As a child I ran away from home once. I think I was about 8. I can’t remember the precise trigger but I was playing with my brother and sister in the back garden and something didn’t go my way. I remember feeling very hard done by when Mum didn’t take my side, and so I decided, on impulse, to run away. There’s a wooded area next to my parents’ house, and that’s where I headed. I crawled through the hedge and then sat in a pile of dry leaves just the other side of it to listen to what would happen when my family discovered I’d gone. I waited for what felt like hours but none of them seemed to notice my absence, to my great disappointment (although Mum told me years later that she’d known exactly where I was). Eventually I got bored and stomped back to join my family saying crossly: ‘I ran away and you didn’t even notice’, and then it was time for tea. Thankfully the next time I left home was about ten years later when my parents drove me to my University accommodation.
It’s estimated that 2000 children in the UK will run away for real over Christmas and that a child runs away from home or care every five minutes www.mumsnet.com/runningaway. Many of them are too scared or vulnerable to seek official help: Railway Children is an international charity which works to support and protect these children in the UK, India and Africa.
Kids run away from every kind of family – affluent or not – and their decision to leave is often impulsive and unplanned. They run away from problems at school or at home, sometimes from domestic violence or sexual abuse, or sometimes from bullying, relationship issues or even loneliness. The problem is that life on the street, with the risk of violence, abuse and sexual exploitation, can often be worse than life at home. Besides helping runaways, Railway Children works to educate under-16s about the risks of running away and help them find solutions to their problems.
How can you help? Post a comment below. Aviva is donating £2 to Railway Children for each comment this post receives.
Annis le Felling says
Well done for raising awareness of this issue.
crafts on sea says
I’ve blogged about this too, glad that your experiance of running away wasn’t too horrific and glad we’re able to do something to help others who’s experiance isn’t so good x
Thank you, and I love the post you wrote about it.
My sister & I ran away when we were about 12 & 10, we made it from oxford to london, my mum & step dad were going crazy. Thankfully some kind strangers set us on our way to a friend’s, where we were looked after & our return home was sorted. Anything could have happened to us. Some children are not so lucky.
Your poor parents must have been frantic – thank goodness you got home safely.
A fantastic cause. All helps 🙂
Thanks so much for helping.
Good for you. Taking care of our children is up to all of us.
It’s hard to stay and hard to go. I hope this helps, if only in a small way. X
It will, thank you very much
Oh I do remember the time when Gretta ran away as clearly as she does. I did know just where she was and knew she would come home to be with us all again very soon. Many parents won’t know where their children are or even care and some children won’t be able to go home again. Any cause that can help them must be good.
a really good cause
I can vividly remember running away too, when I was about 9 or 10. I got as far as the park, got hungry and went home again!
That’s a relief
This is such a fab thing for you to do. I’m glad that I can help just by commenting.
You can, thank you for your comment.