The most closely related issue is the growing occurrence of child prostitution. According to OJJDP-a runaway is defined as a child who has not returned to their parents or care-takers or guardians home by force or choice. It is estimated that 447 thousand to over 2 million children run away from home annually. More than half of that amount turn to prostitution and are recurrent runaways leaving home at least 3 times a year which leaves them vulnerable. In all actuality, it is dreadful and nothing short of terrible: you are cold, hungry and always in some form of extreme danger. The sad part is that youngsters often see it as an adventure or an outlet to attaining their freedom.
More terrifying than anything else is how closely the number of runaways compares with that of other countries. We are supposed to be the greatest nation in the world, theoretically we should not have these problems here in the United States of America. Macedonia and Kosovo are struggling with the epidemic as well with numbers in the upper 450 thousands. The fact that more than half of these children have not lived to see their 16th birthdays as yet but are on the streets is disheartening to say the least. There is no doubt that they are running because they do not know any other way to deal with the grim difficulties such as dysfunctional families, paucity, variety of abuse, drunkenness or drug/alcohol abuse, parental negligence, fear, anxiety, or other undocumented family issues.
Good preemptive practices cane be put into effect so that the chance that children will feel the need to run away can be reduced drastically. The intent is for us to be able to cut the epidemic off at the head. Parents can help avoid these situations by facilitating strong connections with their child/children in an effort to help them express themselves comfortably and communicate their thoughts and improve their childhood as a whole.
Children who have strong, valued connections, encourage traditional values and shield children from different influences is necessary. The streets should not be in charge of our children and their future. We bring children into this world to care for them. We cannot afford to continue to fail our children. The opinions of children are not usually considered in day to day matters. It is just in recent times that