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Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

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  • #16
    Re: Help

    Hello there,

    Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like your parents actions have been really isolating to you. It’s understandable that you would be frustrated with them forcing you to attend church and stopping you from seeing someone who you’re in a relationship. It’s also not okay for them to threaten to harm you physically. You don’t deserve to be put in that situation and no one has a right to hurt you.

    The ways to leave home legally are through emancipation, which can take several months and a process in which you would have to prove to the court that you are financially able to support yourself. The second way is by being removed from your home through child protective services. The third, would be through your parents’ permission and potentially them giving up their parental rights to another adult.
    You mentioned that you're thinking about leaving home. If you leave home without permission, your parent or guardian could report you as a runaway. If you are reported as a runaway it’s typically just a status offense; however, sometimes people helping runaways are at risk for charges such as harboring a runaway or crossing state lines with a minor. These charges are often just misdemeanors, but might be something to explore if you or whoever you would be staying with are concerned.

    There's definitely a lot to think about when running, like who you would stay with, how you would get there, how you would enroll in school, and how you would pay for things. We are happy to discuss with you some safe options specific to your situation if you decide to call or chat with us.

    If you would like to discuss possible options specific to your support network and situation, we would be happy to talk to you about it in more detail through phone or chat. We would also be able to look up legal resources for you as well. We thank you for reaching out to us and hope that this information is useful.

    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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (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


    • #17
      Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

      Hi i am currently 16 and will be 17 in may. I would like to move out this summer an move in with my boyfriend that will be 18 in June. i currently have a job and he is trying to get one. our plan is too get a apartment together is that even possible?
      the reason for me wanting to leave is that me and my step dad do not get along at all. and i don't really have anyone besides my mom. i currently finical stable so why do i have to wait to be 18 to move out?

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

        Hello,

        Thank you for reaching out to NRS about your situation. It sounds like you feel moving out of your mom and step-dad’s home is the only way to resolve the issue of not getting along with your step-dad. We are happy to help you through this rough time and possibly discuss your options. If you do leave before you are 18, your parents have the right to file a runaway report with the police. You did not mention whether you would inform your parents of your whereabouts, but if you do not then filing a report is an option they may choose. Also, if you are living with someone who is over 18 when you are still a minor, there is always the potential of your boyfriend being charged with harboring a runaway youth. Although we do not know your situation well enough to assume your parents would or would not do this, it is always good to be aware of what could happen if you leave without their consent. It seems as though you are very independent as you mentioned being financially stable, and that you have a great relationship with your boyfriend. You asked about getting an apartment with your boyfriend, however, typically only someone who is 18 or older can sign for an apartment, so you may not be able to sign as his roommate since you will be 17. These are great questions you are asking and hopefully we answered most of your questions.

        Please feel free to call us anytime, 24/7, as we can provide you with further information about resources that may be helpful with our situation and state laws about runaways.
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:




        National Runaway Safeline
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

        Comment


        • #19
          I live in Beebe Arkansas and my mom is a little abusive and I am never allowed to go anywhere except school and home my friends mom said I can come live with them should I go?

          Comment


          • #20
            Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

            Hey there,
            We know that reaching out for help can be hard thing to do, so we are really happy you decided to open up to us. We are here for you. We know family dynamics can be a bit stressful but it sounds like you’re an understanding and a strong individual. Its sounds like you’re in a struggle with feeling belittled by your mom and from what you’ve told us there has been some things done to you that make you feel down. We just want to tell you that no one deserves to feel that way and thought you should know that you are a very special and important person.
            From what you’ve told us, it sounds like you’ve put some thought into leaving home, but before doing so we feel you should consider a couple of things. If you are a minor and you decide to leave your mother could file a runaway report, being a status offense. If the police should find you they would be obligated to just take you back home. You said your friend’s mom would take you in. Generally one who plans to become independent needs to consider factors of sustainability such as getting a job, health insurance, shelter, food supply, and basic needs. We just want to make sure you are as prepared and safe as possible. If you do ever feel like your safety in in immediate danger at home, please don’t hesitate to call the police. Were sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling down. In situations like this reaching out to school personal, talking with friends or doing hobbies and activities you love can be helpful. Something you sounded very concerned about was the miscommunication between you and your mom.A option you may want to consider is family counseling to communicate with her properly and share your feelings of hurt with her . If you were interested in any of the following or just want to further talk about situation , feel free to give us a call at 1800RUNAWAY and simply ask.
            Thank you again for reaching out.
            Stay strong,
            NRS

            Comment


            • #21
              Hey there,

              We know that reaching out for help can be hard thing to do, so we are really happy you decided to open up to us. We are here for you. We know family dynamics can be a bit stressful but it sounds like you’re an understanding and a strong individual. Its sounds like you’re in a struggle with feeling belittled by your mom and from what you’ve told us there has been some things done to you that make you feel down. We just want to tell you that no one deserves to feel that way and thought you should know that you are a very special and important person.

              It sounds like you’ve put some thought into leaving home, but before doing so we feel you should consider a couple of things. If you are a minor and you decide to leave your mother could file a runaway report, being a status offense. If the police should find you they would be obligated to just take you back home. You said your friend’s mom would take you in. Generally one who plans to become independent needs to consider factors of sustainability such as getting a job, health insurance, shelter, food supply, and basic needs. We just want to make sure you are as prepared and safe as possible. If you do ever feel like your safety in in immediate danger at home, please don’t hesitate to call the police. Were sorry to hear that you’ve been feeling down. In situations like this reaching out to school personal, talking with friends or doing hobbies and activities you love can be helpful. Something you sounded very concerned about was the miscommunication between you and your mom. An option you may want to consider is family counseling to communicate with her properly and share your feelings of hurt with her . If you were interested in any of the following or just want to further talk about situation , feel free to give us a call at 1800RUNAWAY and simply ask.

              Thank you again for reaching out.
              Stay strong,
              NRS
              Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

              National Runaway Safeline
              info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
              1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

              https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

              Comment


              • #22
                Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

                I am 16 and my mother has full custody. I want to live with my dad, but have to wait 3 months until our next court hearing to decide who gets custody. If I run away, will me or my father get in any legal trouble?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Re: Are runaway laws enforced in Arkansas?

                  Hi there,

                  Thanks so much for reaching us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like even though your mom currently has full custody, you would like to live with your dad and you have three months to wait until a final court decision is made. It must be very hard to wait for that final decision and it would be normal to feel frustrated and upset about not being able to make the choice for yourself. It is great that you are thinking about your options and are reaching out for help.

                  We are not legal experts here, but we can provide some general information to answer your question. It is not illegal to runaway or leave home without permission, but your legal guardian can file a runaway report if you leave. This means that if you are found the police will return you back home to your legal guardian. In addition, the person you stay with could potentially get in legal trouble for harboring a runaway. We are not here to tell you what you should or should not do, we just want to help you make a safe plan of action. If you want to call or chat with us more directly about your situation, we can see if there are any additional legal services in your area. Some other things to think about may be about how to improve your current situation at home with your mother and what would need to change for you to consider staying there.

                  Again, we’re really glad that you reached out to us. It takes a lot to ask for help and you are trying to figure out your options which is really good to see. If you would like to talk further about your situation, please do not hesitate to call or chat with us at the National Runaway Safeline. We are always available to talk about your situation, help you come up with options, and a safe plan of action. We are here to listen, here to help.

                  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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                  National Runaway Safeline
                  info@1800runaway.org (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


                  • #24
                    Help me- 17 • AR

                    I live with my parents. I have a very close friend I've known for years and her mother has no issue with keeping me at her home. The problem is, I'm 17. If I go away to live with them, and my parents call the police, will they drag me back home? I don't want to say WHY I want to leave badly for privacy reasons. Please help?

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Re: Help me- 17 • AR

                      Hi there,

                      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little about what’s going on. It seems you are wanting to leave home at 17 and are wondering what would happen if you left. We are not legal experts, but if you left without permission and your parents/legal guardians filed you a runaway with the police, you could be taken home. Also, those that you stay with (who don’t have permission to take care of you) may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway which is illegal. All of this depends heavily on the laws in your area which often can be learned about by contacting your local non-emergency police department. If you would like to talk further, explore some options, or obtain some helpful resources we would be happy to provide support to you in any way we can. We can best help by phone or chat.

                      Whatever your decision may be, please be safe.

                      Best,
                      NRS
                      Last edited by ccsmod6; 06-12-2016, 04:47 AM.
                      Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                      National Runaway Safeline
                      info@1800runaway.org (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


                      • #26
                        Running away

                        I live in Arkansas and If I willingly leave and I'm 7 months away from being 18 can the police force me to go back home?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          RE: Running away

                          Hello,

                          Thanks for reaching out. You ask a good question. It was smart of you to look into the laws and contact us before leaving home, and we understand you have your reasons for wanting to leave. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian can file a runaway report with the police, who might search for you and force you to return home. Running away is not a crime, however anyone who allows you to stay with them could risk criminal charges for harboring a runaway. We are not legal experts, and laws related to runaway minors can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. In some cases, if a youth is turning 18 soon, police might not force a youth to return home, but this really depends on your unique situation, so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. A good way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are. You can always call us if you need to talk through your options. We can help you come up with a plan to deal with your situation and stay safe. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the 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 which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                          National Runaway Safeline
                          info@1800runaway.org (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


                          • #28
                            Help?

                            Okay, so I'm 17 but I turn 18 in just under 2 months. If I left my house and my parents called the cops, could I still get arrested given my age? My father is verbally abusive and has been for years now, and my mother is just very quiet about me and my father fighting and doesn't say much about the topic. I was originally planning to leave the summer after my birthday but I just can't wait 7 months. It's really not an option. I don't know what to do or if that is even allowed. Please help...?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Re: Help?

                              Hi there,

                              We're glad that you reached out today as it seems you're going through a tough time at home. You don't deserve to be mistreated in any way. You shared that there has been verbal abuse by your father for quite some time. We're very sorry that you've had to go through that. Verbal abuse may be something that you can report to child protective services. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453, www.childhelp.org may better be able to answer some questions about reporting. We are here to help explore some safe options with you.

                              As far as being arrested, that depends on how your state police handle runaway cases. A lot of what could happen depends on whether your parents actually file you as a runaway. Every state operates differently, and it is often helpful to get in touch with your local non-emergency police for specifics before you may decide to leave as consequences are really dependent on how the law is enforced where you live. Where ever you may stay could pose legal consequences for the individual(s) you stay with. Again, it is often helpful to check in with police about any consequences for yourself or anyone involved if you were to run away.

                              If we can help in any way, please call or chat with us soon.

                              Be safe in whatever you choose to do.

                              Take care,
                              NRS
                              Last edited by ccsmod6; 08-30-2016, 02:09 AM.
                              Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                              National Runaway Safeline
                              info@1800runaway.org (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


                              • #30
                                I am 17 years old and have a baby my parents said i could only see my baby on the weekends i dont want that if i moved out with out permission to move in with my girl friend and my baby would i get in trouble by the law

                                Comment


                                • ccsmod14
                                  ccsmod14 commented
                                  Editing a comment
                                  Hi there,

                                  Thanks for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline and sharing your experience with us. It is a courageous step to take that is not always easy. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation facing custody of your child and other possible legal issues. Having a child and feeling unsure of what to do next can be a scary thing to face. We are always here to listen and help as best as possible. Taking this step by step can help to make this stressful time a little less overwhelming. Identifying people in your life that you can trust to support you during this time may be a good start to seeking help and exploring your options.

                                  You mentioned wanting to know how you can leave home before turning 18. We’re not legal experts here but we can speak generally about your options. 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without a parent or legal guardian’s permission, this varies from state to state depending on the age of majority. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home by police (which is not a criminal offense, it is a status offense). Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway (this is a criminal offense). For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.

                                  The easiest way to leave home as a minor is with your parent’s permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.


                                  It might be helpful to have someone that you really trust to know what is going on with your and your feelings, they can always provide you with direct support in person if you needed it, (i.e close friends, family members, school counselor, etc). One option we have here at the National Runaway Safeline is a conference call. We could make sure that you are able to say how you are feeling and come up with a plan together for you to feel better at home. Sometimes it helps to have some support when talking to adults, and we are here to help you if that’s what you want to do.

                                  Take care,
                                  NRS
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