Running Away


Major causes of death among runaways:

  • Assault
  • Illnesses / Diseases (including sexually transmitted diseases & HIV/AIDS)  and other illnesses
  • Suicide
  • Drug overdose
  • Homicide

Many runaways become involved in criminal activities such as:

  • Shoplifting
  • Robbery
  • Prostitution/Pornography
  • Burglary
  • Drug dealing
  • Gang activity

Before running away. You will be able to answer these questions:

  • Why is running away from home the best thing to do?
  • What can I do to improve my situation before running?
  • Who can I talk to about my problems?
  • Will I be safe if I am on the streets?
  • How will I survive:
    • Shelter-where will I stay?
    • Money-how will I get it?
    • Food-where will I get it
  • Who will help me when I need help?
  • Is running away a good/realistic choice?
  • What are my options other than running away?
  • How will I get the medicine I need?  How will I pay for it?
  • If I get arrested what will happen to me?
  • Who can I trust that I meet on the streets?  How can they care about what happens to me – they don’t know me?  Do they want to use me or make me do illegal things like selling drugs or becoming a prostitute (this applies to both boys & girls)?
  • What about school? Do I want to give up my education?  What about my future?
  • How will I support myself without any job skills?
  • What happens if I go back home?
  • If I become ill while living on the streets who will care for me?  How and where will I get medical care?
  • What happens if I am abducted and forced into prostitution – who will rescue me?

Runaways must support themselves and crime seems to be an easy way to make money.  Remember that there is always a price to pay for committing a crime. A criminal record can negatively impact your future.

The National Runaway Switchboard
24 Hour Hotline: 1-800-RUNAWAY