NMCADV Response to Legislative Finance Committee Report on Domestic Violence Programs

Posted on 09. Jun, 2017 by in Events, Legislative Updates, News

On June 6th, 2017, the staff of the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) issued a report on domestic violence (View Report). Although there were some errors of fact, we generally found the report helpful and are anxious to work with CYFD and others to consider and implement their recommendations.

Although the report was lengthy, we want to emphasize a few points as follows:

  • Research is clear that the work performed by the 29 domestic violence agencies in New Mexico (listed here) leads to increased well being of victims and children AND reduces the violence against them (View More Info). Domestic violence programs need more resources to hire and train staff sufficient to ensure those outcomes. We already have the tools to implement outcome evaluations.
  • Domestic violence programs are not fragmented. They receive extensive, uniform, training and operate according to numerous, stringent, state standards.
  • The effectiveness of any domestic violence reduction approach is contingent upon a responsive criminal justice system that imposes meaningful consequences and behaves in a consistent manner. Coordination among systems is also crucially important to reducing violence.
  • According to the LFC report, the criminal justice system in New Mexico (as elsewhere) needs better coordination. The LFC report recommends that coordination among agencies be enhanced. We support that recommendation.
  • Research shows that community intolerance of domestic violence is a major factor in reducing it. Education and prevention are important to accomplishing that goal and is recommended by LFC. We support that recommendation.
  • Batterers intervention programs (BIPs) are an important part of the system response to domestic violence. But they only support and do not replace the actions of the criminal justice system in dealing with offenders. BIPS can only be as effective as the systems in which they operate. (See a 1-page summary and longer 5-page report on the findings of a NM Task Force on BIPs.)
  • Research on BIPs is mixed. However there is evidence that programs are effective in reducing violence (View More Info). Program evaluation, specific to New Mexico BIPs, is both needed and recommended; we support that recommendation.

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