Angelina Thao, 17, a participant in the YO! Youth Outlook media project, shares her views on the recent gang rape of a 15-year-old in Richmond, CA:

If I witnessed a rape, I wouldn't let it happen. It's so sad to know these scary things are happening. I have always hated rape. When I was little, I saw a movie with rape as part of the storyline. Ever since that movie, I became scared of rape, but it never really clicked in that there is such a thing as rape!

I used to know a family friend who couldn't talk. I felt sorry for her cause when would talk to me, I couldn't really understand what she was saying. My mom told me the story behind her disability…

My mom said she used to be a beautiful maiden back in Laos, many years ago. One day, while filling up the water container, she was kidnapped and raped by multiple men. She was so traumatized that she lost the ability to talk correctly, and her lips also became crooked.

I don't know why rape is so common. It's not new. It's been happening forever. In the case of the Richmond girl, it's sad how people have stooped down so low to the point where they take pictures of these horrible events as if it were entertainment other than help try to stop it. I'm still speechless about the whole incident.

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This youth perspective on the recent Richmond, CA gang rape is part of a series produced by Youth Outlook, a project of New America Media. This work was originally published Oct. 29, 2009. Republished and reformatted as a series on Oakland Local with permission.

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