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No Place to Hide: A Story of Runaways (From Sociology of Juvenile Delinquency, Second Edition, P 295-300, 1996, Ronald J. Berger, ed. -- See NCJ-184895)

NCJ Number
Dotson Rader
Date Published
Based on interviews with female and male runaways in Seattle and San Diego, this chapter profiles their current life conditions and the conditions that led to their running away from home and family.
The chapter consists mostly of quotes from the runaways interviewed. Most ran away from home because of abusive treatment in the family that made staying at home intolerable. They survive on the streets through prostitution, theft, and odd jobs. In San Diego, runaways sleep in the bus depot or in the parks, particularly the area near the zoo. They live in abandoned cars, empty houses, or grouped around fires on beaches. According to the Federal Health and Human Services Administration (HHSA), up to 1 million children in the United States run away from home each year; and most, after a few weeks, turn to prostitution and theft for survival. The average age of a runaway child is 15 years. Forty-seven percent of runaways are girls, reports the HHSA. More than half leave home because of child abuse. One-third have been sexually abused. Of these children, 83 percent come from white families. The majority are never even reported as missing by their parents. Most of the runaways interviewed in this study were intelligent, lonely, and hungry for adult regard and affection. Their exploitation continues on the street as they become sexual objects.