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

Rape is a big deal to me because I ask myself, why would guys do that to a girl? It's horrible.

I would have called the cops if I saw the rape. I feel so angry, sad as well. Why on earth would people watch a rape happen instead of stopping it?

When I hear that someone got raped, it shocks me, because it's like killing a life. When there's a rape, and no one's there to see, it's still wrong. But when there's people watching, that's just plain horrible. It's stupid that people would take pictures of it, just for fun. No one should ever go through that…

What I believe is that nowadays, if someone asks you if you're a virgin and you say yes, they will make fun of you and laugh at you.

Another thing is that guys are desperate for sex, so they gather all the guys and hunt for a girl. Also because they can't get a girlfriend. I think that's why they rape rate is so high.

Every girl should be aware of her surroundings. That way, the rape rate can decrease. I think all girls should have some kind of legal weapon with them, like pepper spray. Maybe that, or they can take self-defense classes.




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.