Are there more consequences to running away then just being listed as a runaway?

One might think of getting reported to the police when thinking of the consequences for running away. Yes, you can get filed as a runaway with your local law enforcement agency and then entered into a national database. But are there more consequences to running away then just being listed as a runaway?

The answer to that question is ‘Yes’. If you don’t have an alternative housing option planned, your stay away from home can become scary and maybe dangerous. Even youth who plan everything accordingly before leaving, know all too well how things can fall apart. You may have a friend who is willing to house you but for how long? Will you have to couch surf? Can you remain within their residence all day or are you expected to leave and return? Will you be expected to contribute to your daily expenses? If staying with a friend or relative is no longer option, are there youth shelters in your area? Sleeping outside can become brutal even in the warmest climates. And lets not forget food, how you will eat, what will you eat?

The National Runaway Safeline isn’t here to discourage or encourage you to run away. However, we are here to discuss options and to try to inform you of some of the things you may like to consider before leaving home. Someone is always here, ready to take your call at 1-800-786-2929 to listen to you and discuss your story. You can also reach us online at our bulletin board or live chat (there are links to it up above in the upper right-hand corner of this page).

– Dyanne

Update: Learn more about the runaway laws in the U.S. Find your state below:

Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri and Minnesota.

Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona

 

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  • Brett fontenot

    My step -dad is a major annoyance he threatens to kick us out for the simplest thing and he blames it on not taking his medicine I tried to leave but they called the cops and he said I couldn’t leave but I really don’t want to live here I want to live at my dads? What do I do?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Brett. Thanks for reading our blog and writing to us. It sounds like you are in a very difficult position. We are here to listen and to help. Our crisis call center operators are available 24 hours a day to help you form a plan of action for your next move. In order to provide this help, we could use some more background information on your situation. We ask that you please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our chat function on our website 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon. Thanks again.

  • Annonymous

    Right now i just want to get away from everything for tonght, is there any legal consequences in running away?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hello, and thank you for writing to us. We understand that you feel the need to run away and escape your problems. We are here to listen and to help. There can be legal consequences to running away depending on which state and area that you live in. In order to best answer your question, we could use some more information about your immediate situation. We ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our chat function on our website 1800RUNAWAY.org. Our youth crisis call center operators can supply you with information about runaway laws in your area, and work with you to create a plan of action for your next move. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Tori grace

    I have a plan to leave soon and head out of the state with my older friends for a few years. We’ve been through a lot and all want to get away I’m 14 their 16 if they find us what will happen?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Tori. Thank you for reading our blog and contacting NRS. It sounds like you have had a tough time. We are here to listen and to help. Our youth crisis call center operators can connect you with resources in your area to help you plan your next move. In order to provide this, we ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our chat function on our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • jose rey

    hi im jose and I’m 16 with four months and at this point i want to leave the house no matter what and live with a friend my only question is if the school that i go to interfere, if my parents decide to go report it to the school?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Jose. Thank you for reading our blog and contacting us. We are here to listen and to help. It sounds like you are in a difficult situation. In order to best help you, we suggest calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Our crisis call center liners can work with you to get connected to resources in your area to help you with your needs. You can also send us an email or use our chat function on our website 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Karla

    I’m 17 years old, and I already left my house for so many reasons I live in Texas, and my aunt said I am legally able to leave my house and not go back and I can’t be reported runaway.. I called the police department today and they said I couldn’t move out if I’m not graduated already.. but I have a ride to school I go to school everyday I’m a senior and I should be done with school the first week of January. someone please help me

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Karla. Thank you for reading our blog and for contacting us. We are here to listen and here to help. It sounds like you are in a complicated situation. Our crisis call center operators can direct you to resources in your area that can help and can also help you create a plan of action for your next move. In order to get help, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also email us or use our chat function through our website 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Love

    Love
    Right now I’m currently living with both my grandma and my mom together in one house along with my siblings.my grandma wants to have my mom evicted but I don’t want that to happen.my mom wants to go to the homeless shelter with us.but I refuse to go.I just want to runaway to my friends house hopefully they’ll take me in.I am only 14.I want to get a job so I can live on my own with my siblings. Please help I’m freaking out.

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Love. Thank you for reading our blog and contacting NRS. We are here to listen and to help. Our call center operators can help you create a plan of action and connect you to resources in your area. In order to receive this service, we ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also send us an email or use our chat function on our website 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Gea

    Hi I just wanted to know if running away can ruin your reputation and go on your permanent record.

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Gea. Thank you for contacting us and reading our blog. These are good questions, and our youth crisis call center operators hear them often from youth in need. In order to best answer them, we ask that you give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also send us an email at info@1800runaway.org, or use our chat function on 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • mamag

    My daughters friend (15) is threatening to runaway. All though i’ve told her its not the best idea, i know she may try anyway. Ive told her if she does I dont want her on the streets she is to come to our house, but she has to let her parents know where she is. We live in ny state, how much trouble could i get into?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Mamag. Thank you for reading our blog and contacting us. It sounds like you are in a very complicated situation. We are happy to listen and to help. Our youth crisis hotline and online connections center can work with you to get the details on your situation, as well as help you develop a plan that will keep your daughter’s friend safe and off the street. In order to best serve you, we ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our chat function on our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Dean

    My friend was planning on running away. How much trouble would he get into of he gets caught running away?

  • 1800RUNAWAY

    Hi, Dean. Thank you for finding us and asking your question. We are here to listen and to help. We can help your friend create a plan of action that will keep them safe and off the street, as well as direct him/her to resources in the area that can help. We would encourage you to pass long our phone number, 1-800-RUNAWAY, as well as our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org, where you can send us an email or use our live chat. We hope that your friend will reach out to us soon.

  • Brad

    Im 14 and me and my 2 friends are thinking of running away. Will we get in serious trouble if over summer we just leave and go to a motel?

  • Hi, Brad. Thank you for finding our blog and choosing to contact us. It sounds like you and your friends are dealing with a difficult decision. We are here to listen and to help. Our crisis services center is available 24-7 to listen to your needs, help you create a plan of action that will keep you safe and off the street, as well as direct you to resources in your area that can help. We ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our live chat on our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Kiara Horne

    I was spending my weekend with my sister and three brothers at stepfather’s house and last night in rage of my youngest brother hurting me, I took it upon myself to get even with him and my sister witnessed it and called our mother. She disciplined me and after she left and my stepfather and sister were occupied in their rooms, I started looking for clothes to put on and wrote a letter to them. This morning before I left, I took my sister’s bag to carry my books in and carried my keyboard with me and ran away, leaving around 5:15 this morning. As much as I’m really starting to regret it now, especially since it’s been more than four hours since anyone I know has seen me, I don’t know if I want to go back. I really don’t want to get into even more trouble, but I don’t know where to go. My family is going to be upset if they don’t see me tomorrow because it’s my birthday. What should I do?

  • Hi, K.C. Thank you for choosing to seek out help by contacting us. It sounds like you are in the middle of a complicated and difficult situation. We are here to listen and to help. Our crisis services center is available at any time to listen to you, help you create a plan of action that will keep you safe and off the streets, as well as refer you to resources in the area that can help. We ask that you call us as soon as possible at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our live chat option on our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • beth

    i really dont want to be at my house but i dont completely understand what the worst that could happen. i really want to leave

  • Hi, Beth. Thanks for finding us and deciding to reach out. You may be dealing with a lot right now that is making you want to leave. We understand, and are here to listen.

    We can help you create a plan of action that will keep you safe and off the street, as well as refer you to services in your area that can help. We ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our live chat through our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t run away but i did sneak out (i left around 11 and the cops found me around 1:30) and i guess my mom heard me leave. She called the cops and i guess they filed it as a runaway. When the cops found me and brought me they took a picture of my face. Does this mean im in the system now? Also what happens if I leave again and the cops find me? I dont wanna be here anymore because my mom took everything from me. She took my phone, TOOK THE DOOR OFF MY ROOM (no privacy), not letting me play soccer this year for school (it was like my get away from home and my stress reliever and is the part im most mad about), and shes not gonna do anything for my 16th birthday. (Oct. 24th) im super stressed and i dont know what to do anymore.

  • Hi, Anonymous. Thank you for reaching out to us.

    It sounds like you are going through a lot right now. We are here for you, 24-7. We will listen to your concerns and then help you create a plan of action that will keep you safe and off the street. We will also provide referrals to services in your area that can help.

    You can reach us at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or use our live chat function or send us an email through our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • Anonymous

    I’m 16 and I have bipolar depression and server anxiety I live in missouri and I’m leaving tonight to go stay at a place I know I can stay as long as I need to. I’m leaving because my mother is verbally abusive she yells and throws things at me when I’m having an anxiety attack she blames me for her being kicked out of her math class and failing her classes I have 6 siblings and as the oldest I have to take care of them I need to know what u can do to prevent my mother from being able to get me.

  • Hi, Anonymous. Thank you for finding our blog and for submitting your question. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time right now. We are here to listen and to help.

    We can work with you to create a plan of action for your next move that will keep you safe and off the street, as well as direct you to resources in your area that can help. We ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or use our live chat function or send us an email through our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We hope to hear from you soon.

  • Someone

    I’m 15 years old, I’m not a U.S citizen but I have the student visa, I have Depression and I’m bipolar, I have problems with my family because of my behavior, my dad is an alcoholic and he lives in Mexico and whenever he come we argue and have huge fights. My mom doesn’t take care of me, she is always with my 18 year old sister who has autism, I really don’t belong here, I plan to run away on my birthday, I live in Texas, and I don’t think they will carr about me leaving.

  • Hi, S. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story. We are sorry to hear that you are going through so much. We are here to help.

    Our crisis services center is available 24-7 to listen to you, help you to create a plan of action for your next move that will keep you safe and off the street, as well as direct you to resources in your area that can help. We ask that you please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or send us an email or use our live chat through our website, 1800RUNAWAY.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

  • No name

    Hi I’m a uk citizen and am14 and have a friend who’s in care and is also 14 she grew up in my town for all of her life in and out of different care homes we were so close and then one day they moved her four hours away and it was difficult to gain contact she would like to run away back to my town for a few days as we haven’t seen each other for 6 months and it’s upsetting as she was like a sister to me although I wouldn’t like to let her stay at my house if it would result in my parents getting into trouble is their any legal chance they could get into any sort of trouble ?

  • Hi. Thank you for finding us and submitting your question. Unfortunately, we are only able to serve citizens of the United States. You may be able to find assistance in your area from http://www.runawayhelpline.org.uk/. We hope you are able to get the help you need.