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Jennifer Wolf

Spotlight on Single Parents: Are Your Kids at Greater Risk for Being Abused?

By March 20, 2012

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A victim of child abuse.Are your kids at greater risk for child abuse than children raised in dual-parent households? Two Republican Senators in Wisconsin think so. They've initiated a campaign to promote public awareness around the subject of physical and sexual child abuse, but according to an article on Time.com, they're pointing fingers at unmarried women as a contributing factor. The proposed legislation actually directs the child abuse prevention board to "emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."

This is exactly the kind of over-generalization that I find appalling. And let's be clear, it's not that single moms are more likely to be abusers. The real issue is that a small percentage of kids being raised in single parent households are more vulnerable to abuse because of individuals who take advantage of single moms. And, Senators Grothman and Pridemore, perhaps that would happen less if single moms received adequate support.

I'm not talking about financial support, either, although that's an certainly an issue. What I wish for is the kind of sincere, non-judgmental, shoulder-to-shoulder emotional support that would be like a breath of fresh air to women struggling to breathe.

There's been a lot of talk in this political season about our desire for a candidate who could stand alongside everyday citizens. I'd like to challenge our leaders to stand alongside single moms. Stop judging and -- for one moment -- lead with compassion instead of condemnation.

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Image Bob Thomas / Getty Images

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