NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Gabby Petito‘s disappearance and death riveted the nation.
Now family and friends of the Blue Point, Long Island native believe her life has already created change in the calls for equality in searches for the missing, and how we identify toxic relationships.READ MORE: Gen. Colin Powell, Former Secretary Of State, Dies At 84 Due To Complications From COVID-19
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan report, Petito’s heartbroken family is continuing their quest to make sure their daughter’s death was not in vain.
“I want you to be inspired by Gabby, that’s what we are looking for,” her father Joseph Petito said. “If there is a relationship that you are in that might not be the best thing for you, leave it, now.”
Experts say that advice on toxic relationships is gaining traction across the country.
“Domestic violence is the silent epidemic. We don’t see it, but it’s going on. Stats show one out of three women will be abused by a partner at some point in her life,” said Keith Scott of The Safe Center Long Island.
The Safe Center is encouraging education workshops on healthy dating in our schools, teaching honesty, respect, trust and open communication.
Her family believes creating the Gabby Petito Foundation will open those lines of communication.
The Gabby Petito Foundation. No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby. #gabbypetito https://t.co/oaX4BsPcYj pic.twitter.com/I9tz5q6Hcc
— joseph petito (@josephpetito) September 25, 2021
“No one should have to find their child on their own. We are creating this foundation to give resources and guidance on bringing their children home. We are looking to help people in similar situations as Gabby,” Joseph Petito wrote on Twitter.
Police forces McLogan spoke with lauded the effort of communities being their eyes and ears.
“They have cameras. They have videos. They have access to social media,” said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “It’s very sad what happened to Gabby, but looking to try to get the positives that come out of this, and I think that is what the parents are trying to do here.”
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline (Call 1-800-779-SAFE)
- New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline 1-800-942-6906
- New York Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence
- When Your Home Isn’t Safe
- Teen Dating Abuse Awareness And Prevention
- What Does Teen Dating Abuse Look Like
- What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like
- What To Do If You Think A Friend Is Being Abused
- Culture of Respect: Ending Campus Sexual Violence
- Love Is Respect
- The Safe Center Long Island
“I agree with her father. We need more resources with missing children,” one person said.
“With children its a different ballpark than with adults,” said another.
“We see maybe a cursory search and then its over,” one person said.
“I understood that approximately 40% of missing children are minorities,” said another.
Bringing to light racial inequality in searches for the missing, the Petitos hope Gabby’s Foundation will usher in change, and bring conversations about manipulation and abuse into the open.
The FBI continued its efforts to find Laundrie Monday in Florida, a day after to going to his parents’ home to collect personal items to help with DNA matching.
The Laundry family’s attorney released the following statement:
Chris and Roberta Laundrie do not know where Brian is. They are concerned about Brian and hope the FBI can locate him. The speculation by the public and some in the press that the parents assisted Brian in leaving the family home or in avoiding arrest on a warrant that was issued after Brian had already been missing for several days is just wrong.
Laundrie and Petito were on a cross country trip when she disappeared and Laundrie returned home alone.
Her body was found last week. Authorities say her death was a homicide, but the cause has not been disclosed.MORE NEWS: Report: Feds May Allow Americans To Get Different COVID Booster Than Vaccine They First Received
More than 1,000 people attended a memorial for Petito Sunday.