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Donna Andersen speaks to college and high school students on ‘Love Fraud and How to Avoid It’

Most of us believed, at one time, that everybody just wanted to be loved. Unfortunately, we learned, this isn’t totally true. There are people in the world who pursue romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation. These people are sociopaths.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to Lovefraud readers and they’ve said to me, “I didn’t know people like this existed,” and, “Why don’t they teach this in high school?”

Usually sociopaths begin their deception and manipulation during the high school and college years. Lovefraud’s research shows that people who become involved with them at a young age suffer more serious harm—including physical abuse, psychological damage and thoughts of suicide—than those who meet the predators later in life. That’s why students need to know that these disordered individuals exist.

Speaking at colleges and high schools

I hope to make young people aware of social predators in dating relationships by bringing my presentation, Love Fraud and How to Avoid It, to college campuses and high schools.

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to students at Cumberland County College in Vineland, New Jersey. That’s when we made the above video. Over the next two weekends, my husband, Terry, and I will be attending Campus Activities Conferences to meet with students who bring speakers and entertainers to their schools. We hope they’ll see how important this information is and invite me to speak on their campuses.

The warning signs

The good news is that the dire consequences of love fraud are totally preventable— if students understand the warning signs. Based on my own experience and the thousands of cases I’ve collected, I explain how people get hooked into these involvements, and how to get out of them. Dr. Liane Leedom consulted on the material.

Love Fraud and How to Avoid It covers:

  • What is a sociopath? How many are there?
  • Male and female sociopaths
  • 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath
  • Dangers of online dating
  • Healthy dating relationships
  • Abusive dating relationships
  • Why these relationships are addictive
  • How to break up with an abuser
  • Protecting yourself from sociopaths

Arming students with this information will enable them to recognize exploiters and avoid interactions that could irrevocably damage their lives.

Love Fraud and How to Avoid It is appropriate for college and high school students. I also offers a professional development program, Sociopathy Awareness for Staff and Counselors.

If you are affiliated with a college or high school and would like me to speak to your students, please contact Terry Kelly, program manager, at terry@lovefraud.com, or 609-945-1384.

For more information, visit Lovefraud’s Education page.



22 Comments on "Donna Andersen speaks to college and high school students on ‘Love Fraud and How to Avoid It’"

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  1. jeannie812 says:

    Fence sitters…

    Oh does that remind me of my neighbor across the street. While Jim was screaming at me or my son. She and boyfriend sat back and watched. And they later pressured me to getting back with Jim.

    It reminds me of the weekly beatings a neighbor woman endured during my childhood. This poor woman was drug out of her house by her drunken husband and he pushed and shoved her in the street. In front of us neighborhood kids.

    Jim would have been shoving me around. He already started the pattern. He would give me a push and he said MOVE!



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  2. Mama_Bear says:

    Yep, get the news out there to the teens. My daughter dated a guy last year that we believe is a sociopath. He was 18, she was 16. What does an 18-year-old sociopath do? He uses social media (esp. FB) to find and hit on his victims. He has a long string of likely victims that extends both directions — into the past, and into the future (you would be surprised how many girls a guy like this can rack up in his short teen life). He moves quickly, and moves on just as quickly. In the 2 months he dated my daughter, he told her he loved her, tried to convince her to go to his college, talked to her about marriage, and even created a secret “wedding ideas” pinterest board with her. He began losing interest the last 2 weeks before he broke up with her, and it was clear afterward that he already had his next victim(s) lined up, as he began posting pictures of himself with other girls on his FB within a week and a half of the break-up. This is after he stood in our driveway crying and telling my daughter about how “God told him” to break up with my daughter because he was supposed to focus on his relationship with God, and not date anyone “for a long time, probably years.” He then blocked my daughter, her friends, her youth pastor, and both her father and I on FB so that we could not see what he was doing. This would have been fine with us but it was not so easy to get away from his douchebaggery as my daughter’s friends and acquaintances went out of their way to tell her everything he was doing around town after they broke up. It would take up too much time and space to tell all the many lies he told, and the stories we have heard of his behavior since he stopped seeing our daughter. However, I would like to mention that he fits the sociopath profile in terms of his history — drug/alcohol abuse as a young teen, admitted porn addiction, brush w/the law in regards to a sexual encounter w/an underage girl, and even claims to have been sexually molested by a neighbor (revealed this in tandem w/the info about the underage girl, in order to paint himself as a victim who couldn’t help himself). The predatory stare (I saw this in person as he would keep saying to her ‘look me in the eyes, why don’t you look at me?’), the hot and cold, and love bombing, the charisma, the extreme sexual attraction — my daughter experienced it all. And if you are asking yourself, “why did you let her date someone like this?” and “why didn’t she see him for what he was?” Well that is the point — you can’t believe someone in high school in a small town, who goes to church and says he wants to be a youth pastor (!!!) could be this evil, so….you DON’T believe it, and you DON’T see it, even though the signs are all there. Also, this guy is GOOD at what he does. He has a network of friends (mostly guys) who support him, most of whom go to his church, which lends him legitimacy, because he’s a good “bro” to his guy friends. It’s the women he victimizes who really suffer. Anyway. Teen sociopaths ARE for real and they ARE out there. I am just glad my daughter had this encounter when she was young and still living at home, and we could support her and walk beside her through it. I shudder to think what pain this guy could inflict in the future. It bothers me so much that there is a part of me that still kind of denies that this guy is a sociopath because I don’t like to think about him marrying and having children and inflicting damage on more lives….



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  3. Mama_Bear – thank you so much for sharing your story. And thank you for standing by your daughter through this dreadful experience.

    As you said, the good news is that now she – and perhaps her friends – knows that someone like this exists. It is knowledge that will protect her well in the future.



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    • Mama_Bear says:

      Thank YOU Donna, your website is a treasure trove of great information. One of the hardest parts about this whole thing is that with very few exceptions, no one believes my daughter, or us, when we say we believe this guy is probably a sociopath. The term is so loaded. I can see his friends joking w/him about it on their FB pages. “Why don’t you write a blog, J—-. You can call it J—- C—–: The Sociopath.” I think it’s in part because he is so young — how many times have I heard, “oh he’s just a typical horny teenage boy.” Uh, NO, he’s not. My daughter is around typical horny teenage boys all day long at her high school. This guy is NOT typical in any way. And he snowed us, he snowed us COMPLETELY. My husband and I are DEEPLY involved in our daughter’s life, she’s had 2 boyfriends total and both spent a lot of time in our home with us as a family, so it’s not like we barely knew him. Get this — I have the password to my daughter’s FB and I read EVERY word of EVERY conversation they had from the time they first met and I COMPLETELY understood why she was so taken with him. He seemed PERFECT for her (of course, because he made sure he WAS perfect). By the way my daughter knew I was reading the conversations, she asked me to because she didn’t know him well at first, and had heard a lot of rumors … Ugh. I could go on and on. I wish I could somehow succinctly share the whole story but when I try I get overwhelmed because it seems so convoluted and fantastic. And don’t even get me started on how it makes me feel to know he’s doing an internship working with middle schoolers at a church in the town where he now goes to college….and is studying to be a pastor …



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