Gang Facts
Why People Join
Is My Friend In A Gang?
Staying Gangfree
Peer Pressure
Has your friend ever tried to convince you to do something you didn't want to do? That type of pressure is called "Peer Pressure". Not all peer pressure is bad - your friends might pressure you to do positive things, like join a sports team. But peer pressure can take you down the wrong path when someone is trying to convince you to do things like use drugs, get in a fight, steal, ditch school, pick on other kids, or join a gang.
Gangs and Peer Pressure
Gang members use peer pressure to get kids to join gangs. Once young people join a gang, they give up their freedom and rights. They are told what to do by the gang. Fighting this type of peer pressure and staying out of a gang can be the hardest challenge you'll face.
Is somebody pressuring you or your friend to join a gang?

Here are some ways to handle it:
  • Sound Like A Scratched CD -- say “no” over and over again, like a scratched CD, to the people who are pressuring you.
  • Walk away from the people who are using peer pressure on you.
  • Avoid the people who are pressuring you. Take a different route to school, or try to avoid being near them in school or around the neighborhood.
  • Stay busy – Get into sports, music, or other positive activities, join a safe youth group or club, help other people or your community.
  • Choose friends who make good choices. If they make good choices, you can be there for each other when someone tries to pressure you.
  • Give an excuse or a comeback that will help you to get out of the peer pressure situation.
  • Talk to a trusted adult (parent, caregiver, foster parent, older family member or family friend) if you get pressured by gangs.

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