Domestic Violence in New Mexico

Domestic violence and abuse destroys families. Find out what you can do to protect you and your children and how we can help. Here is what you need to know.

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Learn More About Domestic Violence

WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW CAN HURT YOU! One of the most common client complaints we get is that they don't understand the New Mexico courts and legal process and how to navigate the system. Mistakes are costly and will prevent you from getting the types of results you want. The decisions you make today will affect you in the years to come, so you need to have an expert on your side. Let us help advise you, guide you through the bureaucracy, and manage all of the deadlines and paperwork.


  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • On a single day in 2020, domestic violence hotlines received 21,321 calls, an average of almost 15 calls every minute.
  • In 2018, domestic violence accounted for 20% of all violent crimes.
  • Abusers’ access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner femicide at least eleven-fold.12 When firearms have been used in the most severe abuse incidents, the risk increases 41-fold.
  • 65% of all murder-suicides involve an intimate partner; 96% of the victims of these crimes are female.

Read the Full Report from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Here.


  • 37.6% of New Mexican women and 33.3% of New Mexican men experience intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes.
  • In a single day in 2020, 74% of New Mexico domestic violence programs served 784 survivors and their children. Another 34 requests for services went unmet due to lack of resources.
  • In 2017, police responded to 19,234 domestic violence calls. 55% of survivors who reached out to domestic violence programs contacted law enforcement.
  • In 2017, children witnessed 35% of domestic violence incidents reported to police. 66% of those children were aged 12 or under.
  • In 2017, courts issued 11,872 protective orders, 77% of which were ex parte orders and 23% of which were final orders.
  • In 2016, there were 44 victims of intimate partner homicide. 58.6% of these homicides were committed with firearms, and a quarter were committed with firearms by people who were prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms. Most of these deaths involved dating partners.
  • As of December 31, 2020, New Mexico had submitted 27,370 domestic violence misdemeanor and 4,147 active protective order records to the NICS Index.
  • In 2015, 1,953 of the 3,402 active protective orders in the National Crime Information Center for New Mexico had disqualifying Brady Indicators.

When you schedule your No-Cost, No-Obligation Consultation with Excelsior Law of NM, here is what you can expect:


  1. A Thorough Examination Of Your Case.
  2. Help Identifying Your Goals And Setting Reasonable Expectations.
  3. Gaining An Understanding Of The Process, An Estimate Of Time And Costs, And A Plan of Action.


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In the state of New Mexico, domestic violence encompasses a range of behaviors involving physical harm, threats, intimidation, or any form of coercive control against a household member or former partner. It includes acts such as assault, battery, stalking, harassment, and emotional abuse within familial or intimate relationships. The law in New Mexico defines domestic violence comprehensively to protect individuals within these relationships and to ensure legal recourse against perpetrators.

In New Mexico, domestic abuse can encompass various situations that constitute harm, threat, coercion, or control within domestic or intimate relationships. These situations include:

  1. Physical Abuse: Any physical act intended to cause harm, such as hitting, punching, kicking, or use of weapons against a household or family member.
  2. Emotional Abuse: Behaviors aimed at undermining an individual's self-worth or emotional well-being, including constant criticism, manipulation, intimidation, or isolation.
  3. Psychological Abuse: Inflicting mental or emotional anguish through intimidation, threats, or controlling behavior that induces fear or psychological trauma.
  4. Sexual Abuse: Forcing or coercing a partner into unwanted sexual activity, including rape, assault, or any form of sexual coercion.
  5. Financial Abuse: Controlling finances, restricting access to money, or sabotaging the victim's financial independence to assert power and control within the relationship.
  6. Stalking and Harassment: Persistent and unwanted behavior that instills fear or threatens the safety of the victim, whether through physical stalking or relentless communication.
  7. Neglect: Failure to provide necessary care or support, such as withholding basic needs like food, shelter, or medical attention.
  8. Threats and Intimidation: Expressing intent or taking actions that create fear of harm or injury to oneself or others within the household.

In New Mexico, these situations collectively contribute to the definition of domestic abuse, serving as grounds for legal intervention and protection for victims within intimate or familial relationships.


In New Mexico, orders of protection and restraining orders are similar in that they both provide legal protection for victims of domestic violence or harassment. However, there are some key differences between the two.

An order of protection is a court order that is intended to protect a victim of domestic abuse or harassment by prohibiting the abuser from contacting or being near the victim. It may also require the abuser to move out of the victim's home or pay for temporary housing. In New Mexico, orders of protection are typically issued in cases of domestic violence or stalking.

On the other hand, a restraining order is a broader type of court order that can be used to prevent a person from engaging in a wide range of activities, not just contact with a specific person. For example, a restraining order can prohibit a person from coming near a specific location or from contacting a group of people. In New Mexico, restraining orders can be issued in cases of harassment, workplace violence, or stalking.

In summary, while both orders of protection and restraining orders offer legal protection, the specific details of each order can vary depending on the circumstances of the case.


In New Mexico, orders of protection are used to help protect you and your family from Domestic Violence. Some reasons for filing are:

  • Orders of protection may be issued when a victim has been physically harmed or threatened with harm by a current or former spouse, dating partner, or household member.
  • Emotional abuse: Orders of protection may be issued when a victim has been subjected to emotional or psychological abuse, including threats, intimidation, stalking, or harassment.
  • Sexual abuse: Orders of protection may be issued when a victim has been subjected to sexual abuse or assault by a current or former spouse, dating partner, or household member.
  • Financial abuse: Orders of protection may be issued when a victim has been subjected to financial abuse, such as being denied access to money, property, or resources by a current or former spouse, dating partner, or household member.
  • Child abuse: Orders of protection may be issued when a victim's child has been physically or emotionally abused by a current or former spouse, dating partner, or household member.

In addition, New Mexico law provides for orders of protection to be issued in cases of domestic violence against certain vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or disabled, and in cases where a victim has obtained a protective order from another state or tribal court.

It's important to note that each case is unique and the specific reasons for issuing an order of protection will depend on the individual circumstances of the situation. The court will consider all relevant factors in making a determination, including the safety and well-being of the victim and any children involved.


If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, there are several methods of protection that can be employed to help prevent further abuse and ensure safety. Here are some possible options:

  • Seek help from a domestic violence organization: Domestic violence organizations can provide support, resources, and information about your legal rights and options. They may also offer shelter, counseling, and other services.
  • Obtain an order of protection: An order of protection, also known as a restraining order, can legally require the abuser to stay away from the victim and to refrain from any further abusive or harassing behavior.
  • Document the abuse: It's important to keep a record of the abuse, including dates, times, and descriptions of incidents. This documentation can be used as evidence in obtaining an order of protection or in a criminal case.
  • Safety planning: Create a safety plan that includes strategies for leaving an abusive situation, such as identifying a safe place to go, packing a bag with important documents, and creating a signal to communicate with friends or family if in danger.
  • Utilize technology: Some mobile apps, such as Aspire News and Rave Guardian, can help connect victims of domestic violence with emergency services and support.
  • Seek legal assistance: An attorney or legal aid organization can provide guidance and representation in obtaining an order of protection or pursuing other legal options.
  • Inform family and friends: Let trusted friends and family members know about the situation, and share information about the abuse, the abuser, and any relevant court orders or legal proceedings.

Remember that every situation is different, and it may be necessary to employ different methods of protection depending on the specific circumstances. It's important to prioritize safety and to seek help from professionals who are experienced in dealing with domestic violence.