The New Year is always a refreshing time. The start of a new calendar seems to bring the promise of change and invites us to take steps to ensure a better future. For many families in the Albuquerque area, a better future is one free of domestic violence. While victims may have felt pressure to keep their families intact during the holidays, there is no reason to continue staying in an abusive relationship.
At the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer, we are sensitive that change can be very scary. Of course, we are here to help victims get the legal assistance they need to dissolve a marriage, secure child custody and protect themselves throughout the process. But we can also guide you to the various resources available that help victims of domestic violence. There are a number of community, state and national programs that offer help and support.
In addition to calling 911 for emergency assistance, the Albuquerque Police Department provides help to individuals and families through the Family Abuse and Stalking (FAST) program. To reach the Domestic Violence and Stalking Response Team, call (505) 768-2300.
One of the biggest questions facing people fleeing from an abusive household is “Where will I go?” In Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Los Alamos areas there are a number of shelters available for domestic violence victims, including:
S.A.F.E. House (Bernalillo County)
24-hour crisis hotline: (800) 773-3645 or (505) 247-4219
Haven House (Sandoval County)
24-hour crisis hotline: (800) 896-7157
Esperanza Shelter (Santa Fe)
24-hour crisis hotline: (800) 473-5200
Add Santa Fe and Los Alamos
In addition to providing safe shelter, many of these organizations also provide support services, like counseling, as well as awareness-raising educational programs for the community.
Advocacy & Other Support Services
Once a victim has left an abusive household, they may face a number of challenges, such as:
- Maintaining personal safety, which may require some level of anonymity and/or protective distance from an abuser
- Finding suitable employment to financially support themselves and their children
- Navigating government agencies to get food benefits, insurance and/or other types of financial assistance
Advocacy centers often provide a wide range of services to help domestic violence victims address these challenges. Below is a list of some community-based and statewide advocacy resources with a summary of services they provide:
Albuquerque Family Advocacy Center (505) 243-2333 www.abusestopshere.org
A multi-agency coalition designed to reduce stress and trauma on domestic violence victims by providing a wide range of services under one roof. Services include:
- Medical care
- Law enforcement and prosecution
- Legal and financial assistance
Domestic Violence Resource Center (formerly Resources, Inc.) (505) 884-1241
The DVRC is one of the agencies that makes up the Albuquerque Family Resource Center and provides:
- Service assessment and case management
- Individual counseling and women’s and children’s support groups
- Education and training
- Life and social skills development
- Court accompaniment
New Mexico Confidential Address Program (CAP)
The CAP program is administered through the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office and allows victims of domestic abuse to use a substitute address, providing a level of anonymity and safety from an abusive partner or stalker.
New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence
This state-wide coalition is the authority on domestic violence and may provide the most comprehensive list of resources, support services and shelters available to victims. Victims can get immediate help through their 24-hour crisis hotline: (800) 773-3645.
As a community with a large Hispanic and Native American population, cultural and language barriers can present some problems in finding and getting the help victims need. There are some agencies dedicated to helping these specific groups. Enlace Comunitario (505-246-8972 or www.enlacenm.org) provides services in Spanish and focuses on bi-cultural support for abused immigrant women and children. Morning Star (800-658-6967 or 505-232-8299) is an advocacy center dedicated to helping Native American Indian victims of domestic violence.
Resolve to Change Your Future on Your Terms
Do not wait until you are facing a domestic violence crisis to get the help you need and resolve to create a better future for you and your family. Change may be easier if it is done on your terms. Contact the Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer for an initial consultation. Learn more about the legal process, your options and resources available to you.