- No-one has the right to control your life or pressure you into doing things you know aren’t right or don’t feel comfortable with.
- It's never too late. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done. Changing direction is a matter of taking different steps.
- Many young people feel under threat. However, if you carry a weapon you statistically have more chance of it being used against you rather than it protecting you. If you are caught you could end up with a prison sentence. This will affect the rest of your life and could make it more difficult for you to get a job, go to university, travel and access things such as insurance.
- If your family is short of money, you should never feel under pressure to commit crime to help sort out this issue. Speak to a professional such as a teacher, social worker or another trusted adult who can help your family get the support they need.
Some things you can do
If you recognise this and know that you need to ask for help to make changes, you are facing up to things and are already some way forward. There are steps you can take yourself to help remove yourself from the gang or dangerous situation but you may need some support and advice to do this.
You should always dial 999 if you or anyone around you such as your family is in immediate danger.
- Reach out to other people you trust for help. This could be your parent, a teacher, or someone from an organisation like the ones in the Get Help Now.
- Be unavailable to negative influences - spend time with your family, caregivers and any other positive influence such as a mentor if you can.
- Turn your phone off or change the SIM if it is your own phone.
- Concentrate on your studies and things you like such as music, sports, art – this is an excellent way to send a signal that you are progressing your life on your own terms.
- Get good at making excuses – do they want you to go out and do stuff? Say you are grounded, have a family commitment or that you need to keep an appointment with a professional such as a social worker or Youth Offending Team (YOT) worker.