SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KABC) -- Mothers in Sacramento recounted the loss and tragedy that bond them together on Monday, and among them was Ana Estevez of Southern California.
"In 2017, a 5-year-old boy was suffocated to death while sleeping in the backseat of his father's car," said Estevez. "That 5-year-old boy was my son."
Estevez is garnering support for a bill named after her son, who she affectionately called "Piqui," or "little one."
"The fact is victims and their children may be in greater danger during separation," said California State Senator, Susan Rubio.
In the U.S., 851 children have been murdered by a divorcing or separating parent since 2008, according to the Center for Judicial Excellence, which is backing the bill.
Rubio introduced Piqui's Law, SB 616, which would require judges and others involved in family law matters to participate in regular training on domestic violence and child abuse in its many forms.
"We want to make sure that we focus specifically on current laws and specific cases, like Ana's where they should have done something to protect her child," Rubio told Eyewitness News.
"I think there's a common misconception that, unless it's something that can be seen, then it's not considered abuse," said Estevez.
During Monday's news conference, Estevez outlined how she and her son reported physical and emotional abuse to authorities at different junctures.
"Once again, the evidence was ignored. My request for sole custody with supervised visits was denied, and eight days later, my ex-husband murdered my son," said Estevez.
This would be first of many steps toward meaningful reform, she said.
"If what happened to my son can help other children, then I know that he is smiling down from heaven."
The bill would also prohibit programs sometimes known as therapy reunification workshops in child custody or visitation rights proceedings.
"In at least two recent cases in California and Florida, children were sent to reunify with one father facing criminal charges and one under investigation for child pornography," said Kathleen Russell, founding executive director of the Center for Judicial Excellence.
The Assembly Judiciary Committee will take up the bill on Tuesday, one of several hurdles it must clear.
The bill would, in part, be federally funded and there are still discussions over how many hours of training would be required, Rubio told Eyewitness News.
ABC7 reached out to the California Judges Association, which responded saying it cannot comment on the bill at this time.