Missing D.C. Girls: They’re not “just runaways”

By now many of you have read or heard about the dozen of missing black and Latina/o children that have gone missing in the D.C. area in a short period of time. The media was continuing to be silent until people finally spoke up and made the mysterious disappearances go viral. This has brought awareness to the high number of black women and girls that have gone missing in the US since 2014.

A discussion I had earlier with someone bothered me. The person kept stating that most of these girls are simply runaways that probably left home on their own. I just wanted to clear up some things about kids that are “simply runaways”.

Most police departments classify missing kids between ages 10 and 17 as runaways automatically if they’re not deemed “critical” aka taking medication, diagnosed with a mental disorder, or foul play is involved.A lot of times these reports are taken over the phone and I often wonder if any follow up or report is even done. This runaway classification,however, does not mean that they’re safe.

We have to remember that kids are not grown, and no matter what we may think about a child willingly walking out of their homes, let’s not pretend that they’re leaving for safer places. Children that run away from home usually do not run to a better situation. The streets are dangerous and our children don’t belong out there. A runaway title does not make any child’s life any less significant. It doesn’t make their situation less urgent. And let’s be real: the color of black and Latino/latina kids skin doesn’t make their missing status any less significant either.

If all lives matter so much like everyone tried to prove last year, then why are WE having to fight to bring light to so many missing children of color? #bringthemhome #missing

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