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The risks of running away

We hope what you see here helps.  If you are feeling like running away or are away from home, we are here to listen.

Call or Text 116 000. For free and in confidence.

Often young people run away to escape a bad situation, but sometimes running away can mean they end up in an even worse place or in a situation that they don’t want to be in. These situations might include:

  • Running away to go and meet someone who is nice to you, but who then expects you to have sex or do sexual things in return for food or clean clothes or a roof over your head.
  • Talking to someone online and arranging to meet, only to find that they are older or different to how they described themselves, or that they don’t treat you well.
  • Risks from other people on the streets. They might attack you or get you to do things you don’t want to do.
  • Getting cold or ill with things like hypothermia or pneumonia, which can get very serious very quickly. Or you could get really hungry and become ill because of this.
  • Having to break the law to survive, like stealing food if you’re hungry, or doing things you don’t want to do to get by.
  • Feeling lonely with no-one to talk to.

It’s tough when you run away and there are some things you need to think about before you do – if you do at all. You may have options you didn’t realise you had. And if you have made your decision to go then there are ways you can stay safe – ways Runaway Helpline can still help you with and many other organisations who can help you get the support you need.

Are you thinking of running away because you have been affected by The risks of running away?
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The Runaway Helpline can only provide services to children and young people within the United Kingdom, and information and advice on this site relates to the UK only.

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