Does a friend of yours always talk about her older boyfriend, but never introduces you? Does she often meet up with older boys or men? Does she suddenly have no time for you anymore? Is she changing? Is she more withdrawn, more anxious, more aggressive, more tired? Does she dress differently or put on more make-up than before? Do you notice that she has injuries or bruises that she tries to hide? Does she have a lot of expensive new clothes and has she started getting taken to school or picked up by a man in a car?
It could be that her “boyfriend“ is a “Loverboy“. She needs help urgently!
Do you know a “loverboy“ victim or suspect that you know one?
Here are the most important tips for friends of possible “loverboy“ victims.
- Stay calm.
- Offer your help to the victim, no matter when, where or how. She should know that she can always come to you, no matter what is going on.
- Tell the person that it does not matter what she has done. Tell her that you will always love her and that you are not angry, even if you find it hard to understand the relationship or her behavior.
- Be gentle and careful. She needs to feel safe and secure now.
- Always emphasize the freedom you give to the person concerned (this also means the freedom to go back to the "loverboy"). This clearly distinguishes you from the "loverboy". He forces, you give choice.
- Seek help yourself. This is a difficult issue and no one can or should have to deal with it alone. There are counselling centers you can turn to. They can assess the situation.
- Of course, you can always turn to the police. You can find their tips for you here (in German).
- Don't be angry with the person. It's not their fault.
- Don't blame yourself for not reacting sooner. Blaming yourself helps no one. “loverboys" are masters of manipulation. They can deceive everyone: parents, friends, family.
- Don't come between her and the “loverboy”, even if you want to protect her. She is in love with him. Don't try to force her to stay away from him, it will only draw her to him even more.SHE has to make the decision to leave him, otherwise she will keep going back.
- Don't try to intervene alone, but talk to others about your suspicions. Guidance counsellors, parents and counselling centers are good addresses or, in case of an immediate threat, the police.
- If you think something is wrong, don't keep quiet about what is happening. Trust your gut!