You got in a fight with your dad. Your mom lost her job and everyone’s stressing. Your parents grounded you for staying out too late. When drama comes down, a lot of girls don’t know how to cope–which helps explain why between 1.6 and 2.8 million teens runaway from home each year.
The scary thing is that life for runaways is usually anything but easy. Making it on your own when you don’t have money, work experience, or a safe place to live can be nearly impossible—and lots of teen runaways end up getting sucked into drugs, prostitution, and other dangerous situations.
Luckily, for one recent runaway, she was found before it was too late. Thirteen-year-old Allie Loftis was missing from her Wayland, Massachusetts home from November 4th until today. On the day she ran away—wearing a black coat with grey fur trim, jeans, and Uggs—she left a note for her family that said, “Don’t look for me. I’m not lost, I’m found,” and took a bus from Boston to New York City Port Authority Bus Station. Surveillance cameras caught her on tape getting off the bus, but nobody knew where she went after. Her family used Facebook to spread the word about Allie, and thankfully, it worked. She’s now safe with her family, and a 42-year-old man, who we don’t know much about yet, is in custody.
And Allie, if you’re reading this and still think you need someone to talk to—or if any of you are thinking about packing up and leaving your homes—reach out to someone for help or call the people at the National Runaway Switchboard at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). They’ll listen, help you figure out what to do, and keep what you have to say anonymous.
Do you know any runaways or have you thought about running away yourself? Tell us everything in the comments.