Gangs are a growing problem in the United States today. Often, gangs form according to race, ethnicity, or neighborhood, and many use violence to gain power and control. Read on to learn more about gangs, and how to stay safe.
Reasons young people join gangs
- They feel outcast and want a place to belong.
- They want to get away from an abusive home.
- They feel pressured to join because their siblings or friends have joined.
- They believe the gang will offer them safety.
- They need money for food and shelter.
Crossing into Gang Territory
Gangs mark their territory through graffiti and tag marks. When one gang invades another’s territory, there is usually a fight—sometimes to the death. Always be aware and careful of your surroundings.
Wrong place, wrong time
Thousands of innocent teenagers die every year because of gangs. While some victims are gang members, others aren’t. They often die in:
- Drive-by shootings
- Drug deals gone bad
- Disagreements that turned violent
- Talking to a gang member
- Wearing gang-like clothing
- Dating a gang member
- Being mistaken for a rival gang member in another’s territory
Always be conscious that gangs are a reality in our country, and pay attention to your surroundings.