Tag Archives: Rosemary Pate

Alice Flowers advocates for parent abuse bill in Florida.

Family Of Woman Who Lost Her Life Plead With Lawmakers To Hear Parent Abuse Bill

 

Some Florida lawmakers and advocates are pushing for a bill classifying the abuse of a parent as a form of domestic abuse. The measure stems from a woman who lost her life years ago.

Flowers is recalling the painful memory of the events that led to her sister, Rosemary Pate’s death. Pate’s son Everett was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder.

“She had suffered years of abuse from him,” she added. “Although he had been detained in the Department of Juvenile Justice, many times he was returned home to her where the abuse continued, although law enforcement were aware of the threats.”

And, Flowers says losing her sister like this has been tough on the whole family.

“My father has been through a lot,” she continued. “He got a call. Early one morning, my youngest sister and her husband went to his house to let him know that his grandchild had murdered his child. We have been through the ringer with this.”

Flowers just finished a bicycle ride from Orlando to Tallahassee in memory of her sister. Now, she’s advocating on behalf of a bill that she says would have helped.

“Myself and four cyclists have cycled to show how serious we are about getting a bill for police protections for parents and a bill that would begin intervening early for troubled children,” she concluded.

That bill Flowers is pushing for is sponsored by Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D-Orlando).

“We know that in Orange County we have a problem because we’ve studied it,” she said. “And, 426 children were arrested in 2012 for domestic violence, physically assaulting family members in their own homes. And, according to an article, elderly people are likely to be hurt by their children or other caretakers more than any other individual.”

And, Thompson says she’s saddened that even with a restraining order stating that Pate’s son had threatened her and she’d been afraid of him for years, the 51-year-old’s petition went nowhere.

“He had indicated that he would kill her two years earlier when he was 16,” Thompson added. “She said her petition to the judge had not really been acted upon because right now, in the law, regarding domestic abuse, the abuse of a parent is not included and so, this bill would correct that. And, it would include abuse of a parent as one of the forms of domestic abuse.”

The abuse may include aggravated abuse, exploitation of a parent’s assets, or emotional abuse of a parent by a biological child. The bill also requires the abuse of a parent be reported to the state abuse hotline.

And, Rep. Victor Torres (D-Orlando), the bill’s House sponsor, says the measure is needed.

“We need to make sure our parents are protected against abusive children,” he said. “The abuse tends to begin with verbal abuse, gradually progresses to property damage, breaking the walls, breaking down doors…ultimately, it becomes physical and that’s when you have the problems, that’s when you start seeing the aggression against the parents.”

So far, neither the Senate nor the House bill have had a hearing. But, both sponsors say they remain hopeful that if it dies this year, it will still be heard next session.

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Child to parent violence: law and research in Florida

When Rosemary Pate was killed by her son in Florida in 2013, family and friends began a campaign to raise awareness of this form of violence within the family and to provide better protection for families affected. Significantly the campaign included not only pressure for treatment and counselling, but also moves to introduce legislation. Breaking the Cycle Consulting (BTC), a Florida based program, has been ideally placed to develop such services and has recently been working in collaboration with researchers at the University of Central Florida (UCF) to inform the development of legislation. Continue reading

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Parent abuse, news around the world

Florida State Senator, Geraldine Thompson, announced a bill this week to give protection to parents experiencing violence and abuse from their children. If passed, it would become the nation’s first parent abuse law. The bill, SB-904, Abuse of a Parent, which has already been filed would define parent abuse, make it a reportable crime and allow for criminal penalties. Homer Hartage, former County Commissioner and founder of the Parent Abuse Action Coalition has campaigned for better protection with the family of Rosemary Pate who was killed by her son in 2013. There is increasing awareness that this is not a small problem. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, 1,645 parents in Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties were victimized by their children — physically or sexually — in 2012, the latest statistics available. There has some been concern aired that legislation and criminalisation will not better protect families on its own, but should be accompanied by therapeutic interventions such as treatment and counselling. You can read the news coverage here and here. Continue reading

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Parent Abuse Action Coalition moves for legislation in Florida

Please take the time to look at and support the work of Homer Hartage and colleagues, through the Hartage Youth Enrichment Foundation, in Florida, USA.

The Parent Abuse Action Coalition mission is the creation of a coordinated response from federal, state or local government to Parent Abuse similar to what currently exist for Elder Abuse regulations, to get legislation submitted in all 50 states and create responsive services for parents.

Hartage was very moved by the death of Rosemary Pate at the hands of her 19 year old son after years of abuse (more here and here) and is working to create support systems so that this need not happen again.

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Addressing parent abuse through Juvenile Family Courts in USA

This piece from the Orlando Sentinel on 4th October, reporting on responses to parent abuse following the death of Rosemary Pate at the hands of her son, has popped up a number of times in the last week, cross-posted in different places. It was good to see the topic of parent abuse getting a good airing after an earlier item appeared in the same paper in a couple of months ago (see my post of  24th August); and encouraging to see a call for early intervention to prevent abuse before it reaches this stage. Continue reading

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