Understanding DV red flags, resources and how to help

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — This October, we’ve been talking a lot about Breast Cancer Awareness Month but it is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner here in the U.S. Add that up over a year and it amounts to more than 10 million women and men.

Domestic violence can affect anyone – regardless of age, race or gender – and it’s not exclusive to a romantic relationship.

“You don’t have to be cohabitating with someone to be considered having a domestic violence relationship,” said Desiree Trujillo, a BCSO victim liaison. “With other family members, that could be a parent and child relationship. Even adult children, grandparents, step-parents, those can be considered other domestic violence relationships.”

The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office sees cases of domestic abuse often. They say these can be very hard situations to get out of and they can get worse over time.

“The abusers are often very narcissistic. They have to have a say in everything that the victim is involved in,” said Laura Dailey, a BCSO detective. “They isolate them from their friends and their family. They yell they punch holes in the wall.”

It’s for victims and survivors to know they are not alone. There are resources out there to help those going through domestic abuse or know someone who’s going through it.

S.A.F.E. House New Mexico has been helping domestic violence survivors for over 40 years, primarily providing them with temporary shelter but also empowering them.

“They receive wraparound services, including case management, which can be anything from helping them obtain vital documents to helping them get temporary restraining orders, safety planning, helping them get jobs. Of course, we help them with housing and we also have housing programs within S.A.F.E. House as well,” said Kristen Kinzer, S.A.F.E. House NM’s communications and development manager.

S.A.F.E. House relies on donations, as well as money, to continue its mission. For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, they are partnering with BCSO for a donation drive.

The three most-needed things are twin fitted and flat sheets, tween blankets and hand soap, but also disposable masks, spray bottles and individually-wrapped snacks.

“We offer people everything they possibly need to have a safe and comfortable stay during their 90 days of housing at S.A.F.E. House,” Kinzer said. “So this could be any type of toiletry, clothing… and when somebody does move out to housing, we also give them any necessary items.”

If you would like to help, items can be dropped off in the purple box at the following BCSO Command Center locations:

  • 6900 4th St. NW, Albuquerque, N.M., 87107
  • 2039 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, N.M., 87105
  • 48 Public School Rd., Tijeras, N.M., 87059
  • 415 Silver Ave. NW., Albuquerque, N.M., 87102

Money donations are also being accepted.

On Saturday, October 29, Haven House is hosting the free event, “A Community United Against Domestic Violence,” at the Campus Park and Skyroom Ampitheater in Rio Rancho. The event is from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.

At the event, there will be a car show, candlelight vigil, Trunk or Treat, and a pet costume contest. The event is spreading the word about Haven House, the only domestic violence shelter in all of Sandoval County.