Wisconsin Republican proposes law linking single moms to child abuse

Meet Glenn Grothman (above), a Republican state senator in Wisconsin who casts himself as a family values guy.

Indeed, Grothman’s values are so lofty that that he has INTRODUCED LEGISLATION that would officially declare single parenthood a cause of child abuse.

Grothman’s proposal would do nothing to curb child abuse, of course, but it would, by law, stigmatize single moms, which seems to be his intent. He’s also intent on curbing goverment programs that provide assistance to single parents. He sees them as a scheme by liberals to actually promote child-bearing by single women.

“The Left and the social welfare establishment want children born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government,” he says.

It’s important to note here that Grothman is no mere back-bencher. Don’t get the notion that he’s just some kook to whom no one pays any attention. Rather, he’s the assistant majority leader in the State Senate. He’s a mover and shaker in Republican circles in Wisconsin.

Grothman also is personally a stranger to parenthood and even to marriage. At age 56, he’s never had a wife — not that there’s anything wrong with that.




  1. If that’s what I think it is growing out of his ear I can understand his need to stay single. If Wisconsin Republicans are so concerned about child abuse then they should look at their budget cuts for social services.

  2. expdoc

    Whether or not you want to codify the facts into law, the fact remains that single parenthood DOES dramatically increase the risk to children for being abused.

    Why is wrong to emphasize that fact? All he has proposed is amending an existing bill to emphasize the truth. Do you not want people to know the truth?

    Actions do have consequences. Denying the consequences does not lessen them.


    •living with their married biological parents places kids at the lowest risk for child abuse and neglect, while living with a single parent and a live-in partner increased the risk of abuse and neglect to more than eight times that of other children.

  3. Carol Foster

    Thanks for the laugh, Pat, this guy is a real hoot.

  4. The fact remains that single priesthood also increases the risk of children being abused.

  5. expdoc

    Try to stick to the facts Steve-O. I know it gives you a headache, but really, casting apsersions on priests is probably not a great idea.


    The only hard data that has been made public by any denomination comes from John Jay College’s study of Catholic priests, which was authorized and is being paid for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops following the public outcry over the 2002 scandals. Limiting their study to plausible accusations made between 1950 and 1992, John Jay researchers reported that about 4 percent of the 110,000 priests active during those years had been accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Specifically, 4,392 complaints (ranging from “sexual talk” to rape) were made against priests by 10,667 victims. (Reports made after 2002, including those of incidents that occurred years earlier, are released as part of the church’s annual audits.)
    Experts disagree on the rate of sexual abuse among the general American male population, but Allen says a conservative estimate is one in 10. Margaret Leland Smith, a researcher at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says her review of the numbers indicates it’s closer to one in 5. But in either case, the rate of abuse by Catholic priests is not higher than these national estimates. The public also doesn’t realize how “profoundly prevalent” child sexual abuse is, adds Smith. Even those numbers may be low; research suggests that only a third of abuse cases are ever reported (making it the most underreported crime). “However you slice it, it’s a very common experience,” Smith says.
    Most child abusers have one thing in common, and it’s not piety—it’s preexisting relationships with their victims. That includes priests and ministers and rabbis, of course, but also family members, friends, neighbors, teachers, coaches, scout leaders, youth-group volunteers, and doctors. According to federal studies, three quarters of abuse occurs at the hands of family members or others in the victim’s “circle of trust.” “The fundamental premise here is that those who abuse children overwhelmingly seek out situations where they have easy and legitimate access to children,” he said. “These kinds of positions offer a kind of cover for these offenders.”

  6. How comforting to know that priests represent a small percentage of abusers. I suppose the number of Bishops covering up these hideous crimes is equally negligible. Have any stats on burnings at the stake complimentary to the church? Like the vast majority of heretics were only singed.

  7. Expdoc

    Don’t let facts get in your way Steve-o, they only confuse you.

  8. Try harder doc we’re all pulling for ya!

  9. Try harder? I am hardly trying.

    Steve-O, you posted not one fact in this discussion. I guess I could switch to hyperbole and anti-Christian hate speech, but that would be off the topic of Pat’s post.

    The risk of a child being abused statistically increases significantly when they are in a single parent household. That is a fact. Painful as it is my liberal friend, there are consequences to our behaviors.

    You’re probably against teaching kids about abstinence and the dangers of smoking too, aren’t you?

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