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Donna Andersen to speak about love fraud at 3 events in Maryland

Katherine Morris

Katherine Morris, a victim of love fraud.

UPDATE: DUE TO A TRAGIC DEATH IN THE FAMILY OF REV. MARGUERITE MORRIS, ORGANIZER OF THIS EVENT, IT HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED.

Six months ago, Lovefraud published the tragic story of Katherine Morris, a 22-year-old student from the University of Maryland. Kathy had been conned into a sham marriage by a soldier, SPC Isaac Goodwin. When she realized the truth, Kathy was so distraught that she committed suicide. Read:

Army Specialist Isaac Goodwin allegedly marries for money, and his wife commits suicide

Rev. Marguerite Morris, Kathy’s mother, is still fighting to have Goodwin held accountable. And, she wants save other young people from her daughter’s fate. So she has invited me to speak at three domestic violence events in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, on September 12 – 14, 2013. The events are open to the public, so if you’re in Maryland, please attend!

The following press release has more information.

The Leah’s House Shelter and For Kathy’s Sake, Inc. to Sponsor a Three-day Pre-Domestic Violence Month Awareness Event Featuring Donna Andersen

Abusive relationships never start out that way. For three days in September, students and their families can learn how to spot and escape potentially dangerous dating partners in a series of events organized by the Leah’s House Shelter in St. Mary’s County. “Love Fraud and How to Avoid It,” will be presented by Donna Andersen, author of Lovefraud.com, who was featured in the premiere episode of Investigation Discovery’s “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?”

The schedule is:

Thursday, Sept. 12 at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, in St. Mary’s City, MD. The event will be in St. Mary’s Hall from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., and will feature some of the best in the drum corps, step team performances and refreshments. Donation $5.

Friday, Sept. 13 at the George Forrest Tech Center in Leonardtown, MD. This event is from 6:00p.m. to 8:00 p.m., will include dynamic step team performances and refreshments. Donation $5.

Saturday, Sept. 14 the organizations will host a delicious catered brunch from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Patuxent Presbyterian Church, Rt. 4 in California, MD. This brunch will include not only Donna Andersen’s presentation, but also a panel of experts in domestic violence response. Donation $20.

“Abuse is not just physical,” says Rev. Marguerite Morris, founder of Leah’s House Shelter. “Mental abuse can have equally devastating effects on the victim.”

Morris lost her daughter, Katherine Morris, a graduate of St. Mary’s Ryken High School, who was a victim of love fraud and mental abuse. She died on May 6, 2012, just two weeks before graduating from the University of Maryland, and the circumstances of her death are still being investigated. Rev. Morris founded For Kathy’s Sake, Inc., in her daughter’s memory with a goal to educate, advocate for and better equip young people

Donna Andersen, who is also author of “Red Flags of Love Fraud — 10 signs you’re dating a sociopath,” wrote about the tragedy. She has collected thousands of cases of supposedly storybook romances that turned into disaster.

“Most of us believe everybody just wants to be loved. Unfortunately, this isn’t totally true.” Andersen says. “There are people in the world who pursue romantic relationships not for love, but for exploitation. These people are sociopaths.”

No, Andersen explains, sociopaths are not all deranged serial killers. But they are social predators. Perhaps 12 percent of the population, she says have serious personality disorders that make them unsuitable—even dangerous—as romantic partners. In the beginning of a relationship, however, these people seem to be charismatic, charming, affectionate and sexy—until their targets are hooked. Then everything changes.

Andersen learned about sociopaths the hard way—by marrying one. Her ex-husband defrauded her of $227,000, cheated with six women in two years, fathered a child with one of them, and then committed bigamy. Her story is so outrageous that she was featured in several television shows. In addition to “Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry?” on Investigation Discovery, she appeared on “My Life is a Lifetime Movie” on the Lifetime network and the “Ricki Lake Show.” She is scheduled to appear on ABC’s “20/20.”

Usually sociopaths begin their deception and manipulation during the high school and college years, Andersen says. 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.

The good news is that the dire consequences of love fraud are totally preventable— if students understand the warning signs. Based on her own experience and the thousands of cases she’s collected, Andersen explains how people get hooked into these involvements, and how to get out of them. Dr. Liane Leedom, a psychiatrist who also knows about sociopathic relationships first-hand, 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,” Andersen says, “will enable them to recognize exploiters and avoid interactions that could irrevocably damage their lives.”

Rev. Morris says young and old alike need to know about abusive relationships. Proceeds from the events will benefit the Leah’s House Shelter, which protects women and children in crisis, including human trafficking victims.  For more information call (301) 994-9580 or email leahshousefriend@msn.com For on-line donations visit www.leahshousemd.org or  www.forkathyssake.com. Refreshment sponsors and volunteers are needed.

 



7 Comments on "Donna Andersen to speak about love fraud at 3 events in Maryland"

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  1. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    I read your earlier article about this young woman. I think we forget that this is an all too often outcome of life with a sociopath. I know that I was in that dark mindset, and I’ve read on here that I am not the only one who thought suicide was my only option. I survived only by luck, and the person who found me made me promise to not kill myself. It is ONLY honoring that promise that stopped me when again and again, I faced the certainty that suicide was my destiny. With all I know now, I realize what a travesty my death would have been. But I can easily imagine that young woman’s thought processes.

    I do consider Issac Goodwin a murderer. Legally he gets away with it. But this is who he is and he’s had other victims and will continue to… as have so many other sociopaths who perpetrate this kind of abuse on sensitive, giving, caring people.

    I am so glad to see you speak at these events Donna. It’s a type of success, just getting that message out there, that these predators exist and that they are PREDATORS, absent of human decency. Hopefully sending that mustard seed into people’s thoughts, that if they have such a horrid encounter, there is purpose and recovery to be found, that suicide is never the only option, will save someones dearest loved one. God Bless you as you continue your mission.



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  2. NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

    I can’t find the article you posted about Hannah Anderson, a 16 yr old who was kidnapped, her mother and brother murdered and burned by James Lee Dimaggio.

    But I am very concerned for her. She seems to not be receiving adequate counseling and support. People have access to her, saying terrible things, condemning her. It seemed to me that she was not yet aware of how the events of her kidnapping and murder was to affect her, that she seemed numb to it and making choices to be in the public realm without any protection from the public.

    It’s my opinion that this poor girl is being victimized all over again, and this damage is just as horrific as the original crimes. This damage can drive her to suicide. It’s a train wreck a coming and gosh, is there NOTHING that those of us who KNOW about sociopaths can do to get a messge to her family (FATHER???) to #$@%!!! by GOSH, STEP UP AND PROTECT HER, GET HER SOME PRIVACY, GIVE HER TIME, and a DECENT Counselor? I am so upset that this 16 year old is being judged b/c she is so innocent and naive about what all this means to her. And I am so angry that her father isn’t more protective of her, this girl who was creeped out by her kidnapper and Daddy didn’t listen… (sorry, I just wanna smack her dad.)



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  3. notwhathesaidofme – Thank you for your support. It is so important to get the word out, especially to young people. My research shows that people who get involved with sociopaths at a young age suffer far more than those who meet them later in life, as I did. My goal is to teach the warning signs, so people can escape before they are dragged down.

    Both of these stories – Kathy Morris and Hannah Anderson – are heartbreaking. I haven’t been following the Hannah Anderson story lately – did the perp exhibit more warning signs?



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  4. blossom4th says:

    notwhathesaidofme,
    I’m glad you brought Hannah’s story up;I too worry about her!Her privacy needs to be protected.She has been thrust back out in the public,even appearing at some kind of event.Dimaggio’s family are trying to say that she could be HIS daughter(adding insult to injury!)If she doesn’t get counseling and protection,I’m afraid of what will catch up with her.Daddy,prove yourself a father!

    I remember Kathy’s story.Isaac Goodwin makes me so angry!Sociopaths always go after the good-hearted people;wreaking so much havoc and destruction!I remember my soon to be ex telling me during our courtship that he “wanted affection” HUMBUG!!! He withheld it!



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    • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

      Dear Blossom4th,
      I admit to being surprised to read that Hannah was so open in her social networking messages. There has been such backlash, condemning her for lack of feelings, accusations that she was a participant, etc. When I saw that a 16 yr old girl was feeling forced to PUBLICLY DEFEND HERSELF, I wondered where the hell was her father? It seems to me his best friend was allowed to step up to be a dad to Hannah b/c dad wasn’t being a dad! I listened to that newstory and I heard a girl sound like she was repeating the words of a therapist, they weren’t HER words. Until someone says she is a suspect, what I am thinking is she’s a teenager who is in a type of shock. I question if she even knows what she feels. I make this observation from experience. I was beaten and raped when I was 16. I got up the next day and went to school and tried to pretend it didn’t happen, that it didn’t affect me, was no big deal. That’s what kids do when they feel that they have no support system, their only option is to act as if. Hannah talks about how strong and tough her mom was. I wonder if Hannah was allowed to have feelings. She certainly complained about Dimaggio but was unable to get HEARD. If I was a dad and my daughter said that to me about a man, even a family friend, that “friend” would be sent packing. Hannah’s Dad says he “didn’t SEE any strange behavior”. So it’s only valid if HE SEES IT? Wow. That’s shouts dysfuntional to me. Only problem is… it does bubble out and sometimes it roars out, like when my daughter turned 16 and my nightmares were so bad that I lost hair/suffered insomnia and had to go on anti anxiety medication. (it didn’t bother me when my son turned 16.)

      Sorry, will get off my soapbox now. I’d admit, I am normally very meek and passive but… I am the type of mom, nobody messes with my kid.



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  5. Stargazer says:

    You go, Donna. Great work you are doing.



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  6. UPDATE – due to a tragic death in the family of Rev. Marguerite Morris, these events have been cancelled and will be rescheduled.



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