Debbie and Julie Historical Context

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Teen Runaways in Great Britain

In 1989, the same year that Lessing published "Debbie and Julie," the British government recognized the problem of teen runaways by passing the Children Act, which made provisions for outreach to runaways and offered some sources of refuge for them. However, the great majority of British runaways do not receive aid from any agency or organization. Because of their wariness of authority figures, runaways are notoriously hard to trace or study. Based on police reports, approximately 43,000 children and teenagers under the age of sixteen run away from home each year in Great Britain. However, there is evidence that this statistic may minimize the problem, since many runaways are not reported missing by their families.

The majority of runaways in Great Britain are between fourteen and sixteen years old, with the gender ratio of these roughly equal. (Younger runaways are more likely to be boys...

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This section contains 596 words
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Debbie and Julie from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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