Homeschooling’s Invisible Children
Homeschooling’s Invisible Children (HIC) is a searchable, public online database that documents cases of child abuse and neglect in homeschool settings. HIC is a project of the Coalition for Responsible Home Education (CRHE). Note: the HIC website is currently under construction, and case details are currently under review.
On this page you will find information on navigating HIC, including:
Content Note: This database includes descriptions of severe violence inflicted on children, including abuse and neglect, sexual violence, torture, and murder, as well as mentions of suicide and domestic violence. Photos of victims and perpetrators of violence are also included in the database.
While homeschooling can be beneficial when practiced by responsible home educators, it also offers abusive caregivers a powerful tool to conceal and escalate their abuse, resulting in exceedingly harmful or fatal outcomes for children. The stories catalogued here represent some of the most extreme cases of child abuse that have been documented since the 1980s. Based in part on the data collected for this project, CRHE believes that basic, common-sense policy solutions would prevent many of these harms and would safeguard homeschooled children’s right to the care necessary for their well-being, physical and mental safety, and respect for their human dignity.
- Learn More About the Background of the HIC Project
- CRHE’s Mission and Vision
- Why Increased Legal Oversight of Homeschooling Is Needed
- A Bill of Rights for Homeschooled Children
- Policy Solutions
The HIC project catalogs cases of the criminal abuse and neglect of homeschooled children with the goal of identifying themes in order to develop evidence-based prevention policies. The cases are drawn from public sources such as media reports, legal documents, and websites. We define homeschooling inclusively, encompassing all children whose caregivers claim to be directing their education at home. Many cases include the names and photos of adult survivors who have decided to come forward and tell their stories.
- Methods of the HIC Project
- Learn More About CRHE’s Definition of Homeschooling
- Homeschooling and Child Abuse: A Response to Ray and Other Apologists
- See other stories of homeschool abuse survivors at CRHE’s Community Voices, the archived Homeschoolers Anonymous, and r/HomeschoolRecovery
We have identified numerous themes in the abuse of homeschooled children that make it qualitatively distinct from the abuse of children who attend school. Our research suggests that homeschooled children have a higher risk of dying from child abuse than children who attend school.
- Findings of the HIC Project
- Themes of Child Abuse in Homeschool Settings
- Rates of Child Abuse Fatalities in Homeschooling
- Studies of Abuse and Neglect in Homeschooling
Search the Database
Our database is searchable and is updated frequently as new cases come to light. In addition to the search field in the right sidebar, you may also search the database using the following parameters:
- Keyword, Category, or Tag
- Date the Case Was Added to Our Database
- US State Where the Abuse Came To Light (see also International Cases)
- Year the Abuse Came to Light
- Theme or Type of Abuse
- List of Fatalities
As a supplement to the main database, we also include separate catalogs of the following:
- Violence Committed by Homeschooled Students or Alumni
- Child Abuse Linked to Lack of School Attendance
Please visit these pages for more information.