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Wisconsin SB 507 Lists Single Parents as a Factor to Child Abuse and Neglect

Senator Grothman

That’s right. You read the title correctly. Senate Bill 507, introduced by Senator Grothman (R-West Bend) on February 23, 2012, would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize that non-marital parenthood is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect. Single parents make up a third of all Wisconsin parents. Once again, I am livid! What the hell is going on in our country? We seem to be going backwards in time as people’s rights start disappearing.

The amendment put forth states:

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do enact as follows:

Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

A single parent contributes to child abuse and neglect? That is absolutely insane! Is a child better off living in a two-parent household where there is constant fighting and possibly abuse occurring rather than a single-parent household with no partner to fight with?

Fighting between spouses is becoming more and more common these days – or at least out in the open rather than hidden in the bedroom as when my generation was young. Yelling at each other, calling each other names. Simply put — spousal abuse. I have to wonder how many children have witnessed their father striking their mother (and vice versa) – or just completely beating their spouse to a pulp. During my first marriage, my step-son witnessed his father beating me on a frequent basis in addition to yelling at me every night, calling me every name under the sun. Needless to see, my step-son had many issues in school and was constantly in trouble.

Naturally, many single parents may be in a relationship and have their partner either living in the same home, or frequently present, and occasionally there may be some form of abuse between a non-married couple. However, if abuse does develop between a non-married couple that was not present at the start of the relationship, it is much easier for the parent of the child to rid the household of the abusive partner when they are not married. A large number of single parents are not in a relationship, however, and must tend to their household single-handedly, Often times a single parent is more dedicated to their child or children than married couples simply because a natural human survival instinct sets in. I have met many a single parent who is completely devoted to their child or children, making sure they have breakfast, lunch and dinner, go to school, do their homework, their chores, etc. It is not uncommon to see the child chip in more to tend to the household duties than children of married parents simply because they recognize the hardship their single parent is going through to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

What is the goal or intent of this bill? To be able to take every single parent to court, to try and convict them of child abuse thus being able to legally remove the child or children from their home and place them in foster care? And what about a widow or widower? Will this law force a single parent into a marriage they may not otherwise have chosen just to avoid a child abuse conviction? These questions may sound rather extreme or unrealistic, but the consequences for breaking a law is some sort or punishment – some mild, some more harsh. Therefore, if this bill passes, then a single parent is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect. Child abuse and neglect is a felony in most states. Therefore, in following the logic in a reverse order here, then being a single parent may just well be breaking the law according to the wording of this bill.

There are no absolutes when it comes to households and parenting and no category should be isolated and victimized. Does this mean that single parents in Wisconsin will have to marry in order to keep custody of their child? A bill which indirectly enforces a citizen into marriage is against the principles of our constitution. Will this be a shotgun wedding with the child welfare department present holding their hunting rifles and spittin’ tobacco? Ready to take the child of the two adults do not say “I do”? Or in cases like this, a more appropriate vow would be “I must by the State of Wisconsin in order to keep my child.”

Once again, this insane bill was introduces by a Republican. This party is really going off the deep end in attempting to force their personal opinions and values on the citizens of this country.

This insanity must be stopped.



  1. WTF? Now they’re attempting to legislate this? *head desk* I’ll tell you stories of what I’ve seen within two parent families, including what I personally witnessed in 2010 across the road from me as the mother was arrested and taken away in handcuffs for child abuse, the father was begging the deputies not to take his son away, and the little girl, about age 7, was being completely ignored. And that is most certainly not the only incident I’ve witnessed, or am aware of. I’m astonished with what is continuing to occur within this country.

    They’re citing welfare, children born out of wedlock, etc… what they’re trying to do is stop adoptions by gay couples, take children away from suitable single parents on welfare who are going through a rough time (using the stigma of welfare), etc. This is just sickening to me.

    And who is actually “politically incorrect” here? Assuming drug abuse, alcohol abuse, are part of single parent families only… and that all “broken homes” cause neglect and abuse is just absurd!

    I once asked, jokingly, what the hell is in the water. I’m no longer joking.

  2. Wisconsin was one of the most progressive states, along with Oregon and Vermont. Since Walker and the Republicans won the state wide elections, it has turned the state upside down, and now thing with their assholes instead of their heads. If and when the Democrats and Progressives take back the seats, its only going to get worse…and if they do, then it will take them years to undo all the bullshit the right-wingers have done…

      • This is what happens when I’m half asleep, I tend to make a mistake or two. It would get better hopefully, if the Dems Progressives get back in, but until then, it looks like it will not get any better. If that didn’t sound get back to me either Sunday or Monday… šŸ™‚

        • Don, I think the Dems and Progs in Wisconsin will get back in. Even here in uber-conservative Utah, there has been a backlash against the extreme, nutty right.

  3. parents this senator grothman . isn’t it a fact he has never married ? now you don’t just have to worry about strange men in parks going after your kids now you have to add elected officials. i think this guy is in a hurry to get children away from the safety of the parent. the question is why ? is he a predator ? think about it.

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