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Are single parents also child abusers?

Monica Beyer is a mom of four and has been writing professionally since 2000, when her first book, Baby Talk, was published. Her main area of interest is attachment parenting and all that goes with it, including breastfeeding, co-sleepin...

Wisconsin senator's bill makes bold assumption

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?

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

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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