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What are the consequences of running away?

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



Dyanne is a Call Center Supervisor at the National Runaway Switchboard. She manages crisis liners and answers crisis calls as well. She lives in Chicago.

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Do you have a question related to a situation you're facing? The National Runaway Safeline is here to help.

Our services are available 24/7 by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929), posting on our bulletin board, or sending us an email. You can also start a live chat from 4:30-11:30 Central Time by clicking on the red button at the top of the screen.

To maintain your confidentiality, we do not recommend posting details about your situation in the comments section below.

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