General Article Teenage runaways are at risk of sexual exploitation

Topic Selected: Homelessness
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The research, which also shows that running away can take place when a child has already been sexually exploited, was produced in partnership with Paradigm Research.

With more than 77,000 children running away each year, the report demands that the Government, police and local authorities take seriously the risks faced by runaway children and work together to assess and raise awareness of this issue.

A total of 41 runaways, from a range of backgrounds, were interviewed for the report and their experiences starkly demonstrate the variety of reasons why children choose to run away and how easily they can find themselves at risk.

A total of 19 children were found ‘on the streets’ in areas where young people tend to congregate such as parks and where food is given to homeless people.

Most of the 41 children were receiving some form of support at the time of the research. However nearly half, 17, were not receiving any help to address their running away or sexual exploitation.

The r...

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