Wisconsin Bill Alleges Single Moms Contribute to Child Abuse

A bill under consideration by the Wisconsin legislature would penalize single mothers on the grounds that their unmarried status contributes to social ills including child abuse and neglect.

The state’s Republican Senator Glenn Grothman introduced Senate Bill 507, Yahoo! Shine reports, which contains language requiring the state to amend existing state law “requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”

More from Yahoo:

The bill would require educational and public awareness campaigns held by the board to emphasize that not being married is abusive and neglectful of children, and to underscore “the role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.”

Saying that people “make fun of old-fashioned families,” Grothman — who has never been married and has no children — criticized social workers for not agreeing that children should only be raised by two married biological parents, and told a state Senate committee that he hopes the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention board, of which he’s a member, could “publicize something that’s politically incorrect but has to be said in our society.”

For more analysis of this issue from Parents.com, read Julia Landry’s post on Unexpectedly Expecting.

Image: Mother with sleepy baby, via Shutterstock.

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  1. by Aric

    On March 6, 2012 at 9:14 am

    I think this is outrageous. When will they draw the line and stop?

    Is the next claim going to be “Having children contributes to child abuse” and make it illegal to have children and throw the would-be parents in jail?

  2. by Rob Alfrey

    On March 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I propose that we establish a national committee to educate and warn the public that The Bible encourages parents to physically, verbally and even sexually abuse children and thus Christianity promotes child abuse.

  3. by Diana

    On March 7, 2012 at 10:27 am

    So define single mom. My sister-in-law is now a single mom because she is a widow. Does that mean that she is just like an unmarried woman that they label in this? And what if the woman is living with the baby’s father but they are not married? It says in the article the bill would “penalize single mothers on the grounds that their unmarried status contributes to social ills including child abuse and neglect” so just not being married makes you a bad parent?

  4. by Pam T

    On March 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I am a single mom because the father of my son dumped me in the hospital, saying we where never going to get married.Then he pretty much never came around, moved to LA with out telling me, is verbally abusive and got pissed off when I asked for help paying for daycare and still acts like he should get the father of the year award.
    I have been raising my son by myself and gave my life up for him to give him the best and I’m going to be labeled as an abusive parent? I don’t think so, this bill is stupid.

  5. by Heather

    On March 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    This is ridiculous!! I am the unmarried mother of two children, but the father lives with us, is my significant other, and a wonderful dad. So then does my ‘non-marital status’ apply to this situation? And I’m sure I’m not the only like this, so how will they differentiate.

    What’s more, a very loving, wonderful, mother that I know is also not married – because the father of her son is abusive! Would them being married automatically take away the possibility that there is abuse in the home? I think if this bill gets passed, people will forget that the horrible opportunity for abuse arises no matter the situation. Married, unmarried, together, widowed… it doesn’t matter. Putting such a negative connotation on this is unfair to those wonderful single mothers out there who rock at what they do, and protects those whom are abusive, as long as they are married. I am outraged at this.

  6. by Sarahann Zeski

    On March 8, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Growing up I was taught that children needed a mother AND a father and For years my brother and I watched my father verbally and emotionally abuse my mother my whole child hood. We grew up thinking that this was ok.
    As an adult I found myself in an abusive marriage too, and stayed in that marriage for years for those very same reasons.
    It wasn’t until I broke that archaic mindset and realized that I didn’t want my daughters thinking it was ok for daddy to beat up mommy, that i found the courage to leave.
    Penalizing women who leave abusive relationships just because a 2000 yr old mythology book says that the woman is a man’s property is nothing more than flat out wrong.

    Keep you ancient misogynistic religion out of our government.

  7. by kenzie

    On March 8, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    This is absolutely ridiculous! If anything, it should be the fathers that are forcing mothers to be single being labeled “abuser”. My mom raised me by herself and I am glad she did. Watching my mom work three jobs and go to school set an amazing example for me. later on in life when I asked her why she did it… she said she did it so when I was grown up and in a tough spot where life gets hard, I wouldn’t be able to tell her “I can’t do it”. My single mother was more than enough of support, wisdom, and kindness. I love my mom and thank her all the time for everything she gave up for me!

  8. by AJ Tyne

    On March 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    This is an outrageous and wrong notion. And it doesn’t explain how these women will be penalized. But this has nothing to do with the Bible, so I don’t understand why all the attacks on that Book. There are studies that show that children from single parent homes are more likely to have problems: delinquency, drugs, poor school performance. Also there are studies that show that a lot of abuse comes at the hands of a single mother’s boyfriend. That’s where this bill is coming from — not from the Bible. However, studies or not, it is a silly, knee-jerk reaction to the studies — not a well-thought-out solution. This bill will only harm single mothers who already have the weight of the world on their shoulders as it is.

  9. by Elisabeth

    On March 12, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    In theory I know what this “CRETIN” is trying to say. He wrongly thinks that Single Mom’s will be dating abusers, thus indangering their children. How about single FATHERS??? Don’t they date if they’re single parents, widowers, divorced dads, etc.? C’mon, women abuse & murder children too. Just look at Casey Anthony!
    I am a single Mom. My babies Dad is a deadbeat who has never seen his beautiful 10 month old daughter, nor does he want to. I’ll be VERY VERY careful IF I ever decide to date. But even that does not prevent child abuse. My Sis and I grew up with a mentally, verbally, and sometimes physically abusive Dad who was a police officer. And yes, he was our natural Father. Sperm does not make a father. This law is ridiculous!

  10. by jess

    On March 12, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    This is absolutely ridiculous. I am that single mother of two special needs twin daughters. I do everything I can for them. Who does this man think he is to place such a general label against all of us single mothers.. Are single fathers so much better at raising kids. I don’t think so. I think we all do what we need to do. But hey this man thinks he can punish everyone for the acts of the few.

  11. by Michael

    On March 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    My god, will this onslaught of anti-woman, hateful, thoroughly stupid legislation not stop until after the November elections, when we can vote these morons out of office? Have the Republicans grown so blind to where the religio-nazis are trying to go, that the only solution is for everyone with a conscience to vote for absolutely ANYBODY but a Republican? Are we witnessing the suicide of the Party of Lincoln??? And I used to call myself a Republican! I just can’t do that anymore. I’m sorry, here in Virginia and around the country, so very many supposedly intelligent pols have just fallen completely off the edge.

  12. by Cat fan

    On April 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Whoa! Before you jump on this bill check out some child abuse facts. Most children KILLED by a “family member” are killed by mom’s boy friend. Those children have been abused long before the murder! Would like to see if bill will offer services for single moms — such as child care services outside of working hours, weekend leaves, etc.

  13. by zyx456

    On April 18, 2012 at 11:46 am


  14. by xyz456

    On April 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I think this bill is too general. True, not ALL single mothers pose a threat to their children as the bill implies. However, i do agree with the idea that the percentage of children being born into single households is way higher than it should be. It is entirely too easy to become a mother, if the state insures a single mother, the hospital bill is ZERO, has anyone had a private policy and recieved a bill for child birth, and the hospital stay…not to mention the pain medicine that they give you? WHOA! Food is provided…not even provided, but people can purchase any “food item” they want with goverment assistance..even teeth rotting sodas and unhealthy chips. If these services were taken away, a lot of people would not be having kids. Think about how it was several years ago: two people met, dated, got engagged, got married, THEN had sex, THEN moved in with eachother, THEN had children (a majority of the time) I think this bill is trying to encourage more of that behavior rather than what society has grown in to.

  15. by xyz456

    On April 18, 2012 at 11:56 am

    i think the bill is trying to discourage people from having children out of wedlock. Also, it is common for single mothers to be on welfare, and that is making it easy for them to decide to be a mother. Having a baby means free insurance and free food, assistance with bills and so on. A traditional married couple decides together that they want to have children and prepare mentally and finacially for this LIFE CHANGING event. An “oops” baby is so common now and that says something about our society also

  16. by Jesse

    On May 26, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    XYZ456 is the only person here that had something different to say, than what was expected.

    You ladies aren’t doing yourselves any favors. It’s common sense to most that a loving two parent family is much better for raising a child.

    Of course, things go wrong and things happen, you can’t plan every step of your life. However, that’s not what’s being suggested.

    All that’s being suggested is for the female, that will carry and give birth to the child, to THINK. Why are so many women having sex with boys and/or men that treat you like dirt? Choose the future father of your child[ren] as you would choose a house or how you would decide whether or not to let a child go sleepover at a friends house. Be discriminating for God’s sake. The plan is to live the rest of your life with this person, or at least until your child[ren] are legally grown.

    There are lots of men available but admittedly far more legally grown boys. If you date a thug wanna be don’t be SHOCKED when he behaves like a thug/punk. I don’t understand this behavior in grown women, teenagers in high school yes but grown women?!

    Show some dignity about yourself. A typical guy will do as much as possible, if you let him, but you are then LABELED in his mind. Remember that. Boy’s and men’s moms typically meet the girls or ladies that DON’T put out on the first date. That might be crude but it is the God’s honest truth. If you have sex with guys too soon, you are not considered marriage material. Then all that’s left for you to marriage or maybe even to date, long term, is the leftovers, which are usually scum or VERY weird.