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By James Bow

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Buy yourself some time so that you can find a way out. • Stay close to friends you trust. There is safety in numbers. Surround yourself with friends that make good choices. Be sure to stick up for them and support your friends’ good choices, as well. • Be assertive and confident. If you show people that you won’t be manipulated, they’ll go away. Don’t provoke a fight; clearly refuse, and get to a safe place as quickly as possible. Standing your ground and being confident can help you in dicey situations.

The gang is the only way out. What’s wrong with that? A: It is horrible to live in a place with so little opportunity. It’s easy to see why the gang may offer the illusion of help. However, that’s just what it is—an illusion. By joining a gang, your life expectancy goes down, as do your opportunities. You’re more likely to go to prison. I think my sister is getting involved with a gang. What should I do? A: Consider the warning signs in this book. If you’re still worried, talk to your sister about your concern.

What should I do? A: Consider the warning signs in this book. If you’re still worried, talk to your sister about your concern. Even if she doesn’t want your help, give it to her anyways. Talk to your parents, another family member, a teacher, or a school counselor. You might even have to talk to the police. Whatever you decide, make sure you let your sister know that you will always be there for her. 44 How can I help my community fight gangs? A: Talk to your community leaders, and become a community leader yourself.

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