View Full Version : Defense in the shower

April 21, 2002, 05:13 PM
I've got a very odd question for everyone. I live in a college dorm, on an all-girls floor. But men are allowed on the floor, and a few 'significant others' even use our bathroom. We havn't minded up until now.

In the past three days there have been two cases of a man 'peeking' into the showers on our floor, and once trying to grab a girl on another floor. We're the first girls floor, so we're the most likely to be a target.

Each shower is in it's own room, but we only have plastic curtains to close them off. The basically provide no real privacy.

My question is, is there any realistic way to keep this guy out of the bathroom and out of the showers? If your daughter was in this situation, what would you recommend? Thanks

April 21, 2002, 06:33 PM
Lizzie, is OC spray an option?

April 21, 2002, 06:47 PM
I doubt it:

I will not bring any type of weapon into the residence hall. I understand that "weapon" includes but is not limited to firearms, dangerous chemicals, any explosive device, numchucks, brass knuckles, butterfly knives, paintball guns, and other materials that can be used in the endangerment of others. I understand that possession of a weapon will subject me to possible suspension or expulsion from the residence halls as well as the University.

I'm sure they would include OC spray in that category. Anyway, how water-friendly is that stuff?

April 21, 2002, 06:48 PM
Unless the stuff is prohibited on college campus, my initial thought is a generous dose of foam OC spray to the eyes. "Stream" type OC a distant second choice in very close quarters. Most common "cone pattern" units or foggers could easily put you both down.

My daughter's current OC (small cone pattern mist) is in the form of a fairly innocent-looking key chain kubotan. Unfortunately, she has a few more weeks at high school with "zero tolerance" policy.

You may also want to investigate some of the various motion sensor alarms. Altho I have no experience with, I have seen some (traveler's alarms) that can be hung on doorknobs and such to detect even small movements.

Other devices along the lines of "driveway patrols" might be adaptable to at least alert you of another person in the area. A battery opperated sensor picks up any movement within a (funnel shape) targeted "zone" and sets off a battery opperated chime. The chime in my office has two volume settings.

From what I see from your post thus far, it sounds to like the security people there need to jump on the issue with both feet, In the meantime, I am glad to see that you recognize that you will most likely be the one ultimately responsible for your safety. Again tho, a shame that a couple of bad apples in your dorm may jeopardize liberties for many others.

April 21, 2002, 06:52 PM
First, file a formal complaint with the Dorm super, the staff and the Dean. Tell them, in no uncertain terms, that you will go to ever newspaper and television station in town and scream bloody murder if they don't do something.

That is an intolerable situation, one that you should not have to put up with.

On a side note, its times like this I am glad I have a son instead of a daughter. I can smack sense into a son but I would look out of place guarding my daughter with a shotgun while she showers in the dorm. :D

April 21, 2002, 07:10 PM
One thing that I keep in the shower is a "rat-tailed" hairbrush - the kind with the long-pointy end for parting hair. It's about 6 inches of meaningful plastic that I didn't even have to modify. And it's completely covert - it's "just a hairbrush in the shower".

Also, there's several varieties of hairbrushes and combs that are made as knives, except for those you have to pull the brush part off to reveal the plastic blade.

April 21, 2002, 07:11 PM
More food for thought here. Just saw resonse on OC, evidently while I was typing prior post. Under the circumstances, you may want to consider asking specifically in writing about the foam and/or stream OC - which are far less prone to contaminate others (and HVAC systems). And ask them to put their response in writing! If acceptable, I or others here can likely get you at least one source.

Some good friend's daughter got a softball scholarship last year to a college in the Great Lakes region and she promptly had problems in the assigned dorm. The parents flew up there, and in spite of the "policy", got away with installing their own dead bolt on her dorm door. And, before leaving, also gave her specific instructions for an "alternative use" of the $300 bat ....

April 21, 2002, 08:27 PM
I would definetely notify campus police and find out if OC is legal.It's a real shame that a college won't allow people to protect themselves with non-lethal pepper spray.

April 21, 2002, 08:37 PM
How about Soap on a Rope as a weapon. You could use it like a yo-yo. Paint it black so it's tactical!:D

April 21, 2002, 09:00 PM

Just get some OC spray (stream/foam is prolly best) and when/if you have to liven up this guy's olfactory/optical/respiratory system, just blink and look really confused when the subject of 'weapon' comes up. "What do you mean? Dangerous? Its just peppers. Ever eat chili? And how could it be a dangerous chemical? Police officers spray it in recruits' faces in training."

Besides, if you really want to make your campus administration look like a bunch of asses, make them attempt to discipline an empowered woman for fighting off a rapist (that is exactly how I would play it) after being cornered in a shower. Bring it, you politically correct buffoons.

Of course, if you ask for clarification ahead of time, you can't plead ignorance.


April 21, 2002, 10:01 PM
Okay, pepper spray it is. Now the question is, where in the world do I get it? I need a very close-quarters type. I guess foam would be best for that?

April 21, 2002, 10:13 PM
Erick, a blackjack? Does the Nannystate allow such a horrific weapon? Of course, the black-painted assault soap is just the same.;)

Navy joe
April 21, 2002, 10:19 PM
Well, if you know a 50 something year old woman that weighs about 300 lbs with a good sense of humor you could just get her to hang out and take a shower until peeping thomas see this and dies of fright.

April 21, 2002, 10:28 PM
First question. How do you get to the shower room and are there any doors involved? Is the shower room integral with a line of toilets and sinks or is it separated in some manner?

How much distance do you have to travel from your sleeping room to the shower/restrooms? Can you yell for help and expect some or are you all by your lonesome?

Do you have a roommate and are you neighborly with those on either side of you?

Passive(?) actions would be to see if you can secure the entrance to the showers when using. If you have to block the door to the whole restroom for your own security, DO IT. Remember, the cute little posterior that you wish to preserve is your own. If anyone in authority objects you can point out that they are the ones who made the "Make A Victim" rules and you are just trying to survive under those rules.

Besides ROTL's style hairbrush you should really take up carrying a small lighter to light those scented candles in your room and you must definitely start having available a large can of hairspray, preferably with the flammable contents. I would be sure that you could explain how that particular brand works well with your hair.

Still, your best actions at this point is to see if you can coordinate your activities with others in same position on your floor. In a situation like this there will be safety in numbers.

April 22, 2002, 01:38 AM
SCREAM!! thats what i would do, and i'm a man. hahaha. seriously, its best to get attention in such as case... put the guy on the run. then pepper spray. hand combat if necessary, but i'd rather try an avoid this.

high heels work well too. the really high, pointy ones you can get on sale at payless. they can be deadly. but i suppose you have no use for high heels in the shower.

taking quick showers may lessen the chance of such an encounter and maybe you can go with a friend. my wife always goes to public restrooms with another woman. i still havent figured out why, but maybe its not a bad idea. =)

April 22, 2002, 02:44 AM
Make Peace sign with strong hand. Move Peace sign from vertical to horizontal and jab in to peekers peepers.

I learned this watching Larry, Curley and Mo.:D

April 22, 2002, 05:07 AM
If you want the best pepper spray out there, there's only one choice www.foxlabs.com .

April 22, 2002, 07:33 AM
Besides seconding the already good points brought up, I would say raise all holy heck with the school to force them to take security measures. If they ignore this, go to the media... Bad pr like this is a nightmare for a school.

April 22, 2002, 09:02 AM
Pepper spray in a steamy room tends to have ill effects on all occupants. Trust me, been there...done that. You have a decent weapon with you in the shower as it is. Hot water. Take a large coffee mug to the shower and fill it with scalding water before you hop in. When Mr. Peepers sticks his head in, give him a face full. EEEEOOOOOOWWWW!!!!:o :o :o

April 22, 2002, 10:25 AM

Would all types of pepper spray effect everyone? Wouldn't a foam-type stick pretty well?

As far as getting the school involved, we've done that as much as we can. The main doors to the building are permenatly locked now, and the school is promising a locking bathroom door for next school year.

The rumor in the hall is that they've caught the guy, so the problem isn't so serious now. I guess now all I can do is wait and pray I get some advance warning.

On the up side, I DO have one of those shower-poofie things, and those sure seem to intimidate men. ;)

April 22, 2002, 10:47 AM
I would imagine that the effects on bystanders (read: you) would be considerably reduced with the foam, but I have no experience with that. I wear contacts, so I have sensitive eyes when they are removed. As anyone who wears them can attest, you can walk through a burning building with them in and the smoke has little effect. Your eyes are shielded. However, take them out...and a whiff of cigarette smoke will put you in tears. That could have played a part in my situation. I was on a military deployment a few years back. I had just hit the showers when an altercation broke out just outside. The two drunken combatants stumbled back into the shower area. Pepper spray was used to separate the two, and even though only a small amount was used, it hung in the air because of all the steam. I was 10 feet from it and it pretty much set me on fire. Now, although my eyes are pretty sensitive to anything when not wearing lenses, I am not particularly sensitive to pepper spray (no more than the next guy). I have been sprayed directly in the face with it in training. If the training experience scored a 10 on the pain scale, I'd rate the shower incident at a 6. It certainly was no picnic. Now, during the aforementioned training, I watched guys take a shot in the face and continue to "attack" (simulated) for as long as a full minute with seemingly no effect from the spray. Some folks just take it better. If you are feeling a 6 on the pain scale, and Mr. Peeper is like one of those guys...something to think about.

April 22, 2002, 11:54 AM
If the college says that pepper spray is not allowed, and they do nothing else to protect you, you may want to try a can of wasp/hornet spray. They usually have a stream of about 20 feet. You don't have to go for the face, but you can soak them pretty good!

April 22, 2002, 03:43 PM
Liz- HEY! I use a lufa (aka Poofie)! I guess I'm not a manly man because I don't sit and talk in the gunshop all day ;)

April 22, 2002, 03:56 PM
I prefer the term, "lather thingy".:)

April 22, 2002, 05:08 PM
Mine's a manly dark green, for uh camoflage

April 22, 2002, 08:23 PM
I wear contacts, so I have sensitive eyes when they are removed. As anyone who wears them can attest, you can walk through a burning building with them in and the smoke has little effect.

My former roomate can attest the opposite. She was jailed for DUI, and while in the slammer, she decided to get rowdy. The cop came in and doused her with pepper spray. She said the spray caught in and around her contacts and she was incapacitated for quite a while, hovering over the sink.

The same for my brother, who got smoke in his eyes. The contacts made matters worse - it's not so easy to rub your eyes.

I don't trust pepper spray in the shower.

April 22, 2002, 08:28 PM
Have you thought about hiring a bodyguard/back scrubber? :D

I'm thinking of all the times I had to "stand here and watch the door" at campsites and such.

April 23, 2002, 08:29 PM
Just dont bend over to get the soap.

April 23, 2002, 09:05 PM
The guy is caught, so we're all breathing a little easier here. The dorm is permentaly locked to the outside now, so things are a little more secure.

For next year, I guess I'll have to come up with something else. My door should be right next to the bathroom, so I might just 'decorate' the door with some of my best targets. ;) I guess that means I need to get my groups a little smaller over the summer.... :)

mike killian
April 24, 2002, 06:24 AM
If the school doesn't provide adequate security NOW (not next year) you have and obligation to protect yourself any way possible. I would not feel obliged to honor their demand of "no weapons" etc if you are unprotected.:mad:

April 24, 2002, 08:30 AM
Liz- That guy might get a sex offender record for life...bwahahahahaha!!! :D

Christopher II
April 24, 2002, 08:49 AM
Liz -

Voice of experience here. If you keep them out of sight and keep your mouth shut about it, you can store weapons in pretty much any dorm room that doesn't get searched regularly. I wouldn't try this with a gun (matter of risk vs. reward) but a knife, pepper spray, or field-hockey stick would probably go unnoticed and/or unremarked.

Also, if you really need to keep people out of the bathroom, get a rubber door wedge. Stick it under the door, and it'll be that much harder for anyone to get through. Note - this only works if the bathroom door opens inward.

- Chris

April 24, 2002, 10:40 AM
Also, if you really need to keep people out of the bathroom, get a rubber door wedge. Stick it under the door, and it'll be that much harder for anyone to get through. Note - this only works if the bathroom door opens inward.

Umm.... Public bathroom. I think the 38 other girls in the hall would be somewhat less than pleased if I locked them out of the potty. :p

As far as keeping weapons in the room, I know I could do it without it being found, so long as my roommates keep their mouths shut. One of my roommates is a sorority girl with a vocal box to rival a mad siamese cat. I don't think that girl knows what a 'secret' is, and I know from experience (trying to fall asleep last night :mad: ) that she doesn't know what 'quiet' means. ;) Maybe next year....

Christopher II
April 24, 2002, 12:03 PM
Umm.... Public bathroom. I think the 38 other girls in the hall would be somewhat less than pleased if I locked them out of the potty.

Never stopped me. ;) Anyway, it'd really be a measure of last resort.

As for your roommate, well, not much that you can do there. A field hockey stick might pass muster as a sporting implement, but some colleges ban any sporting implement that could be used as a weapon. I know, I know, it boggles the mind...

- Chris

April 24, 2002, 12:21 PM
Stick a baseball bat in the corner of each shower stall, the peeper will get the message.


April 25, 2002, 12:29 PM
How about a good sized Maglite flashlight? Get like a 3 cell C light. Valid purpose, bright light, great mace....

Used mine (5 D-Cell) to illuminate the campus flag last night while the lights were off for electrical work late last night. Several friends and I stood there for 15 mins and did our patriotic duty.

Glad they caught the [email protected][email protected]!!

April 25, 2002, 08:00 PM
Well, the school decided to "do" something today. We all got little whistles/LED lights on keychains in our boxes. They're actually quite nice, but someone clearly didn't put too much thought into this. If I start carrying this thing into the shower, that light won't work for very long. :rolleyes:

There's also another guy getting into the showers, but this guy seems more determined. A girl had to fight him off Tuesday night. :(

April 26, 2002, 03:56 AM
That changes the scenario: its now an assault or mugging. The legal definition of a mugging includes "feeling a direct threat to your personal safety"- actually, the perp doesn't even have to physically touch you to mug you.

Anyway, time to raise a stink with the campus security. Try the college newspaper for added hysteria. "Campus administrators aware of shower-stalker and took no action: woman attacked last Tuesday." One thing the media IS good for, is blowing the whistle.

Of course, if I remember my undergrad enough, I wouldn't want one of those guys "guarding" the shower if I was a female.

Never mind that whistle, BTW. Ever heard a whistle filled with soapy water? Like a drowning tweetie bird.

I actually have been in contact with the fellow at Fox Labs. Very nice guy, send e-mail testimonials and does sell to individuals. He will gadly discuss the exact type, size, and formula for your specific application.
Here's his e-mail: [email protected]
Hope this helps,

mike killian
April 26, 2002, 05:34 AM
Don't wait until it's too late to take control of the situation. The school has shown what they are willing to do..now it's up to you.

April 26, 2002, 07:08 AM
My humble $0.02

Contact ALL the local media, and give them an earful of whats happening in dorm (or not happening , as is the case with the "Skool leeders". And I really like the idea of a baseball bats per shower stall. Aluminum bats...with the GOOD grip tape on them. Some of that grip tape makes it almost impossible to let go of the bat.

If you can, maybe team up with a couple of others for "shower watch buddies". Two women with bats should be able to deter just about any guy.

April 26, 2002, 06:45 PM

In my veiw, the she situation has just gotten VERY serious. It would seem that this "gentleman" is not meerly satisfied with looking, but would also like to touch. (I'm not trying to down play the issue of peeping, as it violates a person's freedom and privacy to say the least.) If the athorities are unable, or unwilling to take the apropriate measures to secure it's facilities, and ensure the well-being of it's students then this burden will have to rest on your shoulders.

With this in mind, let me offer a few suggestions. The first being to buy a good can of pepper spray, as mentioned earlyer by other members. Test it. Yep! Thats right. Never trust your well being to an untried/untested product. Wait until 4 am or so, take your usual shower, except this time, just before you're ready to leave, (make absolutley certain that the bathroom is empty), spray a LITTLE bit in the far corner of the room. No ill effects? If not, then spray what would be a realistic amount that could be expected to to deture someone. You should dicover a number of things w/ this little experement. Let us know how it works out. Oh yeah, If any one asks why the shower room is uninhabitable, admit nothing, deny everything, and make counter acusations. Remember to chuck the evidence sans finger prints. (They'll probably write it off to some frat prank, or some such nonsense. Pretty much par for the course in a college dorm, if a little ant-scocial). It may even serve to scare off any would be peepers. It could even foster rumors, (which you could VERY subtley assist. Your roomate may be worth even more than you know), of a failed attack, promoting outside attention. Who knows.

This brings us to the next issue. What if you ended up gassing yourself, or the pepper device malfunctioned due to prolonged exposure to wet heat? You'll need to find something else to work with. Baseball bats? Possibley in your dorm room, but not in the showers, unless you couldn't give two hoots as to what your fellow students think of you. Most people calim they dont care what people say or think about them, yet in most cases, they are proven to be less then genuine on this count when they slaveshley adhere to the latest gimmics and fashions, proclaiming thier individuality, all the while following the herd of independent minds. Sorry, got carried away there. Bottom line, IF you care about keeping a low profile, then large impact weapons/sporting equipment-whatever, is not the best choice. So, what is? Well you could go for the coffee thermous idea, filled with hot water, and tell people that you get thirsty. It could work. Or you can purchase a relativley cheap folding stanless steel straight razor, and carry it in you shower bag. If asked, very indignantley claim that this is your personall grooming tool of choice. I don't think that they regulate such shaving objects for the male population, so why should you Gals be any different. If challenged (which you won't be unless you have to use it), threaten them w/ a discrimination suite.

Hope this helps. Stay safe!


CZ Gunner
April 29, 2002, 12:38 PM
Lots of good suggestions in this post!

Here are a few quick ideas:

Notify school of the situation and get others involved -- students, faculty, security, family, friends, relatives, school newspaper, public media;

Consider defensive plan -- think and plan your "dorm legal options" in case of an attack or threatening situation: defensive weapons to consider include sporting equipment (golf club, baseball bat, track shoes/golf shoes); sprays that sting the eyes -- bug spray perhaps; portable siren (sold in travel catalogs); etc.

Friends: Make sure there is another girl / roommate within easy ear shot of you when in shower, etc. (as much as possible).

Main thing is: BE PREPARED!