A missing persons flyer showing Gabby Petito's moniker "America's Daughter"

What we should see we look at Gabby Petito

Chattanooga, Tenn. (mocsnews.com) — Recently Gabby Petito, the once missing “van life” blogger, was coined as “America’s Daughter”, which has brought awareness to how frequent women face Domestic Abuse in intimate relationships

Petito disappeared while on a cross-country van trip with her fiancé, Brian Laundrie and was reported missing on September 11. The FBI recently confirmed via Twitter that the human remains found in Wyoming were Petito’s and have ruled her death as a homicide. Laundrie has not been seen since September 14 and his whereabouts are still unknown. 

As the investigation progressed, the public continued to obsess over different theories of what could have possibly happened to Petito. She was a young woman who documented her experiences and relationship on social media. Her life was seemingly perfect. 

However, as tragic as Petito’s story is it has brought about some positive recourse. Petito’s case has brought more awareness to the hundreds of missing and murdered Indigenous women found in Wyoming, the same state her remains were found in. As well as highlighting a new focus on domestic violence in the United States. 

“When the police camera footage first leaked from Gabby Petito’s missing person case, something inside of me recognized something inside of her. I immediately found myself back in that SUV, trying to rein in my emotions, my terror, while the man I loved pretended nothing had happened.”, said Lauren Wellbank in an article describing her domestic violence experience.

Women in abusive relationships are conditioned into feeling little and as if their voices do not deserve to be heard. Their abusers make them believe they need them and their lives could not be better off without them. Most times Women are too ashamed of their situations to even seek help.

“I didn’t tell anyone about it then because I was embarrassed that the person I loved was someone who could be so cruel to me. I thought I could hide this shame by displaying a curated version of my life on social media”,  said Amy Butcher in her article on how seemingless relationships can descend into abuse. 

According to UN Women, almost one in three women globally over the age of 15 have been subjected to intimate partner violence at least once in their life. In a 2018 United Nations study on homicide, 58% of women were intentionally killed by an intimate partner. Statistically, the most dangerous place for women is in their own home.

The violence women face in abusive relationships is never their responsibility, but as it most likely occurs out of sight of the public. Women are burdened with the task of policing the situation for themselves. Stories like Gabby Petito’s captures the essence of the fact that most women are at risk from those they should be able to trust. Perhaps now our focus can be shifted towards what we as a society can do for these women before it is too late.

About Serretta Malaikham

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