First year high school girls at risk of running away


Research shows young girl are more likely to flee their home 

20th September 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

One in five young people have considered running away from home according to a poll for ac children’s charity, with younger girls most at risk.

The Action for children survey of 500 children across the UK aged 12 to 16,  found 22% had thought about leaving home and, of those, a third said they were just 12 when they had considered going.

Girls were also more likely to have considered running away at an earlier age: of the girls who said they had considered running away from home 37.10% said they had done so at the age of 12 compared to 28.26% of boys.

Deanna Neilson, head of safeguarding at Action for Children, said: “Children are expected to become more independent as they leave the security of smaller class sizes and established friendship groups and become exposed to a new environment at secondary school dominated by social media. 

“Many fear bullying, isolation from established groups of friends or being judged by their peers as they try to find their place in unfamiliar territory.”

Of the children questioned who said they had considered running away, more than 80% stated it was because of arguments, difficulties at home or feeling unwanted.

A fifth said when they considered leaving home they would have slept on the streets or in a park, with a similar number, 22%, saying they would not know where to stay. Most worryingly, 18% said they would not have asked for help.

Neilson added: “For the children in this situation there is a very real danger that they could end up homeless, and at risk of exploitation.

"Our services see many families who are struggling and provide early help to do what’s needed and what works to head off family breakdowns that can lead to young people running away.”

The survey results come two weeks ahead of the charity’s biggest fundraiser, Byte Night on 6 October, a sleep-out by the business and technology sectors in 10 UK locations, which raises money to prevent youth homelessness and support the charity’s work.