Definition Graphic Mary Ellen's Testimony

“My father and mother are both dead.  I don’t know how old I am.  I have no recollection of a time when I did not live with the Connollys … Mamma has been in the habit of whipping and beating me almost every day.  She used to whip me with a twisted whip – a rawhide.  The whip always left a black and blue mark on my body. 

I have now the black and blue marks on my head which were made by Mamma, and also a cut on the left side of my forehead which was made by a pair of scissors.  She struck me with the scissors and hit me; I have no recollection of ever having been kissed by any one – have never been kissed by Mamma. 

I have never been taken on my mamma’s lap and caressed or petted.  I never dared to speak to anybody, because if I did I would get whipped … I do not know for what I was whipped – Mamma never said anything to me when she whipped me.  I do not want to go back to live with Mamma, because she beats me so.  I have no recollection of ever being on the street in my life, ”


(Watkins, 1990, p. 502 as cited in McDaniel & Lescher, 2004, p. 34-35).

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