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Mayor Keller, Chief Medina highlight efforts to address domestic violence

DV news conference
July 11, 2023

ALBUQUERQUE – Mayor Tim Keller and APD Chief Harold Medina joined members of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Commission to highlight efforts to prevent domestic violence.

About 25% of violent crimes nationally are linked to domestic violence. In Albuquerque, about 10% of homicides are motivated by domestic violence. Mayor Keller stressed the need to intervene before family disputes elevate to violence.

“Interrupting cycles of domestic violence can literally save lives,” said Mayor Keller. “We are putting more resources toward intervention and working hand in hand with our partners to address this public health crisis and keep survivors safe.”

APD is utilizing the new Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) to better support survivors and prevent subsequent crimes. The department also assigns a detective to domestic violence cases and offers support through the Victims Assistance Unit.

“Unlike many other violent crimes, domestic violence tends to be more personal and usually impacts entire families, often with tragic consequences,” Chief Medina said. “We have to come together as a community to prevent these tragedies. That starts with acknowledging the problem and reaching out to family, friends and neighbors to ensure they are supported.”

APD’s DV Coordinator Advocacy Unit has attempted contact with 2,232 victims and has gathered information from 428 felony cases that they have shared with the District Attorney’s Early Contact Advocates.

"The District Attorney’s Office remains committed to victims as they make their way through the criminal justice system,” said District Attorney Sam Bregman. “Our victim advocates and prosecutors work with our law enforcement and community partners on a daily basis, providing comfort and resources to those affected by domestic violence."

APD’s DART program is a team of 20 officers who have been trained and given the tools to immediately reach out to victims and connect them to resources without any drop-off or lag time.

In addition, the Keller Administration established the Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Commission, made up of representatives from Enlace, Rape Crisis, SANE, Coalition to Stop Violence against Native Women, and New Mexico Asian Family Center. The commission works with the City’s Domestic Violence and Gender Based Violence Prevention Coordinator and APD to provide resources for survivors.

“Enlace Comunitario was founded by and for domestic violence (DV) survivors from Central New Mexico’s Latinx and immigrant communities. For over 23 years, Enlace has bridged service gaps for DV survivors by providing culturally and linguistically specific, wraparound DV intervention and prevention services to in-need community members; and while Enlace is a culturally specific DV service provider, we support any DV survivor in need. Enlace is grateful for our partners in progress who work to reduce and educate about DV, and we appreciate APD’s commitment to addressing DV cases thoroughly and participating in ongoing training around DV. Enlace is here for DV survivors, and we are available to provide education and outreach to help shape a DV-free community here in Albuquerque and beyond,” said Bonnie Escobar, Executive Director of Enlace Communitario.

Domestic violence can include psychological, financial, emotional, verbal, or physical abuse. The national crisis hotline can be reached at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and SAFE House’s local hotline is (505) 247- 4219. If you or a loved one is in imminent danger, call 911.