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A lot is made of the Statue of Secrecy in the books. However, what about the Muggle parents of witches or wizards? Do they have to sign like an official secrets act? Hundreds of non-wizards knowing about the wizarding world has to be a hazard?

  • Also see scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/26918/… – user46509 May 23 '16 at 15:31
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    How is this a duplicate? Neither of the other questions answer this one so far as I can see. – Harry Johnston May 24 '16 at 23:09
  • @HarryJohnston I thought the answers to "Why Doesn't the Ministry Ever Modify the Dursleys' Memories?" cover this pretty well. – Rand al'Thor May 25 '16 at 0:06
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    @Randal'Thor: as far as I can see, they all talk about whether Muggle parents are allowed to know about the Wizarding world, not about what if anything would happen to them if they deliberately told somebody else. – Harry Johnston May 25 '16 at 0:32
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    I wondered the same thing, searched for existing questions, and don't think the duplicates listed answer this question – NKCampbell Oct 20 '17 at 19:28
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I think that wizards assume that laws about Muggles telling others would be largely unnecessary, since Muggles would not believe other Muggles telling them about magic, and the Muggles who know would be afraid to talk about it for fear of being considered mad. This is in fact borne out by Fudge's conversation with the prime minister in the beginning of Half-Blood Prince (my emphasis):

“But,” said the Prime Minister breathlessly, watching his teacup chewing on the corner of his next speech, “but why — why has nobody told me — ?”

“The Minister of Magic only reveals him- or herself to the Muggle Prime Minister of the day,” said Fudge, poking his wand back inside his jacket. “We find it the best way to maintain secrecy.”

“But then,” bleated the Prime Minister, “why hasn’t a former Prime Minister warned me — ?”

At this, Fudge had actually laughed.

My dear Prime Minister, are you ever going to tell anybody?”

Still chortling, Fudge had thrown some powder into the fireplace, stepped into the emerald flames, and vanished with a whooshing sound. The Prime Minister had stood there, quite motionless, and realized that he would never, as long as he lived, dare mention this encounter to a living soul, for who in the wide world would believe him?

3

They aren’t bound by the Statute, but do have to keep the secret.

There’s a bit more detail that can be inferred on how the Statute of Secrecy applies to Muggle families of wizards in the Pottermore writing by J.K. Rowling on Professor McGonagall. Isobel McGonagall explains that she and Minerva are bound by the Statute of Secrecy. However, she doesn’t say that Robert, her Muggle husband, is also bound by it, so it seems that he’s not. Also, after she tells him, he doesn’t seem to be made to sign or swear anything in front of the Ministry where he promises to keep magic a secret. He still seems to be expected to, though.

Although Robert McGonagall loved his wife no less upon discovering that she was a witch, he was profoundly shocked by her revelation, and by the fact that she had kept such a secret from him for so long. What was more, he, who prided himself on being an upright and honest man, was now drawn into a life of secrecy that was quite foreign to his nature. Isobel explained, through her sobs, that she (and their daughter) were bound by the International Statute of Secrecy, and that they must conceal the truth about themselves, or face the fury of the Ministry of Magic.
- Professor McGonagall (Pottermore)

It seems likely that the Ministry of Magic doesn’t have jurisdiction over Muggles and can’t hold them accountable to wizard laws. However, they still wouldn’t want Muggle family members of wizards trying to reveal magic, but it seems they have to control that in other ways. The Muggles obviously wouldn’t be able to demonstrate magic in an attempt to reveal it, and presumably wouldn’t want to do something that could harm their families. However, as family members of wizards, these particular Muggles would have access to magical objects and could cause trouble if they show actual evidence to other Muggles in a way that they’ll believe it. If something like that happens, it’s likely the people they tell would be Obliviated, and they’d get some sort of warning. It’s highly unlikely that the Ministry would be unprepared should such a situation arise.

Most “reveals” should be low-level and relatively harmless.

It’d also help that, largely, Muggles are unwilling to simply believe in magic without proof. If the Muggle family member claims magic exists without showing some sort of proof, like they get drunk and start telling people at the bar how their child just learned to turn hedgehogs into pincushions, they’d likely be dismissed as a lunatic and the wizarding world would remain a secret.

“If any Muggle is unwise enough to confide in another that he has spotted a Hippogriff winging its way north, he is generally believed to be drunk or a “loony.” Unfair though this may seem on the Muggle in question, it is nevertheless preferable to being burnt at the stake or drowned in the village duckpond.”
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This is confirmed by another J.K. Rowling writing on Pottermore explains why Muggles who marry wizards haven’t yet exposed the existence of magic to the larger Muggle world. The same thing would apply to Muggles who have wizard children.

Over subsequent decades and centuries, the number of mixed marriages began to climb again until the healthy levels of today, and this has not led to widespread discovery of the hidden magical community. Professor Mordicus Egg, author of The Philosophy of the Mundane: Why the Muggles Prefer Not to Know, points out that Muggles in love generally do not betray their husbands or wives, and Muggles who fall out of love are jeered at by their own community when they assert that their estranged partner is a witch or wizard.
- Pure-Blood (Pottermore)

Most cases are harmless, any ‘more dangerous’ ones would be outliers. However, it’s almost certain that the Ministry would step in and handle any cases where Muggles start believing.

  • I think perhaps while the Ministry doesn't have jurisdiction over Muggles, in the sense that they can't put them on trial and sentence them for violating wizard law, there are probably relatively few restrictions on what they can do to an uncooperative Muggle family member. Something like a tongue-tie curse wouldn't technically be a punishment, for example. – Harry Johnston Aug 27 '18 at 19:28
  • @HarryJohnston Yeah, agreed - they’d be able to use similar measures to the ones they use for ‘normal’ Muggles in the case of uncooperative Muggle family members. They could take measures to control them. However, they don’t seem to be able to hold them accountable to wizard law like the Statute of Secrecy. – Bellatrix Aug 27 '18 at 20:17
  • also worth mentioning the "Other Minister" and how he keeps the secret because "who on earth would believe him?" – NKCampbell Aug 27 '18 at 20:55
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    @NKCampbell That’s a good idea! He’d have less evidence around than Muggle family members of wizards, but there might be something showing the general Muggle reluctance to tell. – Bellatrix Aug 27 '18 at 20:57

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