Thursday, June 14, 2007


The last few days, Jenny and I have been making fun of our friend Aes as my stalker in a virtual game we joined called Second Life. Though he probably hasn't read the funny exchanges in our blogs on this, we made sure of course that he's well aware of it and that it's all for fun.

The thought though of a real stalker, online or offline has always made me feel uneasy. I once found myself stalked online for a few weeks because of a mistaken identity. And because it was online, I was braver and less afraid to confront the person. It of course would have been an entirely different matter if the guy knew who I was and where I lived as in the case of a friend whose stalker was someone he once got involved with. She knew where he lived, worked, his family...even followed him everywhere and took stolen shots of him. She really believed my friend loved her, couldn't keep away from her and would leave his wife for her. She said they would be together forever, one way or another.

After talking with a friend recently on a hopefully not similar situation, I decided to do some reading on a stalker's profile....

How do you know if you are being stalked? You are being stalked if someone is:

Repeatedly following or spying on you Repeatedly calling your home and/or work Repeatedly sending you unwanted e-mails, letters, faxes Leaving unwanted gifts or items for you to find Vandalizing or damaging your property Threatening you or someone close to you Repeatedly showing up for no legitimate purpose at places where you are
Here are a few interesting excerpts I found on stalking (source: Stalking Resource Center):

Who Are Stalkers?

Love Obsession Stalkers

This category is characterized by stalkers who develop a love obsession or fixation on another person with whom they have no personal relationship. The target may be only a casual acquaintance or even a complete stranger.

The vast majority of love obsessional stalkers suffer from a mental disorder -- often schizophrenia or paranoia. Regardless of the specific disorder, nearly all display some delusional thought patterns and behaviors. Since most are unable to develop normal personal relationships through more conventional and socially acceptable means, they retreat to a life of fantasy relationships with persons they hardly know, if at all. They invent fictional stories -- complete with what is to them real-life scripts -- which cast their unwilling victims in the lead role as their own love interest. They then attempt to act out their fictional plots in the real world.

Love obsessional stalkers not only attempt to live out their fantasies, but expect their victims to play their assigned roles as well. They believe they can make the object of their affection love them. They desperately want to establish a positive personal relationship with their victim. When the victim refuses to follow the script or doesn't respond as the stalker hopes, they may attempt to force the victim to comply by use of threats and intimidation.

When threats and intimidation fail, some stalkers turn to violence. Some decide that if they cannot be a positive part of their victim's life, they will be part of their life in a negative way. Some even go so far as to murder their victims in a twisted attempt to romantically link themselves to their victim forever. This was the case with the man who shot and killed Rebecca Schaffer, the young actress and star of the television show My Sister Sam.

Simple Obsession Stalkers

This second category represents 70-80 percent (70-80%) of all stalking cases and is distinguished by the fact that some previous personal or romantic relationship existed between the stalker and the victim before the stalking behavior began.

Virtually all domestic violence cases involving stalking fall under this rubric, as do casual dating relationships (commonly referred to as Fatal Attraction cases, named after the popular movie by the same title).

While this kind of stalker may or may not have psychological disorders, all clearly have personality disorders. One forensic psychologist has attempted to identify some of the common personality traits and behavioral characteristics among this category of stalkers. Stalkers in this class are characterized as individuals who are:

Socially maladjusted and inept; Emotionally immature; Often subject to feelings of powerlessness; Unable to succeed in relationships by socially-acceptable means; Jealous, bordering on paranoid; and Extremely insecure about themselves and suffering from low self-esteem. The self-esteem of simple obsession stalkers is often closely tied to their relationship with their partner. In many cases, such stalkers bolster their own self-esteem by dominating and intimidating their mates. Exercising power over another gives them some sense of power in a world where they otherwise feel powerless. In extreme cases, such personalities attempt to control every aspect of their partner's life. This behavior pattern was vividly depicted in the major motion picture entitled Sleeping with the Enemy, where the antagonist turns to intimidation and violence as the means to control every aspect of his victim/wife's life.

Since the victim literally becomes the stalker's primary source of self-esteem, their greatest fear becomes the loss of this person. Their own self-worth is so closely tied to the victim that when they are deprived of that person, they may feel that their own life is without worth.

Just as with most domestic violence cases, stalkers are the most dangerous when they are first deprived of their source of power and self-esteem; in other words, the time when their victims determine to physically remove themselves from the offender's presence on a permanent basis by leaving the relationship.

Stalking Behavior Patterns and Cycles:

Stalking behavior patterns closely mirror those common in many domestic violence cases. The pattern is usually triggered when the stalker's advances toward their victim is frustrated -- regardless of whether the stalker is seeking to establish a personal relationship or continue a previously established relationship contrary to the wishes of the victim.

The stalker may attempt to woo their victim into a relationship by sending flowers, candy and love letters, in an attempt to "prove their love." However, when the victim spurns their unwelcome advances, the stalker often turns to intimidation. Such attempts at intimidation often begin in the form of an unjustified, jealous and inappropriate intrusion into the victim's life. Often these contacts become more numerous and intrusive over time, until such collective conduct becomes a persistent pattern of harassment. Many times, harassing behavior escalates to threatening behavior. Such threats may be direct or indirect and communicated explicitly or implicitly by the stalker's conduct. Unfortunately, cases that reach this level of seriousness too often end in violence and/or murder.

The evolution of the stalker's thought pattern progresses from, "If I can just prove to you how much I love you," to "I can make you love me," to "If I can't have you, nobody else will."

While this progression in behavior is common, no stalking case is completely predictable. Some stalkers may never escalate past the first stage. Others jump from the first stage to the last stage with little warning. Still others regress to previous stages before advancing to the next. It is not uncommon to see stalkers intersperse episodes of threats and violence with flowers and love letters.

As difficult as it is to predict what a stalker might do, it is at least as difficult to predict when he might do it. A few stalkers will progress to later stages in only a few weeks or even days. In other cases, stalkers who have engaged in some of the most serious stalking behaviors may go months or even years without attempting a subsequent contact.

Stalking- Related Resources

Violence Against Women Act
Domestic Violence Prevention
Domestic Violence
Anti-Stalking website
Stalking Resource Center

Saturday, June 09, 2007

ONE is launching ONE Vote '08

It was nice to get an e-mail from Aaron Banks the other day and to be asked to join the launching of ONE Vote '08 in Washington. I am unfortunately, over 8,000 miles away. I am also not an American. But as I mentioned in my reply to his e-mail, I have always supported ONE's cause and will continue to do so.

Aaron included more information about the June 11 event. I'm sharing his e-mail with you. I hope others who do have the opportunity to be in Washington on June 11 for the launching of ONE Vote '08 can join this event.


On 6/7/07, Aaron Banks <> wrote:

Dear Lylin,

On June 11th, the ONE Campaign is launching ONE Vote '08, an unprecedented high-energy, high tech campaign to mobilize ONE's more than 2 million members from all 50 states to engage Presidential candidates and voters and put global health and extreme poverty at the forefront of the 2008 Campaign. The launch event will include a press conference with our ONE Vote '08 co-chairs, Senators Frist and Daschle, national faith leaders, African aid workers, our early primary state co-chairs and campaign managers, and some very special surprise guests. The event is at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 3rd and A Street SE in Washington, DC on Monday, June 11th at 11:15 AM, doors open at 10:45 AM.

We really appreciate all the work you've done with the ONE Campaign, including your recent promotion of American Idol Gives Back, and if you're in Washington, DC, we hope you'll be able to join us for this event, the kick-off to our most ambitious initiative to date. I've included more in-depth background material below that you should feel free to use in your writing. And please pass this invitation along to anyone who shares our concern for saving lives by ending global disease and poverty.


Aaron Banks

Online Campaign Coordinator The One Campaign
1400 Eye Street NW Suite 601 Washington, DC 20005
Direct 202-552-8039 Cell 202-615-8577

ABOUT ONE Vote '08
Mobilizing Voters to Save Lives and Secure our Future

ONE Vote '08 is an unprecedented, non-partisan campaign to make global health and extreme poverty foreign policy priorities in the 2008 presidential election.

The next president will take office in a time of great hope: there are effective and affordable solutions that save lives. AIDS drugs can now cost as little as $1 a day. A $5 bed net can keep a child from dying from a mosquito bite. With the force of more than 2 million members from all 50 states and a coalition of more than 100 non-profit, religious and charitable groups, ONE Vote '08 will educate and mobilize voters to ensure that the next American president is committed to using "smart" power to end global poverty and keep America strong.

ONE Vote '08 is part of ONE, a broad and growing movement of Americans from every state and walk of life. More than 2 million people have added their voices to ONE by visiting

Learn more about effective, affordable solutions that save lives and how you can help.


ONE Vote '08: Mobilizing Voters to Save Lives and Secure our Future

Five Achievable Goals in the Fight Against Extreme Poverty

Unlike many issues in the 2008 presidential campaign, there aren't two sides to these issues only ONE. The 2008 presidential election provides a not-to-be missed opportunity to raise awareness about global poverty and its impact on America's global reputation and future security. Through the 2008 campaign, we have a chance to shape our foreign policy for years to come.

ONE Vote '08 has developed a presidential platform of achievable solutions that " if championed by the next U.S. president " could have a profound impact on the poorest people in the world. The platform is built on the foundation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed to in 2000 by the United States and 188 other nations to achieve poverty reduction and sustainable development by 2015.

ONE Vote 08 focuses on five achievable goals that are fully costed and proven and can have a rapid impact on the ground. If the U.S. takes a leading role, in an effective partnership with other donors and poor countries, these cost effective solutions could achieve the following:

1. Save 16,000 lives a day by fighting HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, three of the world's most devastating diseases.

2. Prevent 5.4 million young children from dying each year from poverty-related illnesses and 400,000 women from dying in childbirth each year.

3. Provide free access to primary education for 77 million out-of-school children with a special emphasis on girls.

4. Improve the living conditions of vulnerable populations by, for example, providing access to clean water for 450 million people and basic sanitation to more than 700 million people.

5. Reduce by half the number of people in the world who suffer from hunger, resulting in 300 million less hungry people each year.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Junior G8....

It still amazes me how children as young as 13 can be so active in world issues and even travel halfway around the world to discuss major global concerns with world leaders.

The UNICEF has been a strong advocate for promoting many youth-oriented projects and the Voices of Youth was organized especially for the youth to be able to interact among themselves and discuss issues that concern them.

In the Junior (J8) Summit 2007 in Germany, the J8 representatives will be discussing and debating among themselves major issues like HIV/AIDS and economic development before they meet the G8 leaders.

On 5 June, 64 youths from G8 countries and 10 from developing nations will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin. On 7 June, eight of them will have the chance to voice their concerns directly to G8 leaders when they meet them face-to-face in a live televised conference. They will also hold a press conference together with Ambassador of Goodwill Sir Roger Moore.

Hats off to UNICEF and J8 co-sponsor Morgan Stanley International Foundation for promoting youth involvement in global concerns.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

G8....Keeping the Promise

The G8 will be meeting in Germany this less than one week. The G8 is composed of eight of the most powerful countries in the world...France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, and the United States. They each made a promise to help eliminate world poverty. It's our turn to do something and remind them to keep that promise.

Please sign the petition calling on the G8 to keep their promises to help eliminate world poverty. The ONE Campaign aims to meet one million signatures from around the world for this petition. World Vision also sent a similar petition some weeks back reminding G8 members to keep their promise.



DATA (debt, AIDS, trade, Africa)
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
Mercy Corp
Oxfam USA
Plan USA
Save the Children World Concern
World Vision
A Glimmer of Hope
Action Against Hunger
The Child Health Site
The Hunger Site
Keep a Child Alive
UN Foundation
World Hope International

To check out charitable institutions, tips on how to protect your donations, and to help you decide which institutions to best get involved in, please visit the Charity Navigator.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blog Safely...

Today I received an e-mail from a moderator of a group I am a member of. She gave a reminder to bloggers to blog safely. If you don't want strangers suddenly contacting you at home or at work, limit the personal information you post in your blog. I know I should remind myself of this often, too.

I would have wanted to post Trish's e-mail but I also realized it may give others ideas. Trish and a friend played a "game" with 5 willing participants if they can trace their whereabouts just by reading the information on their blog. In less than 24 hours, they were able to contact all 5 just by reading their blog information.

I'm sure those who have been online a long time know only too well that there are many who can't just be trusted on the net. But we'd also all agree that there a lot of them too who are "more real" than those we personally know.

Good or bad experience for me, I don't regret having met people on the net that I became close to. But we do have to choose really well who we think and feel we can trust enough to be close and give personal information to.