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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.

  • Childline (0800 1111)
    Free confidential support and advice for young people.
  • Gangsline (0800 032 9538)
    Free advice and support form ex-gang members.
  • 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247)
    Run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, for women experiencing domestic violence, their family, friends, colleagues and others calling on their behalf.
  • Crimestoppers  (0800 555 111)
    Contact Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime.
  • ISIS Women's Centre (0151 286 6159)
    The Women’s Centre is based at: 142-148 Stanley Road, Kirkdale, Liverpool, L5 7QQ