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Growing Number Of Teenage Runaways Rely On Online Help

Photo caption:

Photo by National Runaway Safeline

Calls received from California by the National Runaway Safeline from 2008 to 2015.

Runaway Hotline Calls Fall 18 Percent In California


Maureen Blaha, executive director, National Runaway Safeline


National Runaway Safeline, a hotline for runaways and teens in crisis, said that California-based calls dropped 18 percent last year.

According to its annual report published Wednesday, the service received 9,514 calls from California in 2015. It received 57,194 calls nationwide, a 40 percent drop.

The decline is partially due to more teens contacting the service through email, chat and other online tools.

“We saw a huge jump in 13-year-olds accessing services, which leads us to believe this new generation of teenagers feel more comfortable connecting to crisis services digitally,” National Runaway Safeline spokesperson Katy Walsh said.

The top issues raised by teens calling in are family dynamics and abuse, with emotional and verbal abuse the fastest growing issue of concern, rising 50 percent over the past three years.

Maureen Blaha, National Runaway Safeline's executive director, explains more data from the report on KPBS Midday Edition Thursday.

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