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  • Runaway friend needs help

    I have a runaway friend who i just talked to. He's either 15 or 16 years old, i forget which. But I know he has abusive parents. He's run away before, lasted for about a week and got caught. He recently ran away to a nearby city by trains. He had about 100 dollars on him, spent 30 to get there, but got the rest stolen. He hasn't eaten since last night and says he may starve. He's been using a library to access the internet and is living on the streets. His parents are the main reason he ran away, and his school doesn't seem to be doing much about it. I want to help him WITHOUT turning him in and making him come back home because that's the last thing he wants to do. I also think he's better off without his abusive parents. Please let me know how to help him survive and keep him safe. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Runaway friend needs help

    Thanks so much for writing in and sharing your story. It sounds like your friend is going through a really difficult time right now and it’s good that he has a friend like you watching out for him.
    You mentioned that the main reason he left was because he was being abused by his parents. Did he ever talk about what happened at home or what kind of abuse was taking place? How long had the abuse been going on for? Who was it that was doing the abusing? It’s understandable that he may have decided to leave, because it sounds like a really difficult situation. Nobody deserves to be abused in any way shape or form. Do you know if your friend ever reported the abuse? Did he ever talk with a teacher or a counselor at school about what was going on? If your friend decided that he wanted to make a report, he would have every right to do so with Child Protective Services (CPS).
    It’s good to know that your friend has been in contact with you and you have been trying to help. Even just being there for him to talk to is probably a huge support for him. Just to let you know a few things that we may be able to do if you or your friend decided to give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. First of all, we are a completely confidential hotline so if your friend called in, his conversation would be just between him and the person he spoke with. Also we are here 24 hours a day, so you can reach us anytime. We are not here to tell anyone what to do, rather we are here in order to talk about the situation and look at the different options that may be available. If your friend needed a safe place to stay we could also look and see if there were any shelters in the area he could stay at. We can also help conference call places with him if that would be helpful. Also, as said before, if he decided that he would want to make an abuse report with CPS we could help him out with that as well. We would be able to call CPS with him and advocate for his situation while the report was being made. Of course it would be totally up to him what he wanted to do.
    If you have any other specific questions or resources that may be helpful you can always write back or give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Also if you are in touch with your friend and feel comfortable giving him our number you can do that as well. Best of luck with everything and take care.
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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