The Missing Children's Network has created a new program aimed at preventing children from running away from home.
The program is not only aimed at informing children about what awaits them if they run away, but also letting parents understand the issues their children are facing that could convince them to run, such as bullying, body issues, and dealing with consent
Called SHINE (Self-esteem, Healthy relationships, Independence, No means no, and Empowerment) the program has already been presented 80 times to students.
On Wednesday partners of the Missing Children's Network shared personal stories, including that of CDN-NDG borough mayor Sue Montgomery.
Montgomery explained how she wanted to run away at age five because she was the victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a family member.
Eric Hauptamn related how he felt when his teenaged daughter ran away from a group home in Laval in 2016.
"As a parent you feel that you've failed because you say 'how come I let my daughter get away from our house and how come she put herself in danger? What could I have done as a father to protect her?' Because as a parent our main goal is to protect our children so when that happens it's the worst nightmare that anybody could go through," said Hauptman.
Hauptman's daughter eventually came home, but he said the time she was missing was "hell on earth."
Another speaker affiliated with the Shine program is Ludivine Reding, star of the TV show Fugueuse (Runaway), about a 16-year-old girl who runs away with a man who manipulates her and has her gang-raped.
The Shine program will be presented at least 400 more times for children aged 10 to 13 across Quebec.