Domestic Violence

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What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, occurs between two people in an intimate relationship.  Domestic violence exists on a  continuum from a single episode of violence to ongoing battering and control of one partner over another.

Some examples of domestic violence include:

-Physical violence: physical harm caused by kicking, hitting, punching, biting, choking, slapping, or other physical attack.  A threat causing immediate fear of bodily injury is also domestic violence.

- criminal trespass;

-damage to property;

- repeatedly driving by a residence or work place;

-harassment or telephone harassment;

-severe emotional distress:  this is a category that is not very well defined in New Mexico law, but generally means severe emotional abuse causing a high level of distress in one person to the degree that the person needs protection from the abuser.

- harm or threatened harm to children;

Domestic violence does not mean the use of force in self-defense or defense of another.


What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault happens when one partner is forced to take part in a sex act that they do not consent to. 

What is stalking?

Stalking is an incident or a pattern of behavior intended to cause the victim to have a reasonable fear of physical harm, death, sexual assault, confinement or restraint of the individual or another individual.

What should I do if I am a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking?

Your safety is the most important thing to consider when dealing with domestic violence.  There are several options for you to choose from, and you may consider more than one. 

-Generally, victims may want to start the process by speaking with a domestic violence advocate.  Click here for a statewide directory of domestic violence service providers.  For telephone information:

National Domestic Abuse Hotline – 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) – provides 24-hour phone assistance. The New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence provides information on services available in New Mexico.   

- You may call 911.

- You may get an Order of Protection.

For an explanation of Order of Protection hearings, please watch the video on Orders of Protection.  Click here.

-seek other legal remedies such as a divorce or paternity case.

-Call the NMLA DV/SA/Stalking HelpLine 1-877-974-4300 – provides legal information and referrals for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. 


Other Resources:

Instructional video on Orders of Protection

Enforcement of Orders of Protection

Statewide map of DV service providers

DV Services by County