As a statewide organization, Home Educators Association of Virginia (HEAV) has had the privilege of serving thousands of wonderful homeschooling parents throughout the years—parents who love and care for their children and have made great sacrifices to teach and train their children in a positive, encouraging environment.
When parents fail to guard and protect their children, it is a painful reminder of the fallen world in which we live. All parents, as well as homeschooling parents and leaders, must be alert to abuse or neglect in order to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
HEAV provides encouragement and help for parents who choose to homeschool. We provide information, resources, and advice regarding home education and family life. Under no circumstances would HEAV want our homeschool freedoms to shield child abuse or domestic violence. However, we have no civil authority to act regarding allegations of child abuse or neglect.
What to Do
Laws that address child abuse and neglect, as well as domestic violence, are in place. First-hand information regarding child abuse or neglect should be reported immediately to the appropriate civil authorities.
If you believe a child is being sexually abused, call the police. If you believe a child is at risk of imminent harm, call 911.
It is with much appreciation that HEAV includes the following links provided by Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). These resources help identify child abuse and neglect and offer helpful information and hope.
What is considered child abuse according to the federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act and how can you prevent it?
How can you identify sexual abuse and what age-appropriate information should you share with your children?
How can you pro-actively prevent sexual abuse? How can you protect someone who has experienced abuse?
If You Suspect Child Abuse
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, how can you follow up on your concerns?
Learn how to protect your child from abuse. What can you do if you find yourself, your child, or another family’s child in an abusive situation?
Definitions of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence in Virginia
Visit the following website for a description of child abuse and domestic violence with additional information on mandatory reporters, confidential records, and false reporting:
Focus on the Family
Focus on the Family offers valuable resources for families in crisis. Visit Focus on the Family or call their Help Center counselors at 1-855-771-HELP (4357), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Eastern Time.
Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
Call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) and press 1 or visit Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline or Help for Kids. Although counselors do not report abuse, they can assist you with resources in your local area.