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since June 19, 2001


Letter by an abused woman

Date: Wed, 01 Mar 2000 18:59:02 +0000
From: Dave Ellison <ellis@elim.u-net.com>
Organization: Dave Ellison Photodesign

The following message is from a handicapped woman who was abused by her mother. By reading what she has written, you will see that as a grown-up, she is still s**t scared of her abuser ( [her] mother ).

Unlike a lot of letters and articles found on the Internet this one is factual and can be verified by the author. She lives near her mother and although she has tried to make it anonymous, she feels that if her mother sees the letter and realises who wrote it, she will be in danger.

If anyone wishes to use this lady's letter to campaign with, could you please contact me first and I will forward your request on to the lady in question, who will in turn contact you and verify that it is true and give permission to use it.

Please respect this lady's wish.



The letter from the abused lady follows:-

[Posted with permission by the originator. —WHS]

"I guess my area of expertise is that I am a Transcender (I dislike the term survivor) of the injustices you are fighting.

I know first hand how PAS [Parental Alienation Syndrome] and (my favourite) 'Malicious Mother Syndrome' felt. I saw the way it affected my sisters, and consequently how their abuses had repercussions for the next generation in my nieces and nephews.

My concern now is for other children

I know how it felt not to be able to have contact with my Dad - I remember how it felt when Birthday and Christmas cards and gifts had arrived and we were made to 'take the f**king things back and don't come home until you have' - I know how it felt to see our mother's smug expression when we received neither a card nor a gift from our Dad - But had to listen to her hate-filled comments that it proved our (always called 'f**king ba*tard..) father didn't care about us,

But I also remember when we were older, sneaking to meet him and he signing our birthday cards 'from your special friend!'

I remember having to pretend we'd not heard our Dad, or Gran and Granddad, call us if they saw us on the street, because we'd had it screamed and hit into us that if she found out we'd spoken to or had contact with the 'f**king bas*ards' she'd kill us.

I remember how loving, the only love we ever knew, our Dad was.

I remember how he always remembered my favourite pop singer.

I remember he always made our favourite breakfast.

I remember one day, when we were young him coming into the kitchen after she'd taken their meal into the living room (meat, potatoes, veg), he'd cried and thrown his dinner on the floor, told her to get to the shops and buy us some food — I can only imagine how it must have felt for him to see his four little girls eating bread with sugar on.

I remember how when she left us we were so happy, though we didn't understand why our Dad always cried - she'd taken nearly everything even the light bulbs out of their sockets.

I remember our Dad used to shout "Quick kids, it's cartoon time!" and he'd laugh even more than we did - I remember how he made everything feel exciting.— but it didn't last — she wanted 'HER HOUSE' Mothers always get the kids — he had to go — it was like a death sentence.

I remember praying she would die. 

I remember asking God 'Please, let me walk for just a few minutes so I can get upstairs and kill her.' 

I remember always thanking Him that I was disabled - I had thought it was His way of trying to help me escape her violence and hate.

I remember my sisters were jealous of me - why couldn't they have been disabled so they could go to hospital and 'special school' too.

I remember stealing a loaf of bread with my youngest sister - we were so hungry.

I remember how 'she'd' tell us 'Here's ten shillings — don't come back 'til 10pm' because our family were coming to visit and it didn't matter what the weather was like.

I remember my sisters running away time and again, but always being brought back then getting a beating after the policeman left.

I remember having to watch my sisters getting beaten and kicked and told if I didn't stop sniveling I'd get the same. 

I remember getting hit because a friend phoned to see how I was. I remember praying the ringing phone would never be for me.

But worse than all that, I remember my niece coming to me a couple of years ago and saying 'If you don't help me 'run away' I'll have to kill myself' The very words I'd used years before. I remember my niece asking me 'Did my daddy love me' It broke my heart — I was able to tell her I KNEW he had loved her. I knew he had tried to see her — I told her that sometimes a parent realises that to keep trying to see the children they love only makes it harder for the child — I told her her Dad was trying to protect her by not making her 'mother' angry — I could think of no words when she said 'If it was my Daddy hurting me someone would have saved me wouldn't they'

It HAS to stop!

Child abuse, and parental abuse are not 'in the best interest of the child' - When mothers abuse, children have nowhere to go — because no one believes them.

I don't ever want to see another child suffer as we did. I don't ever want to see a man (or woman) broken, crying, hurt, when his children are so scared they pretend they didn't hear him call their name. I don't ever again want another child to be so happy they are disabled — feel lucky - even though they never walked — because it got them away from home.

We were lucky in that we knew our Dad loved us — we were older when she got rid of him. No matter what evil lies she told we knew it was lies. I never want to hear of any child having to ask the question my niece asked me 'Did my Daddy love me?'

No matter how 'good' or 'kind' a custodial parent is — if she or he makes a child feel their other parent does not love them — That is a most horrific form of child abuse. No matter how many kicks or thumps, black eyes or broken bones one suffered, no matter how scared you were at the time, nor how much they hurt — those pains will one day heal — what does not heal, what scars your soul and stays in your heart forever is thinking you are unloved - that is one of the scars that lives with you the rest of your life.

I will work with anyone who is genuinely seeking to end such atrocities.

I will work with anyone who wants all children to have the knowledge that no matter if their mum and dad can't live together any more, they both still love the child and will never ever stop loving them nor stop having them involved in their new lives.

I will work with anyone who wants to ensure no child will ever again wish their abuser was male so they could have been helped.

I will work with anyone who wants to ensure that in the future no one else has to write the message I've just had to write."


I'm happy for you to use it in whatever way might help, Dave. I trust your judgment, and, as you say, you can always have it where folk need to go through you to contact me. I feel quite safe about that.



Note:  I have been in touch with the lady who wrote the letter.  The letter is authentic.  If you wish to get in touch with the lady, please do that by going through Dave Ellison. —WHS
Write to Dave Ellison ABIPP
[U.K.] Equal Parenting Party ( North-West Representative )
Fighting for Children's Right to keep BOTH Parents
Tel: 01925 727366...............Mobile: 07957 988015
Party Headquarters: 38-40 Gloucester Road, Kensington, London, England,
http://www.EqualParenting.org ; CHILDREN NEED BOTH PARENTS!
Malicious Mother Syndrome is a term coined by Ira Daniel Turkat, Ph.D.
It was mentioned by him in an article published by the

However, a follow-up article, more politically-correct called Divorce-Related Malicious Parent Syndrome, (Journal of Family Violence, Vol. 14, No. 1, 1999, p.95-97) must be read with some caution. It contains misleading information about "deadbeat" dads and about "deadbeat" moms.  Overall, it seems that the article provides good information about PAS, but it clearly perpetuates worn-out myths, either deliberately or out of ignorance.

Two excerpts from the article are of concern in that respect (comments and corrections are shown after each excerpt).

1) With respect to "deadbeat" dads:

...Hodges (1991) has noted that less than 20 percent of divorced fathers provide child support payments three years after their divorce. Research on the decline of women's economic status following (eg., Hernandez, 1988; Laosa, 1988) has contributed to recent legislation to address the "Deadbeat Dad" problem.


It's necessary to look at other sources, most importantly at Sanford Braver's "Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths."

[After three years] "When mothers receive sole custody of the children despite the fathers' wishes, fathers reported paying 80 percent of the child support they owed; according to mothers, fathers paid 62 percent.  When joint legal custody was awarded over the mothers' initial objections, child support zoomed to a very high compliance: 93 percent by fathers' reports; 89 percent by mothers' reports." [pp. 1993, 194]

"Contrary to some critic's claims, joint legal custody did not lead to correspondingly greater conflict between the parents, psychological distress in the mothers or mothers' diminished capacity to parent." [p. 195]

The average compliance ratio is 68 percent according to mothers, and 84 percent according to fathers. [p. 32]

Why are fathers not paying? "While the father-reported compliance rate at Wave 1 was 92 percent, this figure rises to 100 percent when fathers who experienced a period of unemployment are excluded from consideration....(According to mothers' reports, the figure rises from 69 percent to 80 percent when including only those fathers who held their job for the entire year."[p. 34]

Sanford Braver reports about an incident "at a 1988 conference at Arizona State University, at which a  well-known demographer--one of the most respected in the country--moderated the panel."  The poor  record in child support collections in Arizona was discussed and Sanford Brave had a chance to bring up his findings. "...the moderator stood up and said, 'You know, I've heard about your findings.  Our panel was discussing this very issue, of differences between mothers' and fathers' answers, over lunch.  And what we concluded was that if the mother tells one thing and the father tells you something else, then the father is a God damned liar.'" [p. 35]

It seems to me that elsewhere in the book Sanford Braver pointed out that two thirds of cases of non-compliance are due to inability to pay (unemployment, underemployment, illness, incarceration, and death), but I can't lay my hand on the exact spot where that was stated.  Nevertheless, there is some information in the comments after the second item of concern below that illuminates that issue.

At any rate, it's too bad that Ira Daniel Turkat didn't bring up Sanford Braver's findings in his article.  He couldn't have done that in the original article published in 1995,  as Sanford Braver's findings were published in 1999.  However, as shown in the comments following the second excerpt of concern, other sources of information were available in 1995 and in 1999 that could have been used to provided better and more objective information about the CS payment record of non custodial fathers in the article by Ira Daniel Turkat.

I wonder, could it be that Ira Daniel Turkat thinks that fathers, including Sanford Braver, are God-damned liars, does he plainly not know any better, or doesn't he care enough to include more relevant information than that which he provided?

2) With respect to "deadbeat" moms:

...This does not mean that it is not possible for there to be a "Malicious Father" Syndrome. In fact, Shephard (1992) reports that there is significant abuse of some custodial mothers by non-residential fathers. On the other hand, it should be noted that there are females who are required to pay child support, but we have yet to hear about "Deadbeat Moms."


The last sentence in the preceding excerpt is very much open to interpretation.  It could mean one of two things:

1) There are no deadbeat moms.

2) There are deadbeat moms, but we don't hear about them.

It so happens that not only are there deadbeat moms, but that we know a fair bit about the extent of the problem of deadbeat moms, that is, mothers who were ordered to pay child support but don't.  Although Sanford Braver provides no information about them (It's too bad), there are other sources who do, and, seeing that Ira Ira Daniel Turkat repeated the hoax that 80 percent of non-custodial dads are deadbeat dads, we should know about the truth with respect to deadbeat moms.  

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award

  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award.

  • 46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support.

  • 26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.

  • 20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level

  • 61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level

  • 66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full time.

  • 10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full time.

  •   7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly.

  • 24.5% of single custodial fathers work more that 44 hours weekly.

  • 46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance.

  • 20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance.

          Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 - U.S. dept. of Health and Human Services - Office of Income SecurityPolicy

  • 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the fathers visitation to punish their ex-spouse.

"Frequency of Visitation" by Sanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry

  • 50% of mothers see no value in the fathers continued contact with his children.

          "Surviving the Breakup" by Joan Berlin Kelly

  • 90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due.

  • 79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due.

  • 44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due.

  • 37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation.

  • 66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to the inability to pay.

1988 Census "Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series"
P-60, No. 173 p.6-7, and
"U.S. General Accounting Office Report"
GAO/HRD-92-39FS January 1992

These and other related stats can be accessed at <nl980130.htm>.

A few more statistics that are shown in another source, in Glenn Cheriton's book on Canadian family-issues-related statistics:

    In 1991:

  • The average child support award in Canada was $4,411

  • The average CS paid  by fathers was $4,883

  • The few women who paid in 1991 paid an average of $2,758

  • The proportion of women who default on child support and don't pay anything at all is 93%

    In 1991 there were 136,825 fathers eligible for CS and 127,602 women who didn't pay any of what they were supposed to pay.

    Total CS paid by women to single fathers in 1992: $18,314,000, or about 1 percent of all support paid. (Revenue Canada, Statistics Division).  There are 170,000 lone parent families headed by men.  The average single father receives about $109 per year or about $6 - $7 per month per child.

To me it seems that there is a problem with the credibility of Ira Daniel Turkat.  If he's so seriously wrong about the statistics he quoted about "deadbeat" dads and moms, even though a wealth of information regarding accurate numbers from reliable and reputable sources is available, is it possible that the rest of his message is based on non-truths as well?  Even though the rest of what he reports has appeal to people who would like to see a balanced view with respect to reporting about PAS or Malicious Mother Syndrome, can it be trusted?  Is it biased too, or isn't it?

I would appreciate it if someone could fax Ira Daniel Turkat the information shown after the excerpts shown above.  My fax manger is on the blink, and as there is absolutely no funding for addressing Fathers Rights issues, I can't afford to buy a real fax machine..

Ira Daniel Turkat's fax number is (941) 488-9407

See also:

  • DVStats.org — a search engine, aggregating research that examines the impact and extent of domestic violence upon male victims. (Off-site)

    This search facility equates domestic violence to intimate partner violence between men and women in relationships.  It does not provide information on violence between homosexuals, siblings or violence against family members other than heterosexual partners and spouses, such as infanticide, child abuse or violence against elderly in families.

    The primary purpose of the site is to shift public perceptions of such violence away from political ideology, and instead toward objectively verifiable scientific research.
  • Video on violent women

Posted 2000 03 03
2001 02 05 (format changes)