ON CLOVER ROAD BACKSTAGE GUIDE 19 According to the National Runaway Safeline, children run away because:  47% of runaway youth report conflict between them and a parent/guardian in the home.  34% of runaway youth reported sexual abuse before leaving home.  43% of runaway youth reported physical abuse before leaving home.  Over 50% of youth in shelters or on the streets reported that their parents told them to leave or knew they were leaving but did not care Teenagers may also run away due to struggles with mental health, substance abuse, or other difficulties in adolescence, such as parental separation, bullying, coming out as LGBT, or other potentially traumatic events. Parent Tips for Dealing with a Runaway Situation If you suspect your teenager has run away, follow these steps:  Call your child’s friends to ask about the last time they saw them.  Visit local hangouts or possible places they may have gone.  Check your child’s room and belongings to find any clues of their whereabouts.  Call the police to report a missing person.  Call area shelters to check to see if your child has been in contact and ask for further information on who to call.  Call 1-800-RUNAWAY for even more information on your plan of action. If your teenager calls, remain as calm as possible. Show that you are genuinely concerned and care for them. Urge your child to come home, but listen as well. Many children just want the chance to be heard. Refrain from saying anything negative to them, for example, "When you get home, you're going to be grounded." Take this running away as a serious sign that something is wrong and that your child needs help. When your teen comes home, show them that you are willing to help them work through any of the difficulties they are having and that you accept their return with open arms. Understand that this experience has been as traumatic for your child as it has been for you. Remember to listen to your teen and make a conscious effort to show that you love them. (edited from the Poly Klaas Foundation & Teens.LoveToKnow.com)