Mental health care treatment focuses on changing the person who is suffering from mental distress. Even if the cause of the distress is abuse or racism or bullying.
On one hand, I understand this. There is no reason for the victim to have to live a miserable life just because his/her (token motion toward gender neutrality, henceforth ignored for the sake of not being awkward) abuser refuses to change. If it improves her life to avoid her abuser, to move away, to ignore what her abuser says, there is no reason for her not to do those things. I want her life to improve in any way possible.
But on the other hand, I can't help getting stuck. Changing the way the victim does things, telling her she is the one who must change, seems to tacitly accept what her abuser did. I know, I know; this is not necessarily the case, this is not always the case, but it sometimes is the case and it is something mental health care has a long history of being guilty for doing. A hundred years ago when men didn't want to deal with their wives, they sent them to the mental institution where the problem became the wife, instead of the husband. Political dissidents in the Soviet Union were locked in mental institutions to discredit their criticism of the government and imply that they, not the government, are the problem. When racism or sexism or homophobia is the problem, the mental health care professionals tell the victims they must change, often ignoring the greater problem. Strictly speaking, these victims are not ill, do not suffer from a mental illness, but are reacting in an entirely reasonable way to oppression or abuse. Putting them in mental health care implies that they are the problem and lets the abusers and oppressors off the hook.
I'm having a hard time with this. I don't want to be made miserable by the mental health care professionals who acted abusively toward me, it would be like letting them continue to abuse me. But I really really don't want to let them off the hook either. They are hurting so many people and it makes me sob when I think about it too much. I feel like I have to stop this oppression before I can do some kind of "change myself" thing to make myself feel better about it. But I'm pretty sure that will never happen. I have no ideas on how to solve this.