In recent months, there have been many teens in New Brunswick who have run away from home. Luckily, to the best of my knowledge, they have all been found safe and returned home. The question I have to ask is: will they always be that lucky?
Teenagers run away when there is a conflict they can't resolve, fear resolving or have something to hide. They see leaving as easier than coping. In some cases, it's not only an escape from a situation, but a punishment to their caregiver. Sometimes it's plain and simply a cry for help, but what if that cry goes horribly wrong?
A child who runs away puts themselves at great risk, terrifies their family and friends and also wastes the RCMP resources. Police and search and rescue teams often spend countless hours searching for these kids, when often they're just hiding out in a friend's basement.
It's the kids who don't have a "safe" place to hide that concern me most. Where are they sleeping each night and how long before their resources run out? Kids in these situations make themselves extremely vulnerable and are easily manipulated. What started off as the "easy way out" may go horribly wrong.
My heart is broken for every family that has to deal with a runaway situation. The constant worry for your child until they are returned home safely is something that no parent should ever have to deal with. Until these kids are parents themselves, they won't fully understand what they have put their loved ones through.
If your child ever runs away or goes missing, get his or her photo out into the social media world immediately. Facebook, Twitter, email-use them all. You can also visit Missing Kids Canada or The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the USA .