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#LifeOrKnife

The consequences

Knife crime can lead to yourself or someone else being seriously injured or even killed. However, the effects of knife crime can be far more widespread. Someone doesn’t even have to be injured!

Getting hurt

There’s no safe place to get stabbed. Get stabbed in the heart and you can lose all of your blood in one minute. But a wound in the arm or the leg can still kill, and young people have died from wounds to the leg because an artery was severed.

Also knife crime isn’t just life or death, you could be seriously injured as a result of being stabbed. This may mean you have a life changing disability or it could impact how you live the rest of your life.

It’s important to not forget about the negative mental impact that knife crime can have. You don’t even have to be involved in a specific incident to be affected, from feeling on edge when you’re out to suffering long term trauma.

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Your lifestyle

Having a criminal record can even affect your social life. Many countries such as the USA and Australia are really strict on who they let in, even just for a holiday.

Your record may mean you might never be able to live or visit there.

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Getting caught or committing a serious crime

You can receive a four year prison sentence just for carrying a weapon, and that’s without even intending to use it.

You can receive a permanent criminal record, and if you hurt someone you could go to prison for even longer.

Protection is not a valid reason to the police to say you’re carrying a knife, and it actually means you’re 51 per cent more likely to have it used against you.

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The people you care about

It doesn’t matter if you are a victim or the offender, your loved ones are always going to be affected as a result of knife crime.

Loss is loss, and many families are devastated by losing someone they love whether that’s because they can’t see you because you’re in prison or they have lost you completely through murder.

Your brothers and sisters will grow up without you being around, and may face lots of hassle at school. They may even be influenced by your actions, and could follow in your footsteps.

Knife crime damages friendships and can also damage your family’s reputation with their friends and local community.

Your future

A criminal record is permanent. When you apply for jobs and on many applications you will always need to declare if you have a criminal record.

Three big areas where you will always have to declare your criminal record are education, jobs and travel.

It will make it harder for you to get into college or university, and might mean you won’t be able to go to the one you always wanted.

This makes it much harder to find work, and it may affect your dream job.

Some jobs don’t allow having a criminal record at all.