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How to Handle a Peeping Tom

There are few experiences odder and more unsettling than realizing that somebody is standing outside your window, watching you. Though a "peeping tom" is usually portrayed as a harmless adolescent, the reality it that most prowlers are adult males and their voyeurism is not harmless at all. If you're dealing with a peeping tom, here's how to get rid of him and restore your peace of mind.

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  1. Write down a detailed description immediately after you spot the peeping tom including the height, size, facial features, and clothing of the prowler and the time it happened. Try to recall as many details as you possibly can.

  2. Call the police and file a report immediately. Ask an officer to stop by and take a look. He might be able to find the peeping tom nearby and then the problem will be solved. Don't hesitate to call a friend or relative if you're home alone and ask them to stay over until you feel secure again.

  3. Close your curtains in the evening. If you have mini blinds, consider installing more substantial curtains over them. The goal is to make it impossible for a peeping tom to see into your house when it's dark outside, and thus deter him.

  4. Keep lights on even at night. Change which rooms you keep the lights on to throw off a peeping tom. If your house or apartment is pitch black except for your bedroom window, it's going to be pretty obvious which room you're in at the moment.

  5. Call the police immediately if he shows up again. Yell and wave and make it known that you've seen the prowler and that you're calling the cops. The nature of a peeping tom is cowardice, and they'll probably avoid coming back, for some time at least, if you make it known that the cops are coming and you've spotted him.

  6. Install bright flood lights with motion sensors around the house, keeping them pointed at dark places and near windows where the peeping tom was spotted before. Install a home security system, video surveillance, or install window mini-alarms all over. Consider placing things that crunch outside of the windows, or plant thorny bushes where he was previously spotted. Get creative and reclaim your peace of mind.

  7. Refuse to be intimidated. A creepy voyeur hanging around your window invading your privacy can make you feel vulnerable or even scared. Fight back with the above steps. If you live alone think about getting a big, loud dog to keep you company. Dogs are usually pros at barking to let you know if anybody is even near your home, much less standing outside. Or, take self defense classes or get involved in an activity that empowers you to get through any post-peeping tom heebie-jeebies.

  8. Warning

    Don't make yourself a target. If you feel "observed," stop what you're doing, look around, and say something like, "I can see you, you jerk! I'm calling the cops!" even if you're not sure that they're there. Then close the curtains, call a friend, and don't worry about it. You may feel crazy at first yelling at nothing, but it'll make you feel better and probably scare away the peeping tom if they are nearby.

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