State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) found himself in the national spotlight when he proposed a bill that considers nonmarital parenthood a contributing factor to child abuse in early March.
Grothman cited a number of statistics in his claims that would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
Among them was a study showing that kids living with a biological parent and the parent's partner are "20 times" more likely to be sexually abused.
According to PolitiFact Wisconsin, Grothman was citing a chart from that study that shows "that children living with two married biological parents were sexually abused at a rate of 0.5 per 1,000 children, while the rate for children living with a single parent with a partner in the home was 9.9 per 1,000 children."
Those numbers show that the sexual abuse rate for children in a single-parent home with a partner living in the home are 19.8 times higher than the rate among children living with married, biological parents, PolitiFact explains. While critics agree Grothman accurately depicted the statistic, they say other factors should be considered, such as poverty and mental illness.
Grothman is one of the 16 members on the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board. Eight members are governor-appointed, while the "rest represent the governor or other state agencies," according to LaCrosseTribune.com. "Grothman said he's been finding little support for his views, so he decided to go over the board's head to the Legislature."
You can read more about his stance in a newsletter he published regarding his belief that the breakdown of the family is America's biggest problem.