Tuesday, April 13th, 2021

November, National Runaway Prevention Month

Posted: Wednesday, November 27, 2013

National and local groups have teamed together to raise awareness and educate the public about teen homelessness and runaways. The National Runaway Switchboard, the National Network for Youth, National Safe Place and many other youth serving organizations, including the Youth Services Bureau of Huntington County, work collaboratively to raise awareness about runaway and homeless youth and educate the public about solutions and ways to prevent the growing problem.

“Young people today are facing so many issues without the life experiences or the support to deal with them,” said Jan Williams, executive director of YSB. “So the natural response is to flee from the situation that is causing the stress, not realizing that by doing so they often times only makes the situation worse.”

According to the National Runaway Switchboard, between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. Over the past three years, there has been a 56 percent increase in crisis calls identifying economic problems as a reason for the call. One in five youth will run away before reaching the age 18 and half run away two or more times. Indiana has a higher percentage of runaways than the national average at 57 percent. Thirty-two percent of runaway and homeless youth have attempted suicide at some point in their lives. Fifty percent of runaway youth age 16 or older reported having dropped out of school, having been expelled or having been suspended at least once. Eighty percent of runaway or homeless girls reported have been sexually or physically abused. According to national and state data the numbers of youth who are “throwaways” have also shown an increase.