The Top 10 Reasons Why Kids Have Run Away

Rebecca's CommunityThis list was prepared by Dominic Mapstone, founder of Rebecca’s Community, which provides shelter and services for homeless and runaway youth in Sydney Austrailia.    He also founded the International Homeless Forum.The Rebecca’s Community Website is hereYou can find this list here:You can find the homeless forum here: (Dominic’s audience is kids who come to Rebecca’s Community website  for information)
The Top 10 reasons why other kids have run away are:

1. Kicked out – Mostly the reason why kids leave home isn’t because they ‘runaway,’ it is because they get kicked out.
2. Sexual Abuse – someone in your house is made to do sexual things, maybe you.
3. Violence – someone in your house gets hurt a lot, maybe you.
4. Alcohol or Drugs - someone in your house drinks alcohol lots or uses drugs to get high.
5. Verbal Abuse – people yell or scream at you all the time.
6. Neglect – you don’t get basic stuff other kids do, like food or it may be as if you aren’t even there and no one cares about you.
7. Crime – someone in your house does crime like stealing from people or beating them up.
8. Stress – someone is always on your case putting pressure on you to do something all the time like cleaning up or doing your homework.
9. School – you get bullied at school and can’t put up with it anymore or you get in really big trouble at school and just can’t go home because of what might happen when your parents find out.
10. Someone is Gone – this could be because they died, or your parents get divorced or separated. It also could be an older brother or sister moved out of home.

If you know of an at-risk kid or a runaway kid, try to point him/her to the Rebecca’s Community website (link above) or the Runaway Switchboard or call the switchboard at 1 800 RUNAWAY.  (Rebecca’s Community and Runaway Switchboard are unrelated organizaitons).

Oldtimer’s comment:  Click for All the Homeless Youth articles

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21 responses to “The Top 10 Reasons Why Kids Have Run Away

  1. This is so true!! Infact I am doing a persasive speech on homelessness right now I give it on Monday!!!! I love learning about the problems in the world and how I can help!! thanks for everything that you have done!!!

  2. ii want to run away.. becoz i feel likee iim not loved in this house.. ii feel likee imm the only person there. i alwys get shouted at for little things.. imm only 13

    • Don’t Don’t Don’t run away. It would be the worst experience of your life. Nothing good can come to a 13 year old runaway. If you were being abused I would recomend you go talk to someone and report it, maybe a trusted teacher in your school. But you have a much simpler and safer problem than abuse. Work it out with your mom. I found that my kid felt that way at one time. Turned out he just wanted to be loved. This seems like a kind of backward situation. Maybe your mom needs to know that you love her. Love works wonders. Try it for a while. Every time you see her, offer her a hug. Never talk back, just open your arms and ask for a hug. Tell her you love her. Don’t answer shouts with shouts.

      Grace and Peace
      Oldtimer

  3. woowwwww
    this is so true and it helped me out alot with my project on runaways thanks!!!

  4. I trying to run away and i found out that i have 4 of the 10 reasons 5-6-8-9

    • I don’t think those 4 are serious enough to justify the horrible conditions you may run into as a young runaway. Once on the streets the first 5 may well show up in your life on the streets. It very often does. Get some help from a local clergy or someone you trust. Or call the runaway switchboard at 1 800 RUNAWAY

  5. i was thinking about running away, only after going away from school did i realise i really DID want to run away. It doesnt seem like a very valiable reason to do so, but i feel as though if i stay in school ill either commit suicide or beat up a teacher then it will all go down the drain.

    im 14 and i go to a private school, my family is normal but i feel as if staying in school will lead to one bad thing or another. im going to contemplate my actions and i know if i stay in school it will go up the wrong end. running away seems like the best option to get away from my troubles.

    • First of all, Suicide is not an option. Believe me, in 5 years, probably much sooner, you will have nearly if not completely forgotten all of the problems that you find so aggravating now. Some things take time, but if you don’t give it time by some drastic action, you will have missed out on the very best years of your life. Being grown up is good if you give it time to happen and you take a chance on finding someone to help you get there feeling good about yourself.

      There are people that can help you right now. Find someone in your church or any nearby church and explain the problem to them. Maybe a youth director or a pastor. Or go talk to a counselor in the school. Counselors are not the same as teachers and not the same as principals. Let that person know what you have been thinking about and ask them if they can set you up with someone to help get rid of those feelings. Listen to them.

      The people at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800- 786-2929) can probably help you too. Write that number down now! You don’t have to even tell them who you are. But you should share something about where you live, at least the city, so they can find someone to help you. Call as many times as you need to. If something they tell you doesn’t work out (wrong number or not comfortable with the person for examples) then call again and ask for a different person to talk to. Explain the problem.

      As far as running away, it usually makes things worse. The problems you run into on the street are going to be far worse. Again the people at 1-800-RUNAWAY. (1-800- 786-2929)

      Since you have access to a computer, here is a link to a page full of resources for you. Places you can click on and get help. Look at them all and try to pick something that you think might help. Worth a try don’t you think?
      I found it at the runaway switchboard link above. It has a section called helpful links and that leads to a link that says Services for Youth. Here is that link to make it easy for you:

      Services for Youth

      http://www.1800runaway.org/helpful_links/service_youth.html

      Good luck,
      You have a friend! Oldtimer

  6. I am 17 years old my mom is always telling me stuff to bring me down i have a boyfriend that is 18 he takes me to school every morning and pick’s me up and brings me home when he cant come for me i ask my mom to take me to shool and she saysno i have a baby sister which all the family have even notice she loves more i dont care but she should at least know that she is doing wrong by not taking me to school i always have to find a ride when my boyfriend cant come for me im tired of hearing her tell me stuff all the time and i want to runaway she has already kicked me out of the house well actually she was going to call the cops and tell them that i dont listen to her that i hit my baby sister that shes tired of me she wanted for the cops to take me to an orphanage but i called my uncle and he came to pick me up and i was leaving with my uncle..but then she went to go get me and i didnt want to come back i felt better over their i didnt have some one always telling me stuff she told my uncle that if he refused to not let me go with him that she was going to call immigration on him that she didnt care if he was her brother she also told me if i would refuse to go back home with her she was going to call the cops and say i ranaway im tired of this and i really want to runaway

    • I know you are unhappy with your situation, but running away is just not the right answer. Don’t even consider that anymore. Verbal abuse can be lived with. There is nothing you can’t put up with by now and in a few more years you will be an adult and able to move on anyway. But do it on your own terms at the proper time and when it is not a runaway situation, but a more healthy one that you will find as you get another year or two under your wings.

      Meantime, try showing more love for your mother and sister and see if that doesn’t help. I know that when our son was always retorting to us (answering back in negative words) we were doing the same to him. Constant warfare. One day it got so bad that I told my wife that we were not going to answer back in anger any more, only say 4 words in response to anything said to us by our son. “I love you, son”. Nothing else said. Things immediately improved. I also suggested that we would give him a hug when he left and when he came back and say the same 4 words. Within 3 days we had a totally loving and different situation in our household. You can reverse the situation and try this loving kindness approach from your side. It will be hard for your mother to be “mean” if she is bombarded with love and helpful actions from you.

      What I’m suggesting is to never say anything that might seem hateful back to your mom and always be nice to your little sister. Say nice and loving things instead, even when they retort back. Put up with it and say nice things back. “I love you, mom” might completely disarm her and turn things around for you. It may take a few days, but stick with it no matter how long it takes. You may be surprised at how helpful your mom might turn out to be within a few days of this nice treatment. She has her own problems and can’t deal with every situation that comes up. Sometimes it comes out as words that annoy you, things you can’t stand, but it is not you but the situation that is the cause. Try it.

      As far as running away, girls are particularly vulnerable on the streets. There will be helpful men and even women that have unpleasant motives. Girls often turn to prostitution or drugs on the street and if you think things are bad now, wait until you wake up in some dirty, cold, abandoned house with several guys, drugs and needles all around and no place to go and no one to help. It doesn’t appear you are being physically abused. Mentally is bad enough but it is bearable when you have a good heart and it is a situation that I think you can turn around by yourself by responding to everything with love. Your mom is your mom and always will be. There is no substitute for loving her and showing it.

      There is help. Call the 1-800- RUNAWAY number if it really gets unbearable or talk to a school counselor or someone in your church. Look at some of the previous comments for more ideas. There are resources for kids at the Runaway Hotline web site.

      Grace and Peace,

      Oldtimer

      .

  7. I STAND and APPLAUD you for the difference I know you are making here. Something else kids don’t realize because they are so overwhelmed with their present issue at the moment, is how what they are going through could make them such invaluable citizens for our future if they decide to help kids that are in similar situations. Their lives, as difficult as it is, is giving them COURAGE. My life growing up included over 5 of the situations you described. The sexual abuse was probably the most devastating. One thing I want to get across to anyone in this situation, is there are SO MANY kids being treated this way, that your silence is unwarranted. I know you are silent because I was. Each of you would be shocked at the number of friends and acquaintances going through the same thing. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I found out that at least 95% of people in counseling have been sexually abused. You MUST tell someone and if necessary, keep telling until someone listens to you. I can only agree with you Old Timer, after having lived it, that once you get past the really difficult years when everyone else is in control of your life, and you take over, things change. But in the meantime, you really, really need someone to relate to who listens and can offer some relief (there are a number of hotlines you can call for example). Ask and you WILL receive. It’s really that simple.

  8. i live with my mom, two little sisters. my grandmother & aunt live next door, but they control me. im never aloud to go anywhere. & when i start going out with my [ ex ] boyfriend , everything goes crazy. they try and try to make me do everything they say. i have to keep the house clean. i have to baby sit, even though i have an older sister right next door. but now my mom says i can’t be with my ex , after all the time ive been with him. i love him so much & we were planning on getting back together , but now im grounded for no reason & am not aloud to date anyone over the age of 16. im 14 & my ex is 17 . i turn 15 in a few months. but, i dont see anything wrong with the fact that i want to be with a 17 year old ; were not out having sex doing drugs & getting drunk. but my mom is taking away the one boy i love with all my heart. run away with him , or be controlled for the rest of my life. my mom is 40 years old , & my grandmother still controlls her.

    • You are young and don’t have the experience of the older ones in your family. They know what can and probably will happen when you move too fast. You have a lifetime ahead of you and need to know that two or three more years is not a long time to wait out of the 70 to 100 years you might live after that. I’m going to take your mom’s side on this. Please wait it out and just be patient. Love, true live, is patient and kind. Love, true love can wait. Only false love can’t wait. Only false love will abandon you. Your mom is not abandoning you and her tough love is shining through. Don’t consider taking any action to run away. Don’t even think about it. You will thank her later. Good luck.

  9. ifeel like no won cares about me my parents always take my sisters side and i have three of the ten reasons to runaway 8 5 3

    • Find one of the agencies that I’ve mentioned. Call someone, confide in a teacher, confide is someone from a nearby church if you don’t have one of your own. Don’t run away. There are probably 1000 reasons not to run away for each of the 3 reasons you have to do so. I promise you, life on the streets is hell in comparison. Violence against you or someone else in the family should not be tolerated without getting outside help from family services or some other adult that can help. Good luck.

  10. My friend wants to run away. He got into some trouble with drugs and weed and stuff, and lost all his parents’ trust. He’s been feelings like a “zombie” and feels like nobody understands him and he jsut hates this world. I understand him, and I honestly feel the same way. I want to run away too. I got in trouble with drugs and weed and stuff too, a couple years ago and lost all my moms trust. I’m just now gaining it back, and I have so many responsibilities like babysitting my siblings and stuff. And I’m so afraid of judgment and failure that if I leave I’ll never want to come back. I want to be honest and just be okay. Not run away forever, just for a few days. He has a car and money and food. I don’t know though. The main reason for really thinking about running away is my friend. He’s my best friend and he’s in a bad state of life right now. If I can’t talk him out of leaving, I’ll go with him, because I’m not gonna let him be alone and unsafe. I’ll be there for him, even if it means dragging myself with him wherever he goes. Is that wrong? Is it wrong of me to just go with him so he’s safe? I don’t know what to do. I want to talk him out of it, but I don’t know what to say to convince him because I’m scared he’ll just leave and not tell me. And he wants to leave in the next few days. I don’t know how to talk myself out of it either though. I think about it and I dont want to leave but at the same time I have so many emotions and problems I just want a break for a couple days. What should I do? Help :(

    • RubyLee, I have some serious advice for you. I know you want to help your friend but if you run away with him you are just helping him make a big mistake for both of you. You must try to talk him out of it. If that doesn’t work, then get adult help. I know you don’t want to, but believe me, you don’t know what you are getting into. Life on the street is hell. There are people on the street that will sweet talk you into believing they are going to help, but they will get you involved in the worst kind of trouble and ruin. They are called predators for a reason. They watch for young boys and girls that run away and then take them in and then turn their lives upside down and the result is far worse than the situation before.

      Whatever you do, don’t go yourself. If you stand firm and refuse to go, it will help him to decide to stay. If he won’t run, don’t walk, to your parents or some other adult you trust. Tell them the story. Your friend may have a car, money and food. It won’t last long. No matter how much it just won’t last and every thing will be lost. Whatever you do, don’t go yourself.

      Your town has people who are well trained in helping people like your friend. Talk to a teacher at school. You don’t have to give them your friend’s name until you decide on your own you can trust them, but tell them what he wants to do and ask them how you can help and if they think they can help.

      You asked “what should I do”. You should try to get adult help. You can’t do it on your own. He can’t do it on his own. I’m 75 years old and I could not live on the streets and I can’t help you from here. I can’t help you in specific ways because I don’t even know where you live. Whatever you do, don’t run away yourself. Just say no and be insistent. He is probably scared to go by himself and just needs you to say no. Say no and don’t let him change his mind. It is a hard choice but get someone older to help. I promise you it will work out better if you do.

  11. Do Y’all Think Y’all Can Help Me With My Situation?

    • I’m sorry Rosendo, but you haven’t told us what the problem is. I will say this, although I’ve written this blog and I’m really not qualified to give help in the way the professionals can that are listed and linked in the article., The article you are referring to is actually authored by Rebecca’s Community. Click on the link in the article and then on the link at their site for information. They very likely can help you. Also click on the link for the Runaway Switchboard.also listed in the same article. I’m not trying to put you off, and you should contact either of those links and also an adult in your community about whatever you need help for. Ask a teacher for help or ask to talk to the Principal and ask for a counselor. If any of that doesn’t appeal to you, go to any church and ask at the desk. You don’t have to be a member. If you have access to a land line (not a mobile phone) connected by wire to the phone company, you can dial 211 to be connected to United Way. The operator there is trained to put you in contact with the right person. In any event, do-not-run-away. It is much worse and more dangerous than anything you have going on at home.

  12. thisgood infooooooooooooo

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