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Gabby Petito Wasn't Crazy

Photo: Instagram
Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie

“She’s just crazy,” Brian Laundrie told officers with a chuckle, while they questioned him and attempted to sort out the couple’s dispute.

“Crazy” huh?

“Crazy” because she’s extremely emotional in the back of a patrol car, trying to answer their questions, all the while covering for you so that you don’t get cited, charged with domestic assault, or spend the night in jail.

“Crazy” because you jokingly called her that and have now planted the seed in officers/viewers' minds wondering if perhaps she is “crazy,” all the while you get to play the part of the poor, patient partner who must deal with such an irrational person.

“Crazy” because she takes all the blame for what happened that morning, despite being slapped by you (according to a witness), and somehow convinces herself that it truly is all her fault.

“Crazy” because she feels immense guilt and is profusely apologizing for making you upset, or walking on eggshells, just to prevent you from having another outbreak.

“Crazy” because she is visibly traumatized, terrified and expresses fear of you locking her out of her van, driving off, and leaving her abandoned outside in 100-degree weather.

“Crazy” because her body language during the questioning by police is of someone who is stuck in a hopeless cycle, living with fear and anxiety, while you are relaxed, cracking jokes, attempting to charm the officers, and laughing without much concern.

“Crazy” because she has developed major anxiety over the course of your relationship, and any time she cries or gets emotional, you mention that you try to distance yourself from her instead of offering comfort and love.

“Crazy” because she has goals of pursuing her own dreams of being a successful blogger, and all she hears is your voice telling her “That she really can’t do any of it.”

RELATED: Coroner Slips Up And Hints That Gabby Petito’s Homicide May Be A Result Of Domestic Violence

Gabby Petito’s case brings light and renews much-needed attention to the issue of domestic violence.

Across the world, an average of 137 women dies by the hand of their abuser EVERY DAY.

Further scarier statistics mention that a woman is beaten nearly every 9 seconds.

A lot of domestic violence happens behind closed doors. It’s not always the physical abuse that you can see (bruises/etc), but it can come in the forms of manipulation and gaslighting.

Years of emotional, sexual, or verbal abuse, can escalate to the point where the victim no longer trusts their own judgment and has come to terms with their daily life being the “norm.”

It is important for an outsider to see the signs, and it can be very difficult to spot as they are sometimes subtle.

Domestic violence can appear in the form of financial abuse where the victim is convinced to quit their job, hence no longer having control over any finances, which will make it extremely difficult to leave their situation.

The abuser may also take on loans or credit cards in the victim’s name and damage their credit score.

Domestic violence can appear in the form of the abuser eliminating a family vehicle, leaving only one for themselves, and now the abuser can control what the partner does and where they go.

Domestic violence may come in the form of the abuser putting the victim’s cell phone on a shared plan, and at any given moment, the phone can be shut off so that the victim is unable to connect with friends/family or have any outside influences.

Tracking devices in a cell phone can monitor phones calls, messages, and location.

Demanding to know passwords for email and social media accounts (technological abuse) allows the abuser to limit/heavily monitor interactions, and prevent the victim from having a voice, or asking for help.

Domestic violence can appear as a single parent with 2 small children, having no way to make enough money to get an apartment, so they must choose: living in a household with the occasional beating/verbal abuse, versus becoming homeless and risking CPS taking the children because they are unable to afford a place to live.

RELATED: Why Gabby Petito's Official Cause Of Death Was Tragically Predictable

Domestic violence can appear in the form of social media posts, with videos and photos, portraying a strong love and immense happiness in the lives of the abuser and their victim. These posts often mask the real pain.

Domestic violence can appear in the form of the victim being insulted, intimated, shamed, and humiliated in front of one’s own children. Being yelled at and constantly berated, while little ones watch on, and absorb unhealthy examples.

Domestic abuse can appear in the form of the abuser going to crazy extremes to prevent their victim from leaving-from threatening to hurt or kill them, threatening they will win custody of children, harming or killing pets, reminding the victim that they are worthless and will never be loved by anyone else, and the list goes on and on.

One of the most dangerous times for a victim is when they try to leave.

It may take many years of persuading themselves to reach out to a family member or friend, decide and then escape.

If you suspect or know of anyone in a toxic situation, talk to them alone, and let them know that they can reach out to you whenever needed.

Gabby’s homicide is absolutely devastating

Her case has become a national sensation and raised awareness for domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, and how easily subtle signs can be missed.

Gabby’s death can spark conversations on how situations like this can be prevented, how we can raise children to focus on problem-solving and conflict management skills, how to cultivate healthy self-esteem and self-worthiness, and how survivors can work through their increased anxiety, depression, PTSD, and rely on therapy and the support of friends and family, to rebuild new lives.

It is important to mention that the roles can be reversed wherein the female may be the aggressor/abuser.

RIP sweet angel and just like your father said, you “have touched the world.”

For anonymous, confidential help available 24/7, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE).

RELATED: 30 Important Domestic Violence Lessons To Learn From The Gabby Petito Brian Laundrie Case

Bea Roga is a mom of two girls who resides in Buffalo, NY. Follow her on Facebook.

This article was originally published at Facebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.