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What will happen after I help someone runaway?

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  • What will happen after I help someone runaway?

    I fear for my girlfriend, shes 17 years old and 8 months from being 18, I myself am 22. She's told me about her home life and it sounds really bad, she wants to come and be with me, to runaway. I want with all my heart help her, but in order to I'd need to take across state lines and harbor her. I know what will happen if I take her across state lines in that it will become a federal offense. What I need to know though is will I still have to worry about being charged for harboring and also have to worry about the federal offense for taking her across state lines once she is 18?

    I would prefer a more legal approach to getting her out of there, I don't want her in any trouble, and I've searched and searched for answers. I suggested emancipation, but she says if she tries to do that her father will end up going to jail because he's a felon, and she doesn't want her mother to be left alone like that. Is it true that if she were to file for emancipation her father would indeed end up going back to prison?

    The state she is in is Washington, and the state I'm in is Kansas, do you know their laws regarding all of this?

  • #2
    Re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like you are very concerned about your girlfriend and her safety. Hopefully, we will be able to provide you with some resources and information that will give you further assistance.

    You are correct when you say that bringing your girlfriend across state lines as a minor is illegal. Once she turns 18 though, she will be considered an adult. At that point, she can make her own decisions and crossing state lines will be ok for her to do.

    You also mentioned emancipation for your girlfriend. While we are not aware of the exact laws for all the states, I can give you some general information and agencies in Washington who will be able to give you and your girlfriend more specific answers.

    For a youth to become emancipated in Washington, they must be 16 years old, a resident of the state, able to handle their own financial and nonfinancial (school, work, social) affairs. Sometimes, the emancipation process can be a lengthy one and she may turn 18 while trying to become emancipated.

    In Washington, there are two agencies available to assist with emancipation. One of them is Northwest Youth Services and their number is 360-676-1022. It appears that they are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The other agency is the Division of Children and Family Services; their number is 253-872-2270 and they are available from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM Monday-Friday.

    Hopefully, some of this information will be helpful to you and your girlfriend. It sounds like you are a great support for her and we thank you again for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY so please call if you need further assistance. We are completely confidential and anonymous. We look forward to hearing from you!

    ~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: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

      So if I were help to her cross state lines, I wouldn't need to worry about the charges for harboring or helping her cross state lines and neither would she, once she is 18 they will go away right? Or is there still someway they can be pressed?

      Thank you for all the information and help you've been able to provide I really appreciate it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

        Hey,

        We're not quite sure with this one. Sounds like if you were to help someone cross state lines and at the time they were a minor, there is a chance that you could get into trouble but it is highly inlikely if soon after that they turn 18. Again, we're not too sure.

        Is it possible for her to go to a safe shelter within the state until she turne 18 and then you can help her go wherever she needs to go to remain safe? Do you think she would be willing to do that as long as she remained safe?

        If either you or her need resources, please call 1800RUNAWAY (786.2929) and we can help with referrals for shelter and safe places.

        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


        • #5
          What would happen if a girl never told you she was a run away and you took her across state lines and her And your son ran off together would you get charged with anything

          Comment


          • #6
            re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

            Hi and thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. Every situation is different and sometimes youth feel like they need to runaway to make their situation better. It sounds like you are concerned about some legal liability since you may have taken her across state lines without parental consent. While we are not legal experts, what we can tell you is that in most places harboring a runaway is against the law, but it sounds like she is no longer with you. As far as any other legal issues, one option is to contact your local police department through the non-emergency line and ask about laws in your area. You can also call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (24 hours a day) or live chat with us from 4:30-11:30pm CST at 1800runaway.org and we could connect you with some legal aid resources.

            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


            • #7
              Run away

              My friend wants to run away. He came home after we were riding bikes and his parents got mad. This isn't the first time that thinks have been rough, note, the didnt feed him tonight because of this "incident". He wants to run away and wants me to help him. I'm not sure if he's running away for good or just a little bit. But I wanted to know if he or I could get introuble with this? He is 17 in April. I am 17 in July

              Comment


              • #8
                Run Away

                Hello,

                Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
                It sounds like you are in a tough spot in regards to helping your friend.
                It’s nice that you are trying to be supportive as a friend and at the same time be concern about the two of you staying out of trouble.

                Most states have laws in regards to aiding or harboring runaways.
                We are not legal experts so we cannot in fairness say what consequences could occur from the act.
                A good source for this information could be the local police department.
                Someone from the non- emergency number should be able to give you more information on running away and the law.

                Do you think that is something you might do?

                You can also give your friend our 24 hr toll free 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) crisis line number.
                You both are welcome to speak to one of our crisis liners.
                He can also try our NRS live chat service at www.1800Runaway.org
                Available from 4:30pm until 11:30pm (CST)

                We are here to listen and provide any information or referrals that may be available to him or you.

                We hope that things work out for your friend.
                Thanks again for contacting 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


                • #9
                  Runaway

                  My friend wants to runaway to a different state. I told her I didn't know if she will be caught because shes 16 and I don't think your put on amber alert at 16. Anyways, her boyfriends brother is taking them across the state line. I know he will be in trouble, but what are the chances she will get caught? She has a perfect record and doesn't do things wrong, so how much trouble will she get in too? Also, how would they even be able to tell shes not related to her boyfriends brother? Im worried about her

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

                    Hello,

                    It sounds like you are worried about your friend and it’s great that you are reaching out. You also ask some great questions and while we cannot say for certain what will happen, we can provide some general answers. Runaway reports are typically entered into a National database, so running away out of state doesn’t necessarily guarantee a runaway won’t get caught. Amber Alerts are pretty rare for older youth and are often reserved for younger missing children.

                    If her boyfriend’s brother is taking them against state lines, he may be at risk for harboring a runaway and/or crossing state lines with a minor which may be considered crimes. As far as the being related question, they may ask for identification or to speak to her parent/guardian if they are stopped for any reason (like curfew or a traffic violation.) It is understandable for you to be worried about her and she is lucky she has such a caring friend. We are here for both of you if you need additional support. Our Live Chat is open every day from 4:30 – 11:30pm CST (big red button on our homepage.) Or, you can always call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

                    -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


                    • #11
                      My brother

                      Ok so my brother (just a close friend) that I met when I visited Washington, D.C. has a really rough life and I don't feel like explaining it but if you need me to then I can. But he wants to run away to Texas and he's only 13. In texas it's illegal to run away but is it illegal to run away to texas? Would i get in trouble if he runs away to my house?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RE: My brother

                        Hello,

                        Thank you for writing into the National Runaway Safeline bulletin board. We are always here to listen and always here to help in any way that we can. From what you have told us about your situation is sound like you really care for your friend. It is really great that he has someone like you that he can talk to of support and come for advice. You even consider him to be your brother so you guys must be really close.

                        To better help your friend find the answers that he is looking for and talking more in-depth about his situation, it would be great if he could give us on our 24hour hotline (1.800.RUNAWAY). That way he can have a more immediate response and we can help him brainstorm on some ideas that might help him in his situation. Another service that we offer here at the NRS is our chat room which is offered from 4:30pm to 11:30pm/CST (www.1800RUNAWAY.org). If he feels more comfortable with that opinion he is more than welcome to contact us through there.

                        Look forward to talking with you and 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!
                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

                          so my girlfriend and i are both 16. we both have problems at home. 2 days ago her mom took her out of school and has kept her locked in her bedroom. my parents have been no help in this and i feel the only way to help her is to get her out of her house and to a friends house. we are in az and have a place to stay in denver if we can get there(we are planning to take a greyhound bus) but are worried about crossing state lines. if we are both minors but i am paying fr her travels could i be held responsible for taking her over state lines(with her consent)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello,
                            Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

                            We are sorry to that both you and your girlfriend are having problems at home.
                            It sounds like it has been frustrating to say the least.
                            The two of you are planning to run away to a friend in another state but you are worried about breaking the law by helping her to cross state lines. You are right to be concerned.

                            We are not legal experts and can only offer general information about your question.
                            Most states have laws against aiding and or harboring runaways.
                            We don’t know to what extent of the law you could be punished or if there were charges brought against you if they would be as a juvenile or adult.

                            You might consider searching online for your state laws on the subject of runaways and the law.
                            You might also consider giving NRS a call and letting us assist you in looking up legal aid referrals.
                            We would also like to hear more about your situations and what other options if any you might have.
                            How does that sound?
                            Chat live with NRS via our website www.1800Runaway.org

                            We hope to hear from you soon.

                            Take Care,
                            NRS
                            Last edited by ccsmod4; 05-06-2016, 06:54 AM. Reason: Reply: What will happen after I help someone runaway?
                            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


                            • #15
                              Re: What will happen after I help someone runaway?

                              I'm 14, I'll start with that. I have a friend who's having a rough time with his family. He has good reason to think he's in danger. He want's to run away, but he plans on coming home in a few months. He's incredibly naive, and I'm worried he's going to get himself hurt or killed or worse. But he's not safe where he is now either. We've talked about me comeing along, but he doesn't want to put me in danger. And if we were both to suddenly disapear, our parents might start a war *laughs* . . . anyhow, My parents might die of heartbreak. I'm the oldest kid of many, and so is he, so we both kinda play important roles in family life. I know I can't go with him, but I can't let him go off alone either. He want's to find some peace of mind nd then return home, but I'm worried he might not make it home. I want to talk him out of this, but thaat might risk our friendship. Aggh.

                              Comment

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