HomeCrimeCOMMENTARY: Petito Death Spotlights Tragedy of Domestic Abuse and Violence

COMMENTARY: Petito Death Spotlights Tragedy of Domestic Abuse and Violence

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The heartbreaking end to Gabby Petito’s life in August is a nation-wide window on the reality of domestic abuse, and possibly, in Petito’s situation, domestic violence.

As almost everyone in the country knows, Petito lost her life while traveling around the western states in a van with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. Laundrie has been named a person of interest in the case, but has not been charged with a crime. Police in Moab, Utah, became aware of an altercation between Petito and Laundrie and suggested they separate and cool down. A 911 caller said he witnessed Laundrie “slapping” Petito.

According to Boston-based Jane Doe, Inc., “current or former intimate (romantic) partners commit 14 percent of all homicides in the US, with over 70 percent of the victims being female– disproportionately women of color.”

The ugly truth is lovers are sometimes murderers.

Jody Marchand of Westford is just one of many who discovered how tragic a romantic relationship can become. In February, 2010, police say Brian Marchand shot and killed his teenage daughter, Olivia, also known as Liv, critically wounded his wife, and then turned the gun on himself. Jody Marchand survived the bullet that passed through her jaw and lodged in her shoulder.

Marchand makes public appearances about her tragedy to raise awareness of domestic violence, [involving physical harm,] or domestic abuse, [involving verbal attacks.]

Beginning on September 24 and running through October 3, the Live for Liv Foundation is hosting a fundraiser for bicycle riders and runners. Register here.

Town residents were stunned by the event, particularly because only a few weeks earlier, in January 2010, resident Karen Leduc died at the hands of her husband, Fredrick Leduc, who followed her inside their home, went to the bedroom to get a gun, and used it to kill his wife. In April 2013, Leduc pleaded guilty to second degree murder.

Playful and seemingly happy in the videos, Petito and Laundrie appeared to be perfectly suited for each other. But what the videos don’t show, is how two people can clash to the point of harmful behavior.

Petito’s death has been labeled a homicide. As of September 24th police are searching for Laundrie.

Marchand makes public appearances about her tragedy to teach the warning signs that lead to domestic violence, [involving physical harm,] or domestic abuse, [involving verbal attacks.]