Bill labels single-parenthood as contributing factor to abuse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Senate bill would label single-parenthood as contributing factor to child abuse

MADISON (WKOW) -- Sen. Glenn Grothman has sat on the state's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board for the last three years.

But the West Bend Republican says he has never been able to get them to emphasize one important fact to the groups and communities they help.

"There are a variety of problems when we don't have old-fashioned families and one of those problems is a significant increase in child abuse and neglect," Sen. Grothman told the Senate Committee on Public Health Wednesday.

Sen. Grothman testified on behalf of SB 507, a bill he authored that would force the Board to emphasize that fact.

"There's a factor there of about 9 to 1, 8 to 1, more likely to be abused if you're raised by a single parent with a partner, compared to raised by biological parents," said Sen. Grothman.

Mary Anne Snyder, the Prevention Board's Executive Director, told the Committee there are statistics to back up that claim.

But Snyder also told them that the problem isn't quite that simple.

"Risk factors for child maltreatment as identified in research certainly include single parenthood," said Snyder.  "But they also include parental substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence."

Single mother Victoria Gutierrez was one of several people who expressed their disbelief that Sen. Grothman would try to single out single parents.

"I think that Senator Grothman is just completely out of touch with what really affects families and my family, at this point," said Gutierrez.

Madison City Alder Lisa Subeck echoed that sentiment.

"This is about healthy relationships, its not about marriage.  So, I find this bill, quite frankly, insulting." 

But Grothman insisted that someone has to state the facts.

"I guess as long as this state is gonna fund a group called the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board, at least that group could use the money that they have  to publicize something that's politically incorrect, but I think has to be said in our society," said Grothman.

SB 507 will likely be voted on by the Committee on Friday.



MADISON (WKOW) -- The Senate Committee on Public Health, Human Services and Revenue will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a controversial bill targeting single parents.

SB 507 would require the state's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize that non marital parenthood is a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.

The bill's author is Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who will present it to the Committee.

The Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board works with Wisconsin communities to provide services to stop child abuse and neglect.


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