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Runaways Victims At Home and On The Streets Every day across the country children are leaving home for a future of danger and uncertainty on the streets For most the time away from home is short and mostly uneventful For others a life on the streets turns tragic when they realize that what once seemed like a solution soon becomes another situation from which they must escape If the problem of teenage runaways is to be understood and possibly prevented parents need to know what makes teens run away some of the consequences of running away and what help is available for teenagers who choose to run away from home For parents the reasons why a teenager needs to run away are very important Although all the possible reasons for running away are too numerous to name here there are some characteristic reasons that cause a teen to runaway In her book Anyplace But Here Young Alone and Homeless What to Do Ellen Switzer 1992 gives four categories of reasons for a teens need to run away physical abuse sexual abuse family problems alcoholism and other substance abuse The rates of child abuse increase as children become older Adolescents have the highest rates for physical emotional and sexual abuse Among adolescents males and females have comparable rates of physical and emotional abuse but females have four times the risk of sexual abuse than males Papalia Olds 1993 In a study of maltreated teens who ran away from home it was found that females accounted for 873 of the sexually abused runaways They also comprised 839 of the group that was both physically and sexually abused Kurtz Kurtz Jarvis 1991 The results of a study at a runaway shelter in central Florida showed that biological fathers were most often responsible for physical abuse however stepfathers were most often responsible for sexual abuse Warren Gary Moorhead 1994 The outcome of both physical and sexual
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