Florida police say juvenile domestic violence has doubled in Dade and Broward counties, and risen 150 percent statewide in the past two years. In a recent Ft. Lauderdale case where a 17-year-old beat his stepmother with a table leg, police and prosecutors said they were not surprised, given that at least one case of juvenile domestic violence is filed every day.
The adult parents of teens are especially vulnerable to assault because they are unable to solicit legal protection from their children. Adults who abuse other adults can request restraining orders against their abusers, but parents who are at risk for abuse cannot legally keep their children away. Local experts were unsure what may have caused the rise in domestic violence.