To the people who have dedicated hours to their suffering friends,
Everyone talks of how hard it is for abused victims to recover. Don't get me wrong; the victim goes to hell and back while fighting for justice and recovering. However, victims try not to go through it alone. The justice system can only do so much. Victims go to therapy for years. For some reason, it's never enough.
You help your friends survive.
Most victims go to therapy, but you know them better than any therapist could. You are the shoulder they need to cry on or the face they need to scream at. The justice system may not believe the victim, but you know they would never lie about what happened to them. Students or coworkers may think of them as weak because they're tired and sad all the time, but you know that they work hard every day for justice, and they are the bravest person you know. You remind them that they are a survivor, and they are the bravest person you know.
But sometimes, being the support system is tiring. You find yourself always being the "emotionally stable" friend. Everything becomes confidential, so you can't vent about anything to someone else. You take the situation and make it personal. You feel like you are responsible for their current happiness and being there when they need support. It's not that you don't want to do anything for them, it's that you want to do everything for them, but it feels like it's never enough.
You become angry at the person who hurt them. Sometimes, it's someone you know, even a friend. You become angry, and every time you see that person all you can see is an enemy. You do everything to get them as far away from your friend and yourself, but you realize that most people don't win assault cases because there "isn't enough evidence," or "they didn't report it quickly enough." Most justice isn't served.
Your friend may never win that case. Your friend may never receive the justice they deserve. But they will get through it because you're there with them. You're their justice system. You're their therapy.
They will be forever grateful for you, whether you stay together in life or part ways. They will always think of you whenever they share their story with others. They will tell others that you helped them through it. You helped them survive.