Girls and Gangs – It’s No Longer Just a Boys World
When you think of gangs and gang violence you can’t help but picture a group of males, right? Most parents don’t give gang issues a second thought when it comes to their daughters because gangs have always consisted predominantly of males. Well, times have changed and now more than ever girls are joining street gangs too. As a matter of fact, all girl gangs are on the rise as is the number of girls becoming a part of a male street gang.
Street gangs made up of girls are just as dangerous as the traditional gangs of thugs that we’ve all gotten pretty used to. It’s not as if all girl gangs are out hosting tea parties and having manicures. All girl gangs are just like all other gangs with the only difference being the gender of the members. Girl gangs, just like their male counterparts, usually require a new member to pass an initiation and these tend to be just as violent and dangerous as any other. These can include things like theft, fighting another gang member, sexual acts and even murder. And the activity that follows is just what you would fear of any other street gang; illegal activity such as selling and using drugs, fighting, violence, the use of weapons including guns and much more.
Girls join gangs for the very same reasons that boys do which is to feel like they belong. They do it in hopes of feeling powerful and respected and don’t understand that fear does not equal respect. Some girls do it in hopes of getting popular while others feel pressured to join a gang and may even be threatened with violence in order to join. And, like with other gangs, these all girl gangs are making their way into our schools and putting the lives of students at risk as well as their own lives. A girl in a gang risks injury or death resulting from fights with other gangs, retaliation for crimes they’ve committed and simply being targeted because of their association with a particular gang. They also put themselves at risk of getting kicked out of school or going to jail for the crimes they commit and even for simply being a part of a gang who’s done something wrong.
Keeping your daughters safe from the world of gangs means making it clear that any kind of involvement with a gang will not be tolerated. Girls need to be told just what the dangers of gang involvement are as well as the consequences of joining one. As much as you may feel like this topic is one that should be limited to your sons or male students, the sad reality is that girl gangs are becoming a major social problem that needs to be taken seriously.