Physical Abuse

Abusive parents who homeschool their children don’t have to worry about a teacher noticing or reporting their children’s bruises or other physical manifestations of abuse. This allows them to push farther and abuse their children in more extreme ways than they might otherwise. A number of young adults who were homeschooled and later placed in school have recounted that their parents’ abuse toned down when they ceased homeschooling because they were aware their abuse could be seen and reported if they went too far. In most cases of abuse in homeschooling situations, children were physically abused before being homeschooled, but for many their withdrawal from school marked the beginning of a new phase in their abuse as their parents found they could abuse without restraint.

Some children have suffered physical abuse at the hands of Christian homeschooling parents espousing what they argued was “biblical” discipline. In some extreme cases, homeschooling parents have become convinced that their children are possessed by demons, and in other cases homeschooled children have led a life of severe punishment for small infractions after their parents unfairly determined that they were “rebellious.”

Physical abuse was involved in each of the following cases in the HIC database: