Las Cruces, NM – Governor Martinez declared April as Child Abuse Awareness Month.
On Monday she announced a new hotline to report child abuse and neglect. New Mexicans can now dial # SAFE, a toll-free number to report suspected child abuse.
Martinez also recently signed two key legislative items to protect children in the state. The Governor signed Senate Bill 77, requiring child abuse incident training for police. She also signed Senate Bill 78 which provides direction to local school boards to prevent bullying in New Mexico schools.
She says New Mexico's children deserve to grow up in a positive environment.
Martinez-"This month is about New Mexicans coming together and standing united against child abuse. It is about committing to provide a safe and nurturing community for all of our children free from fear and violence. This month is also about speaking up. It is about confronting abuse. It is about standing up for the innocent and telling bullies to pick on someone their own size."
Children, Youth and Families Secretary Yolanda Deines will be traveling around the state throughout the month talking about various initiatives and programs to help prevent the crime of child abuse.
The Department is using $150,000 to develop a campaign, print materials, purchase 9 billboards placed strategically throughout the State, and record television and radio Public Service Announcements. In addition, CYFD staff throughout New Mexico will hold open houses, picnics, and barbecues and distribute materials, including bumper stickers and magnets.