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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org For on-line donations visit www.leahshousemd.org or www.forkathyssake.com. Refreshment sponsors and volunteers are needed.