Do I belong? How one man escaped the clutches of a violent gang

A powerful and thought-provoking piece about one man’s experience with a violent gang. Have any of you been through or know someone who has been through a similar experience?

Hanna

Imagine feeling so different to everyone else that you feel like a misfit within your own family and your peers. You feel ostracised, lack identity and crave a sense of belonging. You want to be a part of something important and exciting. You want to be valued and respected.

Meet Keith, (not his real name), now aged 25. He had a terrible accident as a young child, which left him with injuries that affected his speech and facial appearance. He missed quite a lot of school due to being in hospital, and fell behind on his school work. This sent him down a downward spiral of disruptive and anti-social behaviour, both inside and outside of school.

He became a prime target for bullying by his peers because of his differences, and he struggled to connect and build relationships. He was called names, jeered, mocked and laughed at, until he couldn’t…

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