Las Cruces, NM – Governor Martinez and Children, Youth and Families Secretary Yolanda Deines announced the new number.
New Mexicans can now dial # SAFE or 1-855-333-SAFE a toll free number to report suspected child abuse.
Governor Martinez says she hopes all residents will be vigilant in recognizing and reporting child abuse.
Martinez-"As a prosecutor I dedicated my career to fighting for the defenseless. Today, I ask all NM citizens to join this fight. We can do this by banding together- parents, teachers, family members and neighbors, to do our part to keep kids safe. It is not only your business, it is your responsibility. It's your obligation on the most basic human level. It is your duty to defend anyone who is suffering at the hands of abuse."
There are over five hundred sixty-one thousand children in New Mexico under the age of nineteen. In any given year CYFD receives an average of thirty-three thousand phone calls, of those eighteen thousand are screened in for further investigation and forty-seven hundred are substantiated for abuse or neglect of a child.
A hotline has been in place for twelve years, but Secretary Deines says the new number is easier to remember.
All calls to the hotline will be anonymous. They will go to the central intake unit in Albuquerque after which a supervisor will review the case and determine whether further investigation is needed.