Human beings are social animals - we' re always hanging out in groups.
But it's no good if the groups we're part of get us into trouble or hassle us into doing stuff we don't want to do.
Are gangs always bad?
As we go through life, most people become members of all kinds of different groups. We can do far more if we work together than we can on our own.
Whether that's good or bad all depends on what your group gets up to.
What if I don't feel safe without my gang?
Don't get conned into thinking that being in a gang keeps you safe.
Being a member of a gang that gets into fights will get you into more dodgy situations, not less. It will almost certainly get you into trouble with the police too.
You don't have any control over what other members get up to and you could be called on to back them up after they do something stupid.
You could get attacked just for being a member of your gang.
You could get pressed into fighting with people you don't even know just because they're from a different gang. That's just sad.
The good news is that getting clear of a violent gang will make you loads safer all round.
What if I'm under pressure to do things I don't want to do?
Real friends should respect each other for who and what they are.
You should never have to 'prove' yourself to anyone. Anyone who expects you to do so obviously doesn't have your best interests at heart.
If you cave in and do risky stuff for your gang, it's you that'll get hurt or into trouble if things go wrong.
You can watch some videos on coping with peer pressure.
How can I get out of a gang or team?
This can be really hard, but it's always worth trying:
- don't feel the need to announce you're leaving - just go
- avoid places you know they'll be
- find yourself some new mates who aren't in gangs
Lots of people feel they can't leave their gang because of things they've done and enemies they've made.
There's no easy way to deal with this but at least you won't be making any new gang-related enemies from now on.
In the meantime, be careful to avoid old gang enemies and the places they go - they might not know you've left and probably won't care.
What if I'm being threatened by a gang?
This is bullying and nobody should have to put up with it.
Read our section on dealing with bullies.