Emilya Piansay, 23, 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:

After my ex-boyfriend raped me, I took great strides to bury the memory. I buried it so deep inside of me that I refused to legitimize it. I numbed my insides and disconnected myself from the memory. I convinced myself the rape happened to someone else, not me. The sound of my own voice yelling “stop” still seems like a distant whisper.

The story about a young girl who was gang raped at her homecoming dance in Richmond make me want curl up into a ball and block it all out. Words of disgust, words I can't even formulate, come to mind…

It boggles my mind that anyone would voluntarily subject someone else to such cruel treatment. Would the guys who took part in this rape feel just as cool if the victim was their sister or mother? I doubt it.

You don't live your life expecting you'll be a victim of rape one day. I certainly didn't.

I believe the issue of rape is low on spectrum of major issues being addressed these days. In order to make rape a more pressing issue of concern, activists, organizers, media, and government representatives should work together to address issues related to rape prevalence in the U.S. There needs to be a push from the top to make rape just as important as national security.

Stories like the rape incident in Richmond need to be more than a weekly news headline. They need to urge us to organize around addressing rape and how we can try to reduce it.

I hope to God I never find myself in a situation like this young woman faced, but in the event that it did happen, I hope someone would call or help out. I can't imagine going through two hours of such treatment. No women-or man-should be subjected to that.




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.