Opinion: All Missing Women Deserve Justice
Over a month ago, Gabby Petito went missing while on a cross country road trip with her fiance, Brian Laundrie. The two ran a small YouTube channel with 6,000 subscribers and planned to vlog the entirety of their trip.
The newly engaged couple left for their trip on July 2, 2021. After traveling around the western United States for a little over a month, the first sign of trouble appeared. Police were called on account of “disorderly conduct” between Petito and Laundrie in Moab City, Utah, on Aug. 12.
Just under a month later, on Sept. 11, Gabby’s family reported her missing after Laundrie flew back to their shared house in Florida alone. After a search of Teton National Park, which was the last location the two visited before she went missing, remains of Gabby’s body were found on Sept. 19.
The media went crazy. Various national news channels covered the incident, TikTok users conspired about the identity of the killer and #gabbypetito on Instagram garnered about 21,800 posts. With all the fanfare, one would think the disappearance of a woman is a rare occurrence in the United States.
That could not be further from the truth. According to Statista, 268,744 women went missing in the United States in 2020. That means approximately 736 women go missing everyday.
It bothers me that the 735 other women who potentially went missing on Sept. 11 aren’t household names too. These women aren’t getting the media coverage or attention they deserve.
It shouldn’t take a social media presence to have others mourn your disappearance. You shouldn’t have to be young, white and beautiful to have everyone in the nation looking out for you. America needs to stop acting nonchalant toward its other missing women.
Bringing awareness to this dire situation could possibly help prevent it. If the media frequently covers cases of missing females who are not the typical “American sweetheart,” it would increase the amount of caution women of all races and ages take in their everyday lives, decreasing the amount of women who disappear.
I am not saying Gabby Petito doesn’t deserve justice. She and her family deserve to know that her abductor is going to be punished for his crime. But so do the families of the other 735. They too deserve to know that whoever caused harm to their wife, sister or mom will be rightly indicted.
Silence must not be allowed anymore. If we remain passive, more and more of our nation’s women will quietly slip through the cracks without anyone to save them.
Liza Cooper, junior, is the Opinions editor for the 2021-2021 school year. This is her second year on staff. Liza loves to travel, take pictures, and be...