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Mayor Tim Keller Establishes Task Force to Prevent and Reduce Domestic Violence

Part of effort to tackle crime from all sides; domestic violence often connected to other crimes, homicides.

October 8, 2019

At an event this afternoon, during Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Mayor Tim Keller, the Albuquerque Police Department, the Department of Family and Community Services, community advocates, service providers, and survivors came together to launch a new effort to combat domestic violence in Albuquerque.

Mayor Keller signed an Executive Order creating a task force to prevent and reduce domestic violence in Albuquerque. The Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force pairs increased efforts from law enforcement with the City’s Department of Family and Community Services, the State of New Mexico’s Children, Youth and Families Department, Bernalillo County, City Council, domestic violence prevention agencies, and survivors.

 

Mayor Keller said, “It takes incredible courage for people, mostly women, to report domestic violence. For too long, domestic violence has been treated like a problem that belongs behind closed doors. We’re shining a light on these cycles of gangs, drugs, domestic violence, and homicide because this violence takes such a high toll on our families and our community. We created this task force to build a robust response that includes both law enforcement, social service providers, and advocates and survivors. No one agency can meet these complex challenges alone, it requires smart coordination to tackle this head on.” 

 

The Task Force will develop specific, measurable and achievable recommendations of actions that the City can take to fill the gaps in addressing domestic violence, including proposals to improve coordination, change city policies and ordinances, and increase services by optimizing grant funding.

Kena Hinojos, a survivor of domestic violence, said, “Forming this taskforce is important because of the many barriers we face when trying to address domestic violence. As an example, there are more pet shelters than domestic violence shelters in our city. Making victims centers trauma informed is key to providing the assistance needed, like skills training.”

 

According to a 2015 report by the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, one in three women and one in seven men in New Mexico are victims of domestic violence in their lifetime; and according to the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence, domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women. Last year, 20 percent of homicides in Albuquerque were related to domestic violence.


Gilbert Ramirez, Deputy Director of Family and Community Services for the City of Albuquerque, said, “There are a huge range of dedicated community advocates, service providers, survivors, and agencies working to end domestic violence or support survivors. Now we can ensure that all the different groups are pulling in the same direction and combining our resources to get results.”

 

Commander Joe Burke of the Albuquerque Police Department, who oversees the Criminal Investigations Division, which includes the Family Advocacy Center and Domestic Violence Investigations, said, “Domestic violence is a serious crime that often involves repeat offenses, and can quickly escalate into other crimes. We are going to be diligent in pursuing justice on behalf of survivors, and we look forward to working with the Task Force to attack the underlying causes of this problem.”

 

View the Mayor’s Executive Order creating the Task Force here.