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How the news coverage for Gabby Petito exposes inequality for indigenous women and POC

by Sophia Geno 8 months ago in investigation
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If Gabby's tragic death can get coverage, why not the hundreds of missing indigenous women?

Introduction: Who is Gabby Petito?

If you are an avid watcher of true crime like me, then you will know the case that has made the front cover of magazines like People, In Touch, and more. It is the tragic disappearance and murder of Gabby Petito.

If you do not know, here is a brief explanation.

Gabby Petito

Gabby Petito was a 22-year-old white female who was traveling with her boyfriend (ex fiance) across the US in a van. Her dream was to become a travel blogger with her boyfriend and for them to get married. But not long after she became absent from social media, her parents filed a missing person report. Later to find out her boyfriend (ex-fiance) was already back at his parent's house in Florida and refused to talk to Gabby's family. Bodycam footage from the police also shows the police being called on her boyfriend for abusing her in public. Although they saw Gabby was in distress they let the couple go and then Gabby was never seen again. Her body was recently found in Grand Teton park Park in Wyoming and her death was confirmed as a homicide. The couple was camping in Grand Teton not long before her death.

How her news coverage exposes inequality

As we true crime watchers know, the police and tabloids do not always give enough attention and justice to the people who need it. There are countless cases like Gabby's that could have been prevented or even solved faster if the police were able to act sooner.

And now when even the media continues to ignore POC who go missing, we call it "Missing white woman syndrome".

The problem is that although Gabby's murder is devastating like many others, it still gets much more exposure than thousands of other women that have gone missing. And this is in no way the fault of Gabby or her family. This is the fault of systemic racism.

Many people have brought up the fact that Gabby's disappearance has gotten a lot of coverage, yet there are over 2,000 missing indigenous women nationwide, and yet where is their news coverage?

Not to mention the other thousands of missing and murdered black and other POC that have gone missing this month alone, yet they seldom ever get attention from the media.

If all lives are equal, why isn't justice?

Information from Native Hope

An excerpt from their website.

"The National Crime Information Center reports that, in 2016, there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, though the US Department of Justice’s federal missing person database, NamUs, only logged 116 cases."

We all know how tragic Gabby Petito's case is, so why doesn't the media mention the 100s of Indigenous women just like Gabby that are still considered missing.

Solutions to the problem

Although the injustice done to missing and murdered women across the US is heartbreaking, there are always ways for us to help our community.

One of the best parts of being in the true crime community is that we have the power to spread information and influence justice to a degree. If we all know the truth about these situations and take action, we can change the way missing people receive justice.

If the whole nation can cry for Gabby, we can cry for the thousands of missing POC women as well. And we can not only cry, but we can help them and their families.

As long as we continue to break the walls of stereotypes and prejudice against each other, we can keep each other safe.

In Gabby's case, there were people willing to report her boyfriend's behaviour towards her to the police. But not everyone will be so lucky. Even so, Gabby still was not helped the way she deserved and she was murdered.

Here is how you can help.

  • If you see a scenario where someone might be in danger or abused, do not stay silent.
  • When you find a true crime case with little coverage, spread awareness.
  • When you see someone fueling prejudice against another race, stand up and educate.
  • You can also donate to organizations or families that pay for coverage of missing people/women
By Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Right now life is harder for many than it ever has been, but with the positive actions from people like you, many communities are slowly seeing justice.

Thanks to past donations, many families have been able to afford billboards, print ads, and hire lawyers to help with their missing loved ones case.

Here are some links and videos to help this human's rights issue.

(With links to information too)

It starts With us

(justice for indigenous people)

Youtube "Missing Black people, "Missing white woman syndrome" and why white media ignores our disappearances"


About the author

Sophia Geno

I love to write about travel, poems, art, and social issues. Stay with me for Korean content, and more!

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