The family of an Orange County woman killed by her own son are calling for changes to state laws.
Rosemary Pate was found dead inside her Lancer Circle home on Monday, July 15, 2013. Her 19-year-old son Everett was charged in her murder.
Tuesday, her family stood with state Sen. Geraldine Thompson as she announced a new bill that would give protection to people like Pate.
Thompson, D-Orlando, said Pate’s death motivated her to write Senate Bill 904. If passed, it would become the nation’s first parent abuse law.
“It will trigger police protection, et cetera when a parent reports they are being physically abused, emotionally abused, or abuse of economic resources,” said Thompson.
Pate and Everett had a rocky relationship for years. She tried several times to protect herself from him.
She filed a restraining order and even put additional locks on her bedroom door, where she was found stabbed to death.
“She sought help, but in many cases she was told there isn’t anything we can do, because he hasn’t broken the law,” said Alice Flowers, Pate’s sister.
Parent abuse is a form of domestic abuse not often discussed, according to Thompson, but is becoming more of a widespread issue.
SB-904 would also define parent abuse, make it a reportable crime and allow for criminal penalties.
Pate’s family said she had no legal protection from the abuse and believe she would still be alive if she had more protection.
“If there were some other things in place, my aunt would be alive today,” said Tiffany Kelly, Pate’s niece.
Thompson has already filed the bill and hopes it will be passed this legislation session, which begins next week.