Info and Advice

Running Away

Sometimes, a young person may feel that running away is the only option they have, but there is always an alternative.
A teenage boy runs away from home

You have a right to be safe

It is important to remember that no matter what your situation, you are never alone. You have a right to be safe. Is there an adult who you feel comfortable talking with about your feelings?

Childline is always here to listen to you and support you. You can talk to Childline about anything that is on your mind and you won't be judged.

Talking helps!

FreePhone

1800 66 66 66

FreeText

50101

Live

Message

Why do young people run away?

There are many reasons why young people run away from home. Often, they are running away from something rather than running to something.

Young people who think about running away might:

  • Not feel safe at home
  • Be experiencing physical, sexual or emotional abuse
  • Feel their parents are too strict and do not listen
  • Not like their care placement / careers
  • Want to leave home to be with someone they met online
A young person who runs away might feel

Frightened or scared

Worried

Stressed

Sad / Depressed

Low in confidence

Isolated

Let down by adults

Consequences of running away
Running away can create problems for you with:
Mental health difficulties

Many young people who run away feel they are not listened to. Living on the streets can make it worse as they experience being ignored. This can lead to depression. 

Crime

Some young people who run away from home turn to crime. They may be forced to sell drugs to survive. Others might be the victims of crime and be beaten up for money.

Drugs and alcohol

Young people who run away often start using drugs and drinking alcohol to help them to cope. They might want to feel better about the things they need to do to survive. 

Sexual exploitation

Young people who run away form home and have no money can be taken advantage of by adults. Acts of kindness like a hot meal and a place to stay can create a false sense of security and lead to an adult doing things you do not feel comfortable with. 

Homelessness

Many young people who run away and do not trust adults will become homeless. This may begin as sleeping on friends' couches, then lead to staying at emergency accommodation.

Help is available

If you are thinking of running away, you have a right to be safe and a right to talk to an adult you trust about your situation. 

You can call the National Missing Children's Hotline at 116 000. You can also contact Childline. You can read more about the National Missing Children's Hotline by clicking here.

If you are at risk and need the help of a Garda, or a social worker, ISPCC Childline and the National Missing Children's Hotline can help you with this. 

Contact Childline

Childline is always here to listen and to support you. You can call Childline on 1800 66 66 66 (24 hours a day), text Childline on 50101 (10am – 4am every day) or chat with Childline online

Talking helps!

FreePhone

1800 66 66 66

FreeText

50101

Live

Message