RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — During a ceremony at the State Capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers paid a special tribute to a Virginia Beach woman who was the victim of domestic violence.
Bellamy Gamboa, a mother of four, disappeared from her home in July of 2018. Her ex-boyfriend admitted to detectives that he killed her, but her body was never found.
Since then, her family has been working to share her story. Seven months later, her memory lives on.
“Although I didn’t know Bellamy, I feel like she’s touched my life now,” said Virginia Delegate Kelly Corvis-Fowler. She read a resolution in the House in honor of Gamboa.
Several of Gamboa’s family members were in attendance, including her father and two of her children.
It was a bittersweet moment for all. Sitting next to a picture of her mother, Gamboa’s daughter wiped away tears from her face as the resolution was read.
“I sincerely hope that this recognition will not only serve and honor her memory, but will spread awareness on domestic violence as well,” said Emmanuel Gamboa, Bellamy’s father.
Governor Ralph Northam also signed a proclamation declaring July 16, 2019 be recognized as“Bellamy Gamboa Day.” The day marks what would’ve been her 41st birthday.
Fowler said she hopes the recognition will help bring more attention to domestic violence in the community.
“It hit home. This could be anyone, this could be your neighbor, and this could be someone you know. They just don’t have a safe place to talk about it,” Fowler said. “We need to make sure they can. There’s no stigma where they can’t talk about it. We need to make sure women are heard and make sure this doesn’t happen anymore.”
Fowler also hopes it will give more victims the courage to seek help.”We hear you. You have a safe place and there’s always someone, so don’t give up,” she said.
Gamboa’s life will be recognized again at the capitol on her birthday. To learn more about resources for domestic violence, click here.