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Needs help

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  • Needs help

    hey so i am 17 and live in washington. i will be 18 in less than four months, but i cannot live in my parents' house anymore. they force their religion on me and its just not a good place to live in emotionally. i am seriously considering leaving. i asked my mom what she would do if i left and she said she would report me as a runaway. i was wondering if there was an hour limit as to when i was legally a runaway?

  • #2
    Re: Needs help

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. We are sorry to hear that you feel you cannot live in your parents’ house anymore. It sounds very difficult living in an environment where they are forcing their religion on you. Running away is normally just a status offense, meaning you can’t do so until you reach the age of majority. The legality usually comes with harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    As far as reports go, that can depend on the police department. Some police will take one right away if the parent/guardian insists and others will wait 24 hours. Runaway reports generally go into the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) which is a national database. Although police do not always actively look for runaway youth, if they do come across one, they would show up in that database. After a runaway youth is found the police normally just send them back home, unless they have committed another crime or traveled far away and other arrangements have to be made.

    You mention that you are seriously considering leaving. Here is a link to some commonly asked questions before a youth runs away which can be found on our website. If you have additional questions or would like to discuss your situation in more detail, you are welcome to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are anonymous, confidential, and available 24/7. We look forward to hearing from you. In the mean time, 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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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