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in preventing substance abuse in Seminole County.
SANFORD – Most people are aware of domestic violence, but not everyone has heard about child-to-parent violence.
Laurie Reid, president of Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc., and Elaine Morgan, director of training and curriculum, led a discussion on the “silent epidemic” at the Feb. 20 general meeting of the Seminole Prevention Coalition.
Child-to-Parent Violence is a form of domestic violence defined as any harmful and demeaning behavior by an adolescent that causes physical, psychological or financial distress to one’s parent or caregiver.
Typical adolescent behavior involves screaming, threatening, stealing and pushing, she said. But atypical adolescent behavior consists of conduct that is intense, clustering, unremitting, unresponsive and has a negative impact on the family.
In 2013-14, more than 6,100 juveniles were arrested for domestic violence involving assault and/or battery in Florida, according to data from the state Department of Juvenile Justice’s Bureau of Research and Planning. Of the 67 counties in Florida, Seminole County is ranked 15th for the highest rate of juveniles arrested for domestic violence assault with 152 youths being arrested a total of 165 times for DV assault.
Part of the problem may stem from the fact that young people haven’t completed maturation.
“The brain doesn’t fully develop until age 25,” according to Reid, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
As a result, adolescents may not be aware that their behavior is bad.
“They miss the boundaries,” Morgan said. “They don’t know when their behavior crosses the line.”
Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc., has made presentations at Georgetown University, at local, state and national conferences, and has partnered with the University of Central Florida and the University of South Florida for ongoing research. It has served more than 150 teens charged with domestic violence or battery against a caregiver with a total of 200 people including parents or other caregivers.
“We’re doing awesome,” said Reid, touting the agency’s recidivism rate of just 3 percent over the past three years.
The agency offers a BTC Family Program that involves a confidential 10-week psycho-educational family group therapy. The program is designed to provide a safe environment to allow teens and parents to learn and practice new skills.
Families are referred to Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc. from the State Attorney’s Office, child welfare system, Families and Communities Together in Seminole (FACTS), and law enforcement agencies.
To schedule an appointment with a Parent Coach for a FREE 15-minute consultation, or to learn more about Breaking the Cycle Consulting, Inc. call 954-299-9926, or visit
– February 2015
Seminole County offers a Sharps Program for safe, easy and free disposal of hypodermic needles and lancets. Residents can pick up a container, return it when full and get a new container.
• Never dispose of sharps in your garbage or curbside recycling bins.
• Sharps Containers must be returned to one of the designated disposal sites.
• Please do not drop-off Sharps Containers before or after published hours.
• Keep out of reach of children.
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