By Times Headline Writer
THE Ministry of Labor and Social Development reported that 1,750 young women ran away from home in 2015 and that 67 percent of them were non-Saudi. This shows that this issue has not yet preoccupied the public’s mind. Most of the runaways were either teenagers or young women who were abused by family members.
Jeddah and Makkah accounted for 82 percent of runaway cases followed by Riyadh and the Eastern Province. Most of the young women who ran away in Makkah, Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Province suffered some kind of domestic violence or grew up in broken homes. Some of them went astray because of families falling apart.
Recently, two young women left their families and fled to South Korea. I think this is a major social issue that needs to be studied and analyzed to find the right solution. Organizations that carry out security and social studies such as Naif Academy for National Security, Naif Arab University for Security Sciences and the Crime Busting Research Center should research why young women and teenagers run away from home. The best way to do this is by interviewing female inmates in prisons and women’s refuges. I have interviewed dozens of teenagers who have suffered domestic abuse and have found some common motives that drove them to run away. Examples include forced marriages or the refusal of parents to let their daughters marry the men they chose.
Moreover, emotional emptiness and family disintegration drive young women to run away. Usually, such women try to meet young men and flirt with them over the phone to satisfy their inner needs as females. One important reason behind this problem is bad company and influence. I discovered that most of the women I met complained that their parents never paid enough attention to them or took care of them. On the contrary, their parents were cruel and negligent.
These problems are solvable. Social and behavioral experts should work closely with the families of these young women and explain to them the importance of taking back their daughters and providing them with healthy environments. If left unattended and uncared for, these young women could become involved in crime or in situations that threaten national security.
With the inputs from news agencies