Leaving Gang Life.


Everyday we hear or read on the news, newspapers, social media about sad things relating to this Issue. What pushes all these youngsters to commit such horrific crimes? What makes them hurt, kill, devastate others lives and their happiness? Poverty, wrong role models, lack of family values, not having social, emotional support?

Of course, and many more...

Thankfully, some members of gangs want to walk away from this dreadful dead-end.

They want to change their lives after seeing all this sadness, devastation endless and meaningless loss of young lives, prison sentences, then all the shame that comes with it for both them and their family.

Being part of this vicious circle is life-changing - to both them and others! - because once they are members of a gang, it's not exactly easy to leave, even if they want to. Their gangs wouldn't allow them to.

The reason?

Simple: they know vital information and relations that they could easily show the police or other gangs.

So really, trying to leave the gang becomes more dangerous than joining. Fear of being the next victim, or having no one to turn to, no where to go makes it hard to escape.

With the help of some charities (St Giles Trust, Your Life Counts, GangShine, Talk To Frank, ChildLine etc.), sports clubs, apprentiships, spending more time with family members, leaving gangs dress code (Most gangs have a dress code, or logo), changing contact numbers (emails etc.), ignoring all contact from your-now-formal-mates and just in general doing things you enjoy - finding a "hidden" talent - will help a lot!

When I was researching this really quite interesting topic, I came across and started reading Abdi's (26) story, on BBC News - trying to escape gang life. He was a member of a gang and himself (later on, because he left) a victim of knife crime. He wanted to leave this life behind, after seeing many, many people devastated after the effects of knife crime.

He was constantly supported by Key4Life, a charity set up after the 2011 riots trying to reduce youths reoffending.

Abdi says that the charity helped him a whole lot when he was in prison, and that it helped him in life, as well.

"They kept on visiting me in prison, that was a strong thing for me," he said.

Another former gang member and rapper was Creepa (23) was also supported by Key4Life.

Key4Life help ex-members of gangs with rehabillitation programmes such as employment and mentoring (Like with Sephton from our previous BNC Sessions...) to help emotional, behavioural change.

If there is will, there must be a way to escape gang culture, crime and killing.

This shows that even though both Creepa and Abdi were gang members, they did leave, so you can leave - you can do the right thing!