Saudi Gazette reports that the phenomenon of girls running away from their homes is seen as a serious problem in Saudi Arabia. The causes are multiple, but basically come down to abuse — psychological or physical — and remote relationships within the family. A commenter to the piece notes that being treated as second-class citizens does not help matters.
Runaway girls: A disturbing trend that must be addressed
Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH – Even though cases of girls running away from their homes does not occur very often, the very fact is that it happens at all is alarming for Saudi society. In a society that puts great emphasis on its cohesiveness and customs and traditions.
Even though cases of runaway girls are mostly isolated incidents, they have sounded an alarm in every home that lacks strong family ties, balanced dialogue and proper parental supervision, Al-Riyadh Arabic daily reported.
In some cases, social networking websites and mobile phone applications such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook have been blamed for encouraging girls to engage in behavior that can harm a family’s reputation.
In some cases, the motive and reason for running away is to carry out immoral or deviant acts. In others, girls see escaping as the only way to remove themselves from a situation at home that may threaten their wellbeing such as a forced marriage or sexual abuse by a relative.
Professor of sociology and crime at Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University, Dr. Ibrahim Muhammad Al-Zabn, explained the reasons that lead to girls running away.