News Releases

Murray Resolution Designates November As "National Runaway Prevention Month"

Nov 21 2002

Resolution aims to increase awareness of at risk youth, support of preventative measures

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The U.S. Senate yesterday passed a resolution by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) designating the month of November as National Runaway Prevention Month. The resolution will raise awareness of the epidemic of runaway youth and to increase support for family and community-based intervention programs. A similar resolution passed the House of Representatives last week.

"With nearly two million young people across our country running away from home every year, this family tragedy has become a national crisis," Senator Murray said. "My resolution brings public attention to the challenges facing at-risk youth and the need for a community-wide response to support these young people and their families."

One in seven young people in the United States runs away or is thrown out of his or her home before the age of eighteen. It is estimated that on any given night there are between five hundred and one thousand homeless youth just on the streets of Seattle. Many of these young people have been driven out of their homes by severe family conflict, abuse and neglect, or parental abuse of alcohol and drugs.

The recent White House Conference on Missing, Exploited, and Runaway Children brought much-needed attention to the tragedy of runaway and "thrown-away" children. National Runaway Prevention Month will build on this momentum by encouraging law enforcement agencies, schools, faith-based organizations and other local resources to increase awareness and support for at-risk youth and their families.

"Thanks to this resolution, nation-wide events will take place during the month of November to increase public awareness of the challenges facing youth at risk of running away and the need for safe, healthy and productive alternatives," Murray continued.