Advocates give warning signs of domestic violence | KOB 4
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Advocates give warning signs of domestic violence

Joy Wang
September 11, 2019 05:30 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The district courts in New Mexico handle dozens of domestic violence cases a day. According to advocates, the number of restraining order received every day is between 40 and 50.

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People who work with victims on a daily basis say it is all about control, and those signs can show up early on.

"It can look different in all sorts of relationships of course," said Jessie Fierro, the victim advocacy unit director at the Domestic Violence Resource Center.

KOB 4 looked at three cases across New Mexico and found a few things in common like the victims were allegedly threatened by someone close to them.

"This is all about power control," said Fierro.

David Lopez from Belen is accused using a phone to harass the victim.

Police said he used multiple numbers to threaten a family member, even saying he'd burn down that person's home.

"Even if it doesn't become physical, emotional abuse can be just as damaging," explained Fierro.

In Albuquerque, Melben Gonzales is an alleged ex-boyfriend accused of "threatening to kidnap and sexually assault" someone's daughter.
Court documents state Gonzales sent online messages talking about "acts of sexual torture" he would commit "if he were to kidnap her."

"When it stops working on the victim, then they start going to people that they love," said Fierro.

A case out of Farmington alleges Anthony Sandy threatened his ex-girlfriend. He allegedly shared her personal information and nude photos online, including to family members. At one point, court documents state that people would show up at her work "looking for sex."

"That's extremely violating," Fierro said. "You're wanting to share an intimate moment with someone that you care about."

Court documents state Sandy even said he "notified CYFD that she was 'unfit to be a mother'".

"Offenders know that victims are terrified of having their children taken away from them," said Fierro.

She says it all starts with warning signs that goes from monitoring to controlling. Examples include looking through someone's phone to controlling what they do.

"I would challenge the fact that we don't know if it isn't physical, that's just not what's been reported at this time," said Fierro.

To find resources for domestic abuse, click here

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Joy Wang

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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