The “Gabby Petito Act” Was Filed In The Florida Senate To Safeguard Victims Of Domestic Violence

Two Florida state lawmakers presented a bill to bolster domestic abuse prevention initiatives in the Sunshine State after the tragic story of Gabby Petito’s death captured the attention of the country in 2021.

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Rep. Robin Bartleman and Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book introduced the “Gabby Petito Act” subsequent to Gabby’s father, Joseph Petito, bringing up the proposal.

To investigate domestic abuse incidents, all law enforcement officials would be required by the bill to conduct a lethality assessment. This would be a new statewide regulation.

“We know in different places throughout the country where lethality assessments are used. Even here in our great state, where they’re used in pockets, we know that it reduces the incidence of a lethal situation,” Book said to FOX 13. “In Maryland, where we’ve kind of seen a lot of this work being done, it reduces the lethality by 35 to 45 per cent.”

If the law is approved, according to Mindy Murphy, president and CEO of The Spring of Tampa Bay, it could create a record of abuse that goes beyond the initial report.

“Law enforcement ask the survivor to separate from the abuser, a series of questions that are designed to pinpoint the risk that that that victim might eventually be murdered by their partner,” Murphy said to FOX 13.

The 22-year-old Gabby and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, left on a cross-country journey, but they never came back.

The little girl made headlines in 2021 due to her disappearance and subsequent death after her body was discovered in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest.

The two were stopped while travelling in Moab, Utah, and a domestic abuse inquiry was started; nevertheless, they were permitted to carry on with their journey.

Murphy claimed that when Moab, Utah, police spoke with Gabby in August 2021, just before she was slain, they failed to notice the hints.

“Within the first three minutes, Gabby talks about how Brian put, and she actually puts her hands up like this, how he put his hands around her face,” Murphy said. “That would have been a perfect opportunity for law enforcement to stop and say, ‘Hey, has he ever done that before?’”

Joseph stated that he expects to see a national initiative that addresses domestic abuse as a people issue rather than a political one.

“She’d probably get mad at me for, you know, letting it be named after her. But to be honest with you, I hope when I leave this place and I get to see her again, I can ask her, did I make you proud? And I’ve said it before and hopefully, she’ll say yes,” said Petito.

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