A Wisconsin senator has introduced a bill that has sent single parents, particularly moms, into a rampage. Is being a single parent really a risk factor for child abuse, or is this guy blowing hot air?

Wisconsin senator's bill makes bold assumption

In a move guaranteed to outrage single parents across the globe, Wisconsin Senator Glenn Grothman has introduced a bill to amend a current state law to include "nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."

This bill would introduce a public awareness campaign designed to emphasize that single parenthood is both abusive and neglectful -- issues that the senator claims would be alleviated by the presence of a father figure in the home.

Grothman himself is unmarried and childless, and has a track record of questionable political moves, such as sponsoring a Wisconsin state bill that would repeal the Equal Pay Enforcement Act.

Simply shocked

"I bust my a** as a single mom

We polled moms and nearly all expressed shock and concern when told of the senator's proposal. Becky, a single mom of two girls, was particularly incensed. "I bust my a** as a single mom," she told us. "I was married and was lied to, cheated on and verbally and emotionally attacked, and then drug through the mud during my divorce. The last thing I need is for some idiot to tell me I'm abusing my children because their dad left us all..."

Meagan, expecting her first baby, had a similar viewpoint. "I'll be a single mom in the next week or two," she explained. "His dad is an alcoholic with untreated PTSD who has violent rages and is verbally and mentally abusive. How on earth is it better for my son to be exposed to that?! He will have daycare and sitters, sure, but he'll also have some measure of stability, and a lot of love and kindness. Sounds better than being with an abusive dad to me."

Hate and ignorance

Some moms felt that the senator was acting out of bitterness and ignorance. "It's just hate," stated Melissa from Texas. "That's it. It's easy to vilify a group of people you can't relate to and obviously know nothing about."

Claire, mother of one, agreed. "My mother raised the three of us as a single mom for many years," she shared. "She worked her butt off for us, at one point even working two jobs -- one at home, one as a teacher. And this clown is calling that abuse?!"

On the right track -- maybe

A very small minority of parents we asked thought that the senator was going in the right direction.

Sharla from California said, "I hesitate to agree with this senator's viewpoint, but I do believe in my heart that children are better off in a two-parent household. I'm just not sure if this is the best way to go about it."

I'm outta here

Shannon, mother of one, may have summed it up best. "WTF?" she queried. "If this bill goes anywhere, I'm packing up and moving out of the U.S."

Tell Us

Do you think the Wisconsin senator is onto something? Or is he way off base?

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Comments on "Are single parents also child abusers?"

Julia March 14, 2012 | 10:52 AM

I am a single mom! How dare this man with no children thinks he knows the answers. He does know anything! I was abandon when I was three months pregnant I would not call this man father material. I work hard to support my child, Mychild is an AB student. My child is not abused my child is growing up with good work ethics and is learning money does not grow on trees.

Lindy March 13, 2012 | 5:06 PM

The man is evidently off his rocker and lacks common sense. You cannot lump everyone into one category. By his logic, only families with a Mom and Dad guarantees a life without abuse and neglect. If you watch the news, you surely know that is not true. There are many single Mom's out there who work hard, provide a good and loving home for their children and this man should be ashamed of himself and if the people of Wisconsin are smart, make sure they do not put this man back in office.

caleb March 10, 2012 | 8:47 PM

Wow, I'm a *extremely* conservative married, white, Republican male and *I* think this guy's a right wing nut-job.

Kari March 08, 2012 | 9:43 PM

Every situation just like every person is unique simply stating that single parents are abusive to their children is immature, unintelligent and naive on the senators part. Obviously we all opt for a stable 2 parent healthy environment but that isn't always the case. Some children are better in a household with one parent others better off in a household with two. Obviously women who leave abusive men are doing so for their children so they are able to have a healthy stable environment not to turn around and abusive their children. There has been numerous accounts of 2 parents households who abused and neglected their children. Society paints a picture of the perfect American family which people strive for but end up failing in the end because no person nor family is perfect. Adults need to stop and think put their wants and needs aside and start thinking about whats best for the child. I have met wonderful single parents and wonderful married parents on the flip side I have met horrible single and married parents. Single parents are no more likely to abuse and neglect their children than married ones and stating so is to vague in an ever changing world. We don't live in the 40's anymore people! As adults we are suppose to be over classifying and categorizing people when we graduated high school. Apparently some people still need to grow up which is sad because this is the person we have elected into our government. Bullying has become such a problem in our school districts and society. After reading this is it really that big of a surprise. How can adults teach their children about sharing, caring, working together and uniqueness when they are acting more childish than our children and being hypocritical every step of the way. Source: Single working mom of a wonderful baby boy (who is now going on 4, sniff)for the first 14 months and now a homeschooling stay-at-home mom married to a wonderful man who blessed me with another little boy who is turning a year in 3 days! Wow time fly's...

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