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Questions, please help.

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  • Questions, please help.

    Hi, I am thinking of running away.
    I have run away before and decided to come back on my own, i did not get caught.
    However, i am wanting to runaway again. I do not feel like discussing my reasons.
    I have a couple of questions.
    I'm 16, and I live in Texas. Will the cops look for a 16 year old runaway?
    If i wanted to stay in a shelter, Will a shelter for teens let you stay there? I know some shelters require you phone your parents after a certain number of hours, but what if i lied and said i was kicked out?
    Would they let me stay?
    Also, how much trouble can someone get into if they are caught harboring a runaway?

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Questions, please help.


    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard for resources. We are always glad to provide support and to find other ways to assist you later if you are ever in need of someone to talk to about your situation. We are a 24 hour crisis hotline devoted to help our callers with trained liners 7 days of the week. We are confidential and anonymous.

    We respect your choice to not share in details what you just went through or why you are leaving. It sounds like you were able to make that decision once on your own and you decided to return. There must have been reasoning behind that. We are always here if you decide you need to elaborate more on the matter. However, we cannot tell you what to do but we can share with you what we know of general laws affecting runaways.

    In some areas of TX, depending on the county or city, laws governing runaways can be somewhat lax but it does not exclude parents from filing a runaway report to protect themselves from charges of neglect. Running away is not considered illegal but if you are filed as one, you are given a status offense as a minor. This means that if found you can be brought home. The police are not always equipped with finding runaways or even looking for them. It is likely they may not come looking but that is never a guarantee. It is perhaps best to contact them directly to find our more.

    If you wanted to stay at a shelter, they are federal mandated in most cases to get consent from your parents. Some have a 24-48 hour window but after that point they are suppose to call your parents. We cannot assume what might happen if you told them a different story about your situation. If you are kicked out, it may become something they can get the police or Child Protect Services to look into. We cannot guarantee the consequences for not telling these agents the true story.

    It is considered illegal for someone to harbor you because they are considered "contributing to the delinquency of a minor. This can lead to a misdemeanor charge. However, every state differs. You may need to check with legal aid to find out more. We hope this info was sufficient for you but we also hope you can call us for further support. Good 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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