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Multi-Agency Parent Abuse Prevention Programs Urgently Needed, According To Former Orange County Commissioner Homer Hartage

ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rosemary Pate did what she thought were all the right things: She earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida and a master's degree from the Florida Institute of Technology. She had a promising 30-year career at Lockheed Martin, working as a senior contracts manager. She had a palatial home in the suburbs of Ocoee, a winning smile, loving siblings and parents, and the best schools for her only son.


Rosemary was committed to community service, mentoring underprivileged children and raising money for causes like Junior Achievement. She loved road biking and rode three times a week, once cycling 70 miles in a Tour de Cure to raise funds and awareness for diabetes.

On July 11, she left home for a four-day vacation in Hilton Head, S.C. That Saturday Homer Hartage texted her, saying how much she had been missed at the Saturday morning ride. She replied, "It's good to be missed."

Rosemary returned home on July 14 and retired to her bedroom, which she had tried to secure with heavy-duty locks to protect herself from her abusive son. Waking early the next morning she was brutally attacked and killed. Her 19-year old son was charged with first-degree murder and grand theft.

Rosemary was a victim of a form of domestic violence called parent abuse.

Much of what we know about parent abuse is capsulized by Amanda Holt in her book "Adolescent-to-Parent Abuse." Parent abuse typically escalates from verbal and emotional abuse, followed by threats of violence that may include financial abuse, which includes demanding money or stealing from parents.

Abusers typically threaten violence against parents, siblings and pets if the parents refuse to give in to their demands. Eventually, threats turn into violence, which sometimes leads to murder.

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