Running away




People run away for all sorts of reasons. You may be thinking of running away because of:


  • Becoming pregnant
  • Cultural reasons (for example, your family may be trying to force you to marry)
  • Being in care
  • Upset or stress at home, such as a family death
  • Problems with alcohol or drugs.
  • Arguments with your family
  • Changes in your family that you’re unhappy about
  • Violence at home
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Your parent’s drug or alcohol abuse
  • A parent’s mental health problems
  • Problems at school, or being bullied


If you run away you may be hurt or harmed while you’re away. If you're on the streets or in an unsafe place there is a danger of being raped, or being sexually exploited.

What should you do if you are thinking of running away?

Talk to someone – ideally an adult you trust, it could be a grandparent or aunt, your school nurse or the parents of your friends. See if you can find a better solution to your problems than running away.


Talk to someone who understands the things you’re going through


Runaways Helpline is free, confidential and 24/7. The helpline is for anyone under 18 years old who has run away from home and needs help and advice. You can also use the helpline if you’re thinking about running away.


They can help you get a message back to your parents to let them know that you’re safe. All contact is confidential, and they can’t find out where you are unless you choose to tell them.

Call or text: 116 000

Email: 116000@

You can text them even if you have no credit left on your mobile phone.


ChildLine advisers are trained to help with any problems that you’re having at home that are making you think about running away. Calls to ChildLine are completely confidential and free, even if you call from a mobile phone.

Call 0800 1111