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Teenage runaways are more common than we think. Every year there are cases where
teenagers run away from home without notifying their parents or guardians as to their
whereabouts. Psychologists have stated that adolescent rebellion begins as a result of the desire
for independence. There are many negative factors which cause teenagers to run away from
home; some of these factors include abuse, personal crisis and parental conflicts.
Firstly, abuse is one of the main contributing factors which cause teens to run away from
home. Teenage abuse occurs when family members and/or guardians take advantage of teenagers
whether physically, emotionally, or sexually. Physical abuse occurs when teens are beaten and
bruised causing them to retaliate by running away in an effort to escape this. Teenagers may
suffer from emotional abuse when they are constantly being told insulting and degrading terms
such as you are stupid! or you are no good. This has a very negative effect on teens, as it
may cause emotional and social difficulties; resulting in low self-esteem which in turn causes
their social relationships to suffer. This may also in some cases lead to thoughts of suicide. Teens
may run away from home in order to get away from this abuse. Sexual abuse happens when the
family members or guardians of the teens take sexual advantage of them. Teens may be touched
inappropriately or raped. This type of abuse has detrimental effects on the life of a teenager.
Although, some teens may find the courage to speak out about sexual abuse, others find the
matter too embarrassing and may choose to keep to themselves. This however causes
insecurities, and social difficulties such as not being able to sustain relationships whether social
or intimate. Many teens who run away may also fear more abuse from family members and
guardians if they return home. Abuse by family members and guardians makes running away
appear to be the best option for teens who are unable to find help to change their situation.

Secondly, another major factor, which causes teenagers to run away from home, is a
personal crisis. A personal crisis occurs when someone can no longer cope with a situation.
Teenagers, who suffer from a personal crisis; such as sexuality issues and pregnancy issues, fear
the reaction from family members and/or guardians at home. Interviews conducted by the
National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth with homeless teens; found that transgendered,
bisexual, gay, lesbian and teens unsure of their sexual orientation often fail to communicate with
family members, have negative peer relationships and also experience violence because of their
sexual orientations. Some teens may be of cultures which view these sexual issues as taboo.
Teenagers who suffer from such sexual issues may feel out of place because of their differences,
and may choose to run away in an attempt to find someplace where they fit in. Pregnancy also
plays a major role in teenage runaway cases. A study by the National Conference of State
Legislatures states that girls make up approximately 75 percent of the runaway population, and
anywhere from 6 percent to 22 percent of these runaway girls are pregnant and without a
permanent home. Some of these girls may be frightened that family members may not accept or
support them, and may choose flee from home to find the support needed.
Lastly, another significant contributor to teen runaway cases is Parental conflicts. Parental
conflicts refer