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More than 5,000 teenagers run away from home every year, police statistics show. House runs escalate during the holidays. Most of the disappearances have a happy ending. But sometimes parents never find out what happened to their child.
For many teenagersrunning away from home , "giant" is an adventure dream come true. Some run away from their parents because they forbade them to go with their peers. Others leave with their crush, especially when the parents do not accept the relationship. Sometimes they run away to someone they met on the Internet. This is especially dangerous because you never know what her intentions are. Young people set off for concerts without their parents knowing. The reason for the escape is a poor testimony and the prospect of a "spoiled" (by parents) vacation.
Short-term or long-term escape?
- Vacation escapes are usually short-lived, following an impulsive decision when a teenager cannot come to an agreement with his parents. But escapes can also be the result of a very difficult family situation, parental alcohol abuse, drug use and child neglect. Sometimes something bad happens outside the home - at school or in a peer group (between the ages of 12 and 18, the opinions of peers are the most important). When a young person feels rejected, experiences a heartbreak, has unpleasant experiences related to sexuality, the perception of himself by the opposite sex, he decides to run away for a long time. Then it is no longer a matter of going camping without parents - says Aleksandra Andruszczak-Zin, a psychologist from ITAKA.
Why do teenagers run away from their homes?
Teenagers run away from good homes, where everything seems to be fine, the child has extracurricular activities, holidays abroad. Most often the reason is the difficult relationship with the parents. When there is no interest and no warmth, the thought of running away is born. Teenagers run away when they feel trapped by their parents, they are not allowed to be independent. They also run away from too demanding parents, because they cannot live up to their expectations.
Reasons for running away from home can be very serious
- A young man who runs away to a tent usually has some money and goes away in the company of friends or teenage love. When negative emotions subside or money runs out, he comes backhome, although it is always a concern of how it will be received. If it is an escape due to long-term problems, usually a young person wants to cut himself off from the past and start a better life - points out the psychologist.
At first the fugitives feel safe. But then problems arise. Often they have no plan, they only take personal belongings from the house, they are destitute, they run away alone. And yet you have to sleep somewhere and eat something.
What might be the risk of running away from home?
The only way to get money or food is often theft. The worst thing is when the fugitive meets people who are drawn to criminal groups for helping them. Drugs and alcohol appear. Sometimes selfless help, someone talks, tries to find the cause of the problem, inform the parents. But let's face it, places like railway stations, parks that bring together young people also attract people who want to abuse teenagers sexually. Young girls are recruited into brothels. It's easy to believe a pimper when you dream of being a model, dancer, and earning good money - this is the beginning of serious trouble. It happens that a girl is associated with a much older man who promises golden mountains. - In some situations, running away from home is the only solution at this time, e.g. in case of violence.
There are no shelters for fleeing teenagers in Poland
There are no institutions in Poland that would help solve the problem, there are no shelters for fleeing teenagers. In the Netherlands or Great Britain there are places where a young person can go and a team of specialists have 2 days to work out a real solution with him. Then the services or parents are notified. There are two options in Poland: either returning to the place from which the young man escaped, or a school and educational center where there are so many young people with various problems that it is difficult to talk about constructive help, admits Aleksandra Andruszczak-Zin.