“I didn’t run away as a child, because of the lies I was raised to believe. My father told me all families were the same, all fathers used their children, and it was my duty as a son to obey and please him. He said if I tried to ask for help, those people would just use me as punishment for my defiance of my owner—my own father. I was taken to other homes, other places, and shown that this was true
As a child, I didn’t know those other places were not “normal homes.” If that ploy ever grew thin, he threatened to kill me, other children he owned or managed, or my mother. My mother used me too, but she didn’t use pain and terror against me. She gave me the affection that I craved so intensely. I obeyed her just to please her. It took meeting another boy in junior high school to start showing me my father’s lies for what they were, but by then I was so entrenched and had learned that I was complicit, and so I was far too terrified to run away.
When I left, it was due to a combination of factors. I knew, finally, that I wasn’t a weak little boy anymore.
W.R.R. escaped his father’s abuse only to endure the horrors of homelessness: illness, starvation, and yet more sexual violence.
Every homeless youth has a story. Running away is a hard choice. In many cases, running away can make whatever problem they are trying to escape even worse.
The statistics really are terrifying. Depending on country, every-where its high. Often very few associations or help centres are working in this field.