Help to get out
Of all the people associated with gangs or criminal groups, females play the most diverse role, because they can be a victim, an active ‘criminal’ in the group, or indeed both.
How to leave a gang or somebody who is in a criminal group
It’s not always easy to leave a gang, but it is possible to leave safely.
Here are some tips to help you, or someone you know:
- Try and spend less time with the gang/ criminal and find other friends to hang around with
- Avoid going to places where you know the gang/ criminal will be
- Speak to someone you trust like a family member, teacher or youth worker
Tip from an ex-gang member (from the childline website)
“When I wanted to get out of a gang I stopped taking calls or responding to texts from people in the gang. I also made sure my family said I was not at home when they came looking for me. After a short while, they got the message and stopped contacting me.”
What if this doesn’t work?
We understand that for some girls/ women, it’s not that simple or easy to leave a gang/ criminal group, especially when there is a bond through a friendship or intimate relationship. In addition, the social rewards of being linked to a criminal group can make the pathways out of this lifestyle very difficult. If you feel that this situation best describes you, or someone you know, there are a number of organisations, listed below, who can help to find an effective referral for you. You don’t have to cope with things on your own.
- Gangsline (0800 032 9538) www.gangsline.com
Free advice and support form ex-gang members.
- 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247) www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/
Run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
- ISIS Women's Centre (0151 286 6159)
The Women’s Centre is based at: 142-148 Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool, L5 7QQ