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Gabby Petito’s Father Reveals What’s Helping Family Cope With Tragedy

todayFebruary 25, 2022 7

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As much as we can all agree Brian Laundrie‘s parents handled their son allegedly killing his fiancée about as poorly as anyone could, Gabby Petito‘s parents have reacted to the tragedy with a truly laudable amount of magnanimity and grace.

Joseph Petito in particular has become known in the months since his daughter’s murder as a vocal advocate for victims of domestic violence. On Wednesday he proved it once again by attending the opening of a new SafeSpace shelter in Vero Beach, Florida, right on the other side of the state from where his daughter was living with the Laundries before her ill-fated road trip.

Related: Gabby’s Mother Shares Powerful Message About ‘Pain’

SafeSpace is a non-profit which offers sanctuary to victims of domestic violence and their children. Last month, the Gabby Petito Foundation, which has been raising money in the late YouTuber‘s name, donated $15,000 to the organization. Speaking about the importance of spreading the attention and love to places like this, he told local outlet WCVB:

“It’s not what I need. It’s what people need.”

The grieving dad then rattled off the statistics of abuse he knows all too well by now:

“1 in 3 women, 1 in 5 men, 10 to 20 million kids a year. When you do the math on that you’re talking 100 million people. There are only 350 million Americans in the United States. So you’re talking just under one-third of the nation… We want everyone to get the same attention that Gabby got.”

That’s the goal for Gabby’s parents — turning their tragic loss into a net positive in the world. Joe explained:

“I think Gabby is going to live on through everyone… Her story went so far. I think she will live on through so many of us because more and more people are being found. More and more people are speaking up on their own violence that is happening to them and to their children… And that’s a great thing, but we still got more to do.”

It’s true. The intense attention on Gabby’s investigation early on attracted criticism as a case of “missing white woman syndrome” — but that itself inspired many media outlets and social media personalities to look for more missing persons cases to amplify. And it’s been helping.

As for his own family, Joe said they’re doing well five months on from the discovery of their daughter’s body. He praised “events like today” — in which they can do something for others — as helping them to get past the nightmare of the past few months.

More power to them. While there are horrible things happening every day, the strength and kindness of this family reminds us that humanity is worth protecting.

[Image via Nomadic Statik/NewsNationNow/YouTube.]

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