Stop Sending Child Sexual Abuse, Rape and Wife Battering Survivors to Therapy

Women and men with the worst instances of abuse should not be being sent to therapy. These are often the women and men on the extreme end of the bell curve of violence, these women are outliers with extreme experiences of sexism and misogyny (i.e. oppression of women). These are the women most likely to be struggling with their mental health not because they are in any way crazy but because they were humiliated the worst and also they were humiliated more than most women so it’s not as easy or automatic for them to find a peer group that understands their suffering, feelings and painful reactions to the abuse and the extreme humiliation they were subject to and has taken a stand against it that it is absolutely unacceptable and that they are not the problem. These women have a political problem not a medical one. Men who have experienced child sexual abuse or rape are often in a similar situation, and their problem is also political and a matter of crime rather than a medical ailment.

It’s also wrong for therapists, a group of largely women (and god forbid it’s a man giving therapy to a woman) who do not have experience with that extreme an amount of abuse or humiliation to be having a hierarchy over the worst affected of women and being experts on other women’s abuse. That is wrong. That is almost as bad as a man being an expert on a woman’s experiences with sexism and being there to tell her how to handle being in a sexist society. Having someone come and set themselves up as an expert on your problem and give you advice on how to handle sexism and how to acclimate yourself to it is not a political solution to a political problem, unless you think that the political solution is to accept it.

Furthermore what women who have been through extreme humiliation need is not someone telling them what to do, even someone who has been through the same but rather to do consciousness raising themselves about the political system of sexism that they are in and what it is like being on the extreme end of the bell curve of sexism. The knowledge of their situation and oppression needs to come from them, not someone else. They are the experts and fount of knowledge on sexist oppression of that depth, not someone else. And the world is the thing to be fixed based on their knowledge of sexism, not them.