“One night, close to Halloween, I was walking through the UCSC campus near one of the colleges on a paved path. All of a sudden three guys in scary costumes jumped out from behind some bushes. They were all yelling, one had a chainsaw and revved it up, one had an axe and one had some kind of pipe or stick. The chainsaw was very loud. I was extremely startled and scared and I screamed. They held their scary poses for probably about 20 seconds – which seemed like a lot longer to me at the time – then stopped, and laughing, went back to where they had been hiding in the bushes. I assume to lie in wait for the next person to come along.
I left quickly, pretty shaken up. A day or two later I overheard some other students talking about it. It turned out that a guy I knew had heard one of the three guys bragging about it. He told me who it was. A few days later I worked up the courage to go confront him. I went to his dorm room, knocked and he answered. I was really nervous and my lips were shaking as I spoke but I did it anyway.
I told him that what they did was not OK. I told him that violence against women is a reality and that when they jumped out of the bushes I thought I was really about to be attacked and that it was extremely scary. I told him that it was not funny. It was not a joke to me. I could tell that he felt really uncomfortable with my telling him all that. He seemed to feel really bad about it and said he was sorry.
I feel good that I was able to say something. Partly because I think he learned something and likely won’t do anything like that again, but mostly because I was brave and stood up for myself.”