SANTA FE — Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Joint Memorial 3, bipartisan legislation sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque) and Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque) to help state agency personnel identify potential family abuse issues.
HJM 3 encourages the Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to train their field agents about the link between animal abuse and family abuse. Studies have found that 76% of animal abusers also abuse another family member and people who have a history of animal abuse are three times more likely to commit a violent crime.
The joint memorial aims to have CYFD and DPS workers prevent abuse and also intervene in cases of suspected abuse by training them to identify signs of animal abuse. Due to the nature of their job duties, these workers are often in a position to detect abuse that may be taking place in homes throughout New Mexico.
“This joint memorial addresses an issue of great importance, both nationally and in New Mexico,” Rep. Dines said. “It asks CYFD and DPS to train their field agents to spot signs of possible abuse and investigate these situations. Both departments have so far been supportive of the idea.”
The Bernalillo County Sherriff’s Department has successfully used this training to help their officers identify troubled home environments and prevent further abuse from happening.
HJM 3 now moves to the Senate for its consideration.