SANTA FE, NM – State Land Office employees gathered this morning to raise an “End Domestic Violence” flag which features the purple ribbon recognizing survivors and victims of domestic violence. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Approximately 59% of incidents in New Mexico are never reported to law enforcement.
“The crisis of domestic violence needs attention, not just in October, but year-round. As a state agency with over 150 employees, we thought it was important to plan ahead and take steps to promote prevention and safety not only for our staff but for all New Mexicans,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “The Land Office will host two trainings in October for state employees, the public, law enforcement – anyone who wants to attend. The trainings will be focused on recognizing the signs of domestic violence and abuse, in personal experiences as well as in our neighbors, coworkers, and loved ones.”
The trainings will take place In Morgan Hall at the State Land Office on October 15 and October 30. Both are during the lunch hour from 12:oo pm to 1:00 pm and are open to the public. They will be conducted by Francesca “Frankie” Fernandez, a Management Analyst in the Commercial Resources Division at the State Land Office.
“It’s important that the public understands the dynamics that take place behind closed doors in the lives of domestic violence victims. They need to understand why they keep going back, why it usually takes 12 incidents before they leave their abusers. It’s even more important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of domestic violence,” Fernandez said of the training. “As a victim and survivor, I will not let what happened to me be in vain. It’s my life goal to help break the chains of domestic violence one person at a time. You may not be able to save the world, but if you can make a difference in just one person’s life, that’s all that matters. Recognize it, Report it, End Domestic Violence.”
Fernandez is the Founder of the Facebook group “Breaking the Chains,” a resource for anyone experiencing or wishing to learn how to report to domestic violence. Messages can be sent to the group and peers will respond privately with geographic specific resources.
“New Mexico is number 1 in the country for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls according to the Urban Indian Health Institute. We must address the disproportionate rates of violence that women and people of color experience in our state,” Assistant Commissioner and Tribal Liaison Rachael Lorenzo added. “In my position, I want to ensure that we are having meaningful conversations about the unique barriers tribal communities face on and off the reservation and that these conversations do not last just one month but year-round.”
What: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Trainings at the State Land Office
When: Tuesday, October 15 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm AND Wednesday, October 30 from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Where: Morgan Hall at the State Land Office – 310 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501