Who is a runaway?
A runaway is a minor or a person who is under age 18, who has left the home of his or her parent or legal guardian without permission, or has been thrown out by his or her parent and is considered by the local authorities to lack the capacity to live on his or her own.
Reasons why children run away from home
- Kicked out – One reason why kids leave home isn’t because they chose to ‘runaway,’ but because they get thrown out by a parent or guardian.
- Sexual Abuse – when a child is made to do sexual things within the home, he or she would run away from home to escape.
- Violence – in the home that hurts a child or family member.
- Alcohol or drugs – being used by adults in the home putting a child at risk of abusive behaviour.
- Verbal abuse – parents or family members yelling or shouting at the child all the time.
- Neglect – when a child is denied basic needs, like food or clothes or the child feels as if no one cares about them.
- Crime – if a member of a kid’s family is involved in crime and the child does not want to be involved.
- Stress – a parent or guardian constantly putting pressure on a child to do something all the time like cleaning up or doing homework.
- School – a kid who gets bullied at school and is unable to put up with it anymore, or a kid who gets in really big trouble at school and just can’t go home because of what might happen when their parents find out.
- Someone is missing – this could be because a family member passed away, or parents get divorced or separated. It also could be an older brother or sister moved out of home.
What to do if you feel like running away
- Try calming yourself down for five minutes. You can say, “Why don’t you sit right here in the living room and take a timeout”.
- Try talking to someone, preferably an adult that you trust. Tell them why you want to runaway, what has happened to make you do this.
- Think about what you are about to do. A good question to ask yourself is, “So what’s so bad about this that I can’t handle it?”. That helps you to rationalize.