Arab News – The Minister of Labor and Social Development revealed that 1,750 cases of girls who ran away from their homes were recorded last year, 67 percent of whom were foreigners.
The ministry said in a new statistical report that the teenagers were atop the number of runaway girls with 65 percent, followed by battered girls at 35 percent. The highest rates of escape were in Jeddah and Makkah with 82 percent of the cases. Riyadh and the Eastern Province saw the lowest rates with 18 percent.
Former undersecretary of the Ministry of Social Affairs and professor of sociology in Imam University Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Youssef said that a lot of studies have attributed the reasons behind Saudi females running away to “disintegration of the family, neglect, loss of parental care, and the need for compassion,” stressing that neglect by the family for their children is a fundamental cause of the deviation of girls.
Al-Youssef identified ten motives behind the escape of girls: bad girlfriends; globalization of crime through the media; compelling the girl to marry an elderly man; parents’ negligence of a sound family education; family disintegration; feelings of emotional emptiness; not marrying the girl to the right person; absence of home control; girls falling into the trap of phone flirting; in addition to refusing to accept the girl after ending of her sentence.
Former head of the psychological commission in Jeddah, and psychological and family adviser Dr. Misfer Al-Malias said that the National Society for Human Rights received more than 2,000 complaints related to domestic violence during one year.
They included proceedings about the escape of the girls. “These issues revealed that one of the reasons behind the women’s escape is the instability of the relationship between father and mother, feelings of neglect, absence of the father’s role, and the cruelty of the parents as well,” Al-Malias said.

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