Domestic Violence in New Mexico

Domestic violence in New Mexico comes in many forms, and usually begins with emotional abuse.

Some examples of emotional abuse are:

Often these examples of emotional abuse lead to physical abuse. The following behaviors may be leading up to physical abuse:

The Cycle of Domestic Violence

In the book The Battered Woman, Dr. Lenore E. Walker identified cycles in abuse and violence is the domestic setting. The three phases in the cycle are:

  1. The build up: This is when you know trouble is brewing. You feel as if you are walking on eggs and tension is escalating.
  2. The blow up: This is the peak of violence. This can be a tirade, throwing things, or a physical attack.
  3. Remorse and contrition: Now that the attack has taken place the abuser is sorry for what they have done. They apologize, promise to never do it again, and usually promise to change. Often the abuser will give gifts, being charming, charismatic or persuasive.

The Safety Plan

Once you recognize the problem and realize that there is a need for change in your life, you must determine whether or not your safety is at risk as you attempt to exercise your right to live free of fear, violence, and intimidation.

Keep in mind that if you decide to leave your home to protect yourself from physical harm, your husband may view your leaving as betrayal or rejection. He may become even more violent as a result. That is why you need to develop your safety plan with outside counsel and guidance. You may even need the help and protection of the police. Do not make your plans alone. Your safety is the most important thing. Listed below are tips to help keep you safe:

Decide how you would get out

You may end up in a situation where you must get out in a hurry. Doing the following will help you if you need to make that quick or unexpected exit:

Communicate with someone who can help and decide where you would go

This may be difficult especially if your partner has isolated you; however, it is important to confide in a domestic violence advocate or hotline counselor who has been trained to help you.

Important Documents and Other Necessities

Keep important documents together in a safe place - a domestic violence hotline counselor or advocate can help you decide where. These documents and other necessities could include:

Memorize or keep a listing of important telephone numbers:

Leave a written set of important phone numbers with a friend or in a secure place that you will be able to access. The list might include numbers for a shelter, domestic violence counselors, your children's school, your friends and/or relatives, people you can call and places you can go in an emergency.