Common Lies About Gangs

"My gang will protect me, and I will feel safer."
Wrong! Being in a gang increases your chances to be a target for rival gang members. You are far more likely to be injured or killed if you are in a gang. Many former gang members report that they had to change their lives dramatically as a gang member. They could no longer wear things they used to. They felt unsafe going out of their neighborhoods, and could never be sure where they might be confronted by rivals. Even if they got out of gangs, their rivals didn't forget them. They still had many enemies who might hurt or kill them.

"Other people will respect me if I am in a gang."
Wrong! Respect in gangs really means fear. If you join a gang, you will constantly have to commit crimes in order to keep other gang members afraid of you. As an adult, respect is something you earn by being good at things. Respect in the gang culture will go away the first time you fail to hurt someone who insults you or puts you down. That kind of respect isn't real, and it doesn't last.

"Joining a gang means that I will have lots of friends."
Yes, you will have friends, but you'll also get lots of enemies-- the members of rival gangs. Also, your friends who aren't involved in the gang may stop wanting to be around you. Your gang won?t approve of you having friends outside the gang. They may question your loyalty and insist that you hang out only with them.

"My gang will be just like a family, and I'll get a lot of love."
Wrong! Real families don't force people to commit crimes to get respect and love. Real families accept you for who and what you are. Even if your family is having problems, being in a gang will not solve them-- it will only make things worse. You will not get the kind of love you're looking for from a gang.

" I'll make lots of money if I'm in a gang."
Most gang members make very little money being part of a gang. Plus, if you're in a gang, it's far more likely you'll drop out of school because of problems with rival gang members. Getting your education is the key to making lots of money-- not joining a gang.

" If I get in, I can never get out."
Wrong! Gang members decide to leave gangs every day. It is easier to get into a gang than to get out. But it can be done. However, getting out of a gang isn't easy, and you may have to leave your home, school, or community. The best option is to stay out of gangs in the first place.
Ogden/Weber Metro Gang Unit, 2186 Lincoln Ave. Ogden, Utah 84401
For confidential help to get out of gangs, call us! (801) 629-8037

Preparation and printing of this document financed by the U.S Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice, Grant # 8D57

This article comes from Ogden City
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