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Statement Regarding the Investigative Review of the August 12, 2021 Petito-Laundrie Incident in Moab, Utah

Salt Lake City, UT – Late Tuesday, January 12, we had the opportunity to read the investigative review of Moab City Police Department case #2021-001108, involving Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie. 

 

As domestic violence professionals, we understand the many complexities that present in domestic and intimate partner violence cases. It is because of these complexities that ongoing training is necessary, evidence-based and trauma-informed responses are critical, resources are readily available for victims and abusers, and partnerships between law enforcement and victim service providers are strong. It is also imperative that we continue to increase the public’s awareness of domestic and intimate partner violence–before tragedies happen. We must also equip our first responders and our communities with victim services and behavioral health providers who are best trained to intervene and follow-up when individuals and families are experiencing or displaying unhealthy behaviors and relations. 

 

Bidirectional violence is common; however, when females use hands in self-defense it is typically in the form of scratches. There are times when someone who has been a victim, short- or long-term, responds in the same manner in which their abuser treats them, an act that is more commonly known as self-defense or violent resistance. In some of these instances, short- or long-term victims may be legally considered, and subsequently charged as, the predominant physical aggressor. It should be noted that individuals who experience abuse also experience post-traumatic stress disorder and recognizing this when responding to incidents of domestic or intimate partner violence is crucial to a proper response. 

 

We appreciate the detailed review conducted by Captain Brandon Ratcliffe of Price City Police Department, as well as his understanding of domestic and intimate partner violence. 

 

The recommendations provided by Captain Ratcliffe make sense given the findings in the investigative review and we look forward to working with Moab City Police Department to enhance their knowledge of, and improve their response to, domestic or intimate partner violence incidents. 

 

Officers Pratt and Robbins provided a swift response to the call, took the time to attempt to understand the totality of the current and past relations between Petito and Laundrie–which is not always easy to do in an hour’s time, and appeared to show compassion, kindness, and professionalism toward both Petito and Laundrie. The acknowledgements by Pratt and Robbins, specific to mistakes made in this case and their willingness to rectify them, is commendable. 

 

Law enforcement professionals play an integral role in our work and we recognize the toll domestic and intimate partner violence incidents have on them—we believe they care and we thank them for their service.

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Our Impact in 2020

January 1-December 31
  • The Allstate Foundation grant helps us create safety and security for domestic violence survivors through financial empowerment.

  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • Originally founded in 1984 as The Center for Women and Children in Crisis, The Refuge Utah has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Safe Harbor, a non-profit organization, provides shelter, supportive services and advocacy to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as education, awareness and resources to our community.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Timpanogos Legal Center provides free legal advice and legal document preparation for victims of domestic violence and low-income persons.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To help families of homicide victims receive hope, justice, and healing.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • Cycling club dedicated to ending child abuse.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

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