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I need some help deciding what to do

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  • I need some help deciding what to do

    I have an online friend who is being abused and we’ve discussed running away but we can’t seem to plan anything out or they just say there’s no point, I’ve also suggested I run away and go get them but they’re too far away and I don’t know how to help other than comfort them.

  • #2
    Hi there,
    Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like your friend has been struggling a lot at home. They’re very lucky to have you as a support in their life. It may be frightening to know that your friend is experiencing abuse; it’s understandable that you want to help.
    Though specific laws sometimes vary from state to state, if your friend is under the age of 18 and comes to live with you, there’s the possibility of your family being charged with harboring a runaway. Generally speaking, if your friend is found by the police as a runaway, they would be returned back home.
    If your friend chooses, they can report any mistreatment to Child Protective Services (CPS). Child Help USA (1-800-422-4453; is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell your friend a bit more about how CPS might respond to their situation. If your friend needs assistance making an abuse report they can also call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). While there’s no guarantee of how CPS will respond, an abuse report may result in a youth being removed from an unsafe living condition. This could be one legal option for your friend to escape their situation.
    While it may feel as though you aren’t doing enough for your friend, it sounds as though you’ve done a great deal for them already. Comfort and emotional support are crucial and can often can be an immense help even in situations where there aren’t clear solutions. Your friend is lucky to have such a compassionate ally to support them, no matter what they decide to do.
    If you or your friend would like to chat in more detail, or if your friend wants help making an abuse report, feel free to reach out to us at National Runaway Safeline. You can call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or click on the chat button at to be connected with somebody to talk to. We’re here 24/7.
    All the best,
    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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