more detail, please contact NRS either by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chatting online through We can help you work through some options.

    We hope to hear from you soon.

    Be safe,
    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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