As the masses continue to scroll through articles upon articles about the Gabby Petito case, experts warn that people are missing the “bigger picture” and the real pic of the 22-year-old woman’s disappearance.
During a recent interview with USA Today, Kiersten Stewart, the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Futures Without Violence organization, stated that Gabby Petito’s disappearance has to do with domestic violence as well. “When you treat it as just one dramatic, isolated case, you miss the bigger picture.”
Stewart also confirmed that on average, three women a day are killed in the U.S. from domestic violence. She also said even with those numbers, nothing is being done enough to address it.
Stewart does clarify she doesn’t wish to take anything away from what happened to Gabby Petito or what her family is going through. She and her team are just asking the media to also realize this is something that is happening to other families as well.
Experts Continue to Weigh in on What Is the Key Focus in Gabby Petito’s Case
Along with Steward, Kellie R. Lynch, an associate professor with joint appointments in the Department of Criminology & Criminal Justice and the College for Health, Community, and Policy at the University of Texas at San Antonio, also told the media outlet that she and her team treat each of the stories like Gabby Petito as one-off tragedies. “Then we wait for the next story to happen.”
Lynch also examined the bodycam of the police officers who questioned Gabby Petito after a domestic dispute between her and her fiancé, Brian Laundrie. The associate professor explained that it sounds like a typical “good old boy” culture among the law enforcement.“Then there’s leaning into these stereotypes. ‘Oh she’s just crazy or she’s hysterical.’”
Ruth Glenn, President of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, also stated Gabby Petito and her fiancé’s responses to police enforcement are actually typical. “She is very upset and blaming herself while he is calm and also blaming her.”
Lynch further stated that the stereotypes further minimizes and trivializes domestic violence and abuses. Like they are simply minor things between couples. “How terrified [Gabby Petito] was in a bigger indication than any of the scratches on his face.”
Lynch then admitted that she considers social media to contribute to outsized attention around Gabby Petito’s case. “As if [people are] watching something on ‘True Crime.’ When really behind all of that, ultimately, is a woman who [has died].”
Glenn goes on to add that Gabby Petito is not the only one who has had this type of experience when it comes to domestic violence. “Why is this one at the top of the news? I’m asking journalists, ‘Why is this one different?’”