‘It was horrifying’: Domestic abuse advocate discusses new bodycam footage of Gabby Petito encounter with police

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Domestic abuse advocate Lovern Gordon talked about the telltale signs of domestic abuse after she watched the newly released bodycam footage of the Moab’s police’s response to the alleged physical altercation between Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie.

“I think that there was much more that could’ve been done. I think officers are doing a disservice if they’re not trained on the issue of domestic violence,” said Gordon.” To be able to respond to calls like that and having the know-how of what to look for in domestic violence victims is of the utmost paramount.”

As founder and president of Love Life Now Foundation, Gordon says sometimes the victims will not pick up the phone and call police in situations similar to what happened with Petito and Laundrie in Moab. Oftentimes, an outsider calls and the victim ends up taking the blame.

“She was hyperventilating, she was clearly distraught, versus his very calm demeanor. These were all telltale signs,” Gordon said.

According to Gordon, fear of retaliation, blame, and fear of getting their abuser in trouble are some of the many reasons why victims may not come forward with the abuse.

As a domestic abuse survivor, the bodycam footage takes her back to when she escaped from her abuser in the wee hours of the morning, with a bruised hip and swollen organs. She says the doctor in the ER immediately knew someone had abused her.

“Somebody could’ve gone down to the jailhouse, somebody could’ve been contacted right there and then, but none of that happened,” said Gordon.

Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465) If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.

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