ALBUQUERQUE — Gov. Susana Martinez unveiled a series of television ads to encourage New Mexicans to report suspected child abuse, maltreatment or neglect.
The ads, in both English and Spanish, call on all New Mexicans to join the fight against child abuse by reporting suspected child abuse and neglect to CYFD by dialing #SAFE.
“Oftentimes, when I was a prosecutor, it wasn’t until after a tragedy that family members, friends, teachers, pastors, and coaches realized that something was wrong. But when they connected the dots, it was too late,” Martinez said. “Here in New Mexico, we all have the responsibility to report child abuse. With these ads, we will continue to spread the word on how to help speak for our kids that need it the most.”
The Governor introduced #SAFE in 2011. It’s a hotline that makes it easier for New Mexicans to support suspected child abuse, maltreatment, or neglect.
Calls go directly to CYFD’s State Central Intake (SCI) unit. From there, a trained operator fields the call and asks for as much information as possible. The calls are then immediately reviewed by a supervisor, and shared with the county office where the child resides.
Since the introduction of #SAFE, CYFD has received a yearly average of 35,000 phone calls to their state-wide reporting system. This is an increase of about 4,000 calls a year compared to 2010. Of the 35,000 calls, close to 20,000 meet the criteria to be screened-in for further investigation.
“It is very important that if New Mexicans suspect that the abuse or neglect of a child is occurring that they contact #SAFE,” said Children, Youth, and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobson. “No one agency, provider, or person can help our children alone. It is up to all of us to pull together to improve the quality of life for our children.”
The ads are the latest element of the Pull Together community engagement effort, which Governor Martinez recently announced to help make New Mexico the best place to be a kid. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, New Mexicans can dial #SAFE from their cell phones or dial 1.855.333.7233 (SAFE) from any phone.
For information on possible signs of child abuse or neglect, or more on how to find support, resources, or other ways to help make New Mexico the best place to be a kid, visit pulltogether.org.