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 attacks. A threat causing immediate fear of bodily injury is also domestic violence.
  • criminal trespass
  • damage to property
  • repeatedly driving by a residence or workplace
  • 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. 
  • 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. 


Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Legal Helpline

Offering statewide New Mexico legal information and civil legal services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking:

1-877-974-3400 (toll-free)

The New Mexico Legal Aid Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Helpline is funded by the New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission and is available to victims of domestic violence to provide free and confidential legal information, advice, and referrals to attorneys and other community agencies. The Helpline is available Monday through Friday 9 am to 5 pm. Language translation services are available.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or your local police.

Once you are safe, contact us statewide at 1-877-974-3400

CAUTION! Please be sure to use a safe and secure phone that only you have access to. You do not need a referral from a shelter or any other agency to be eligible for services. Your contact with the Helpline will be completely confidential.

The Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Legal Helpline and Civil Legal Service Project provides services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking throughout New Mexico, regardless of income. You can contact the Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking Legal Helpline directly whether or not you are receiving help from a shelter or from any other program.  READ MORE HERE


Other Resources:

New Mexico Courts Domestic Violence Forms are here

  • Look for: District Court Forms > Domestic Violence

Statewide map of DV Service Providers

New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence

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