Teen dating abuse education for Bayonne High School

The best way to deal with sociopaths is to know what they are and stay away from them. That just got much easier for 500 students of Bayonne High School in Bayonne, New Jersey. Yesterday I presented Lovefraud’s teen dating abuse program, called Sociopaths and Abusive Dating Relationships, to the senior class.

I explained:

  • My own experience of marrying a sociopath
  • Traits of a sociopath
  • Difference between real love and empty love
  • The Red Flags of Love Fraud—10 signs you’re dating a sociopath
  • Dangers of Internet dating
  • How sex restructures the brain
  • How abusive relationships form
  • How to break up with an abuser

I had the kids’ undivided attention—which is pretty amazing for an auditorium full of teenagers. I could see shock and horror on their faces as I described typical sociopathic ploys. They asked many, many questions. In fact, I had to stop taking questions so I could finish the program.

I am very grateful to Bayonne High School for inviting me to speak to the students. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the kids got the message. Now, 500 kids from Bayonne are equipped to stay out of relationships with sociopaths. And I’ll be speaking to students at two more New Jersey high schools in a couple of weeks.

A little over a year ago, a group of Lovefraud readers donated towards getting Lovefraud’s education program started. This is the result—kids are learning that sociopaths exist, and how to avoid them.

For information on the program, visit the Lovefraud Education page.

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29 Comments on "Teen dating abuse education for Bayonne High School"

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Heartening to think young people are finally getting a chance to protect themselves via having the correct information….great

Hi Donna,

I just saw this today. Great to hear that you are getting the word out there. I am going to be making a presentation in about an hour on Dating Abuse to college students at a Community College. I am only presenting to 20 or so. Whew… first time… shakey legs.

Actually, I am not that afraid. I want to send you what I created. I might do that when I am done with school in May.

Also, I attended an awesome training on 10 Types of Emotional Manipulators. I told the presentor about LF and he was intrigued. I think he would be an awesome resource for future LF conference that I hope will happen one day.

I better get back to preparing. What am I doing???

I will send you an email soon.


One more thing… I opted not to include anything from my personal story in my presentation after discussing the pros and cons with my clinical team. I noticed my throat get tight when I presented that part in the practice run to the team. And they noticed notes of cynicism that I need to work out.

So for now, the Bad Man is not part of it.

Perhaps more healing to do. :O)



So good for you…presenting to college students!!! That is so awesome. I hope I am able to do the same someday. I want ONE positive thing to come from this mess I have gone through.

Donna, Thank you so much for everything you do for us and the general public. I wish these programs could be taught on a national level.
Like I have said before this should be required along with sex education for the kids.
Once again thank you and keep up the good work.

“Do you think you’ll ever be able to trust a man again?”
This is awesome. To start educating high school and college kids about HEALTHY relationships is so admirable. I worry too that if I tell a guy TOO much about what happened to me, he’ll think less of me, think I’m crazy or retarded for putting up with it, so when you said “I told him my story on the first date. I didn’t know if I would get a second date.” I can totally relate. I don’t think I can do that because I also think well, maybe that person would think they could try and do the same to me too – as certainly I must be a pushover.

When you said my husband is here helping me.” The kids broke out in applause. How heart warming is that? Wow, what a guy. now that is a step forward for humanity. He is supportive and encouraging (healing too – all at the same time )you to get your story out.

I too would be an advocate. I ask myself too much, why, WHY did I put up with what I put up with? I have a variety of reasons, but now I do know that my job is to go and keep working at having the ultimate life.

I’ll find someone/ they”’ll find me. Until then I will be alone. I think one of the most important things to teach teens and early 20’s kids is to learn to be alone.

Oh, yes I want to mention that when I was touring college campuses 3 years ago I was so thrilled to see a table set up in the campus quad area. Some volunteer students were handing out pamphlets and the title was

Intimate Abuse.

It about made me cry. Happy that education was taking place already and raising awareness, as I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through, and sad because I was in the midst of serious abuse that I didn’t know how to get out of. I kept thinking I could make it better. I thought I had some responsibility in this too. I had no idea that really my only choice as I see it now was divorce and no contact. Had I been in high school or college the decision would’ve been VERY easy for me. What threw me off was that I had 3 kids and I had made a committment that I wasn’t going to walk away from. But I finally realized that is what had to happen. I wanted my intact family to an extent that I allowed emotional abuse beyond belief.

Just hope it doesn’t damage and affect my kids.

Intimate Abuse/Sociopath/Narcissist/A**hole, Poser, faker, liar, jerk, yep it happened.

Donna Andersen, I’m so happy that you had an opportunity to reach out to young adults. If just one of those young people heard and identified with the words, then there may be just one less victim out there.

Donna Dixon, I’ve posted this, before, and it echo’s your own reaction to your sister’s assessment of the exspath – if anyone had told me a year ago that I would be where I am, today, I would have never believed them.

With the first exspath, it was just a passing comment that someone made with regard to something the exspath had said or done that made me sit up, take notice, and see the dynamics for what they were. I cannot even recall what the comment was in reference to, but I had mentioned how the exspath would tell me one thing and then do another (classic crazymaking), and this person simply said, “That’s just abusive as hell,” and went on without missing a single beat. No remonstrations, no chastising, no shrieks of alarm, no condescending observations – one simple objective comment, and that’s when I began to begin recognizing the truth.

Education, succinct and truthful definition, MORE education, and consequences are all moral imperatives to “out” sociopathy. When I was a child, adolescent, teenager, and young adult, there was NO discussion of abuse, intimate abuse, domestic violence, or sociopathy. There just wasn’t. And, the only thing that we DO hear about is domestic violence, and that subject is rarely discussed with frank, truthful, and statistical fact. Domestic violence is STILL stigmatized and dramatized (“Sleeping With The Enemy”) as some sort of event that happens to “other people.”

Thanks so much, Donna A. for your courage and drive! Education is knowledge, and knowledge is power.

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