SANTA FE―The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that every person – no matter their profession – has the duty to report child abuse, siding with Gov. Susana Martinez and House Republicans who have both led the fight to clarify the law in recent years.
“Today, the Supreme Court delivered a win for New Mexico’s children,” said Nate Gentry, R-Bernalillo, who carried two bills last year that would have clarified the law. “I thank Governor Martinez for leading the charge to change this law. As a prosecutor who spent her entire career putting child abusers behind bars, she truly understands that we must never give up in our fight to protect children.”
It has always been the law that everyone must report suspected child abuse. However, in 2013, the New Mexico Court of Appeals issued a decision limiting that duty to 12 professions, such as licensed physicians, law enforcement officers, nurses, teachers and social workers. That decision significantly weakened existing law.
The New Mexico Supreme Court’s decision, however, now makes it crystal-clear that “every person” suspicious of child abuse has the duty to report it.