How to deal with teens approaching adulthood

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How to deal with teens approaching adulthood
Official says young adults must be told that turning 21 means they are legally responsible for their actions.

Dubai - Some girls have difficulty adjusting to newfound adult status and run away from home


Amira Agarib

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Published: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 28 Jul 2015, 10:52 AM

The Dubai Police are increasingly receiving complaints about girls in their early twenties falling into bad company and running away from home. The police said the trouble is these girls - especially those who turn 21 - have difficulty adjusting to their newfound adult status and end up making "wrong decisions".
According to Fatima Al Kindi, Head of Social Support Section of Human Rights Department, Dubai Police, the main problem is lack of awareness among these young adults. "They wrongly assume that turning 21 gives them the right to make their own decisions, but many of them end up making wrong ones and find themselves in trouble," Al Kindi said.
"These girls run away from home because they misunderstand the concept of freedom. There is a lack of dialogue between young adults and their parents."
Al Kindi said young adults must be told that turning 21 means they are legally responsible for their actions.
Cases in point
Al Kindi said the department received a case in which a 21-year-old girl ran away from home and started staying with some friends in another emirate. The girl apparently fell into bad company and started neglecting her studies. Her parents tried to talk to her, but were shocked when she said she was 21 and could do whatever she pleased.
The department intervened and convinced the girl to return home after assuring her that her brothers would not use violence against her.
In another case, a girl met a youth on social media and sent him some personal photographs of hers. Using these photos, the man reportedly blackmailed her into having sex with him. When she tried to tell her mother and sister about the blackmail, they refused to help her, following which she approached the department.
In another case, a teenager was dismissed from school. She told her family that she wanted to get married, which they agreed to. But after marriage, she ran away from her husband's home many times, due to which he divorced her. When she returned to her parents' home, they beat her up. They also prevented her from going out.
She ran away from home again, this time taking her sister along with her. After she was brought back, she jumped off the balcony of their home and suffered fractures.
When the police contacted her, she requested them not to send her home as her family members used violence against her. The department has referred her to the Dubai Foundation for Woman and Children, where she is undergoing counselling.
In yet another case, a 21-year-old girl ran away from home after having a relationship with a youth. Now she is staying in a hotel as she is afraid to go back home, said Al Kindi.
The Human Rights Department, Al Kindi said, is organising awareness lectures for families about their role in the lives of their children.

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