Gabby Petito's dad shares daughter's unseen photo supporting domestic abuse victims
Gabby Petito's father Joseph Petito shared a never-seen-before photo of his daughter on social media. In a recent emotional tribute, Joe Petito mourned the tragic loss of Gabby Petito and urged all domestic abuse victims like her to speak up about their ordeal and "don't stay silent." In the photo, Gabby can be seen pictured from behind as she walked on a boardwalk while holding hands with two young boys. The kids are believed to be her stepbrothers and Joe Petito's sons with Tara Wickman Petito. "We have to do better. Changes are coming. Now is the time. Don't be silent," the heartbroken father wrote in the caption while adding hashtags #domesticviolence and #domesticviolenceawareness.
Gabby Petito's family recently launched The Gabby Petito Foundation, a charity dedicated in the slain vlogger's name, to help and support victims of violence like her. While emotionally speaking about his daughter, Joe Petito previously said, "She is already saving lives. So many stories being sent to us about relationships being left with proper planning for safety, and people are being found due to her influence. We have much more work to do, but it's a start."
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Gabby Petito, the 22-year-old daughter of Joe Petito and his former wife Nicole Schmidt, mysteriously disappeared during a cross-country trip with her 23-year-old fiance Brian Laundrie. Her lifeless body was discovered much later in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, as the autopsy ruled it as a homicide. Meanwhile, her fiance Brian Laundrie also disappeared and is currently on the run, as police have declared him a 'person of interest' in the case. An arrest warrant has also been issued in his name for fraudulently using a debit card without permission and retrieving over $1000.
A domestic violence report and bodycam footage of Gabby crying have also emerged from the police department in Moab, Utah. Dated August 12, 2021, the video showed Gabby visibly upset and crying inconsolably as she told the officers that she had been "fighting all morning" with Brian. She also admitted slapping Laundrie, who was seen with scratches on his face and arms. When asked if her boyfriend hit her, Gabby replied, "I guess" and made a grabbing motion toward her chin. In fact, Laundrie later admitted to pushing her though cops figured that Gabby was the primary aggressor. It was reported that Gabby Petito was a victim of domestic violence and abuse, and shared a toxic relationship with Brian Laundrie.
Soon after Gabby Petito's news went viral, hundreds of women across the world started sharing their stories of getting out of abusive relationships. Twitter was flooded with posts from the US to the Middle East, with women admitting how the Gabby Petito case helped them realize the abuse they faced in their personal relationships, and how they managed to come out of the same.
"I'm writing to you from faraway part of Middle East, Iran. I just a left a very damaging relationship recently because of Gabby. Sending your family lots of love and I'm sure Gabby's watching over those who need help. She's a true angel," posted one woman from Iran, while another wrote, "I found the strength I needed after 10 long years...realizing this could have been me. GOD NEEDED GABBY IN HEAVEN MORE THAN WE DID ON EARTH."
Last week, Joseph Petito had shared a photo of himself with Gabby on a boating trip, where he captioned, "@gabspetito followed her own path to travel and see the beauty of this world. You may be gone, but you will make this world a better place."