City councilors to vote on new domestic violence, sexual assault commission

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – City councilors are expected to vote Monday night on forming a new long-term domestic violence and sexual assault commission.

It’d be a permanent group that will work year-round to address any gaps in service, programs and outreach efforts. It’s an issue we’ve seen play out throughout Albuquerque in SWAT standoffs, police calls, and even murders. This Thanksgiving weekend was especially brutal.

“This is the highest number we could see in the last 10 years for domestic violence calls,” said APD Chief Harold Medina. 

Over the last couple of years, the city has had a working domestic violence task force, and one of the central recommendations was to create a permanent commission to address community needs.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home,” said City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn. 

Fiebelkorn is one of four sponsors on legislation that would create that commission. A group made up of subject-matter experts from domestic violence organizations to New Mexicans with lived experience.

“Domestic violence calls are some of the most dangerous for law enforcement to respond to, so we really need to do all we can to make sure we’re helping people in domestic violence, but we’re also making sure all of our first responders are safe,” said Fiebelkorn. 

The commission would meet four times a year. Many councilors are hopeful it’s a step toward making real progress for victims and survivors.

“We need to bring it to the forefront and see if we can make change in our city,” said City Councilor Renne Grout.

Fiebelkorn doesn’t expect any hold-ups Monday night. She says everyone is on the same page with this issue.

Once passed it will take some time to get everyone in place and things up and running.