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S.A.F.E. House Responds to a Domestic Violence Victim in New Mexico...

Posted Mar 12 2010 12:00am

A few months ago I received an email from a battered woman/veteran in New Mexico that came to me asking for help. She spent years in the past reaching out to Domestic Violence Organizations with no luck, and was tired, stressed, and spent by the time I spoke with her on the phone. Together we spent a few hours going over a plan of action so that she could maybe get the help and attention she deserved from her state. After weeks of putting together a formal letter, she sent it out in one email to various organizations and state officials in New Mexico. I prepared her for the worst, and made sure to inform her that some people would probably reply to her with negativity or a "run around", and pass the buck to someone else.

Having said this, one Domestic Violence Shelter in New Mexico did respond, but not to the victim. This "advocate" from S.A.F.E. House sent out a mass email, which I was included on, that was completely uncalled for and unprofessional. I will post the email below to expose the lack of response and compassion from a S.A.F.E House employee in New Mexico. I will also post the victim's letter, the one I helped her write, so that my readers can form their own opinions.

Letter from NM Victim

Dear All,
March 11, 2010

I am a domestic violence victim in need of help and assistance immediately. I am suffering from chronic pain and in need of ongoing medical treatment due to my disability. My abuser continues to emotionally and verbally abuse me and the children with his parental alienation, and brain washing.

I can't pay child support because I do not have a job, I do not have the ability to work due to my disability. I am suffering and need help.

I need the following, or I face possible jail time because I can't pay child support and I do not have an attorney
1. DV free lawyer
2. Crime Victims Compensation for my medical expenses and possible surgeries.
3. Child Protective Services to step in and remove the children form the abuser's home.
4. Financial assistance and the finalization of my military service connected disability.

I have already contacted the following without help

Resources Inc., Ex Dir.Shannon 4-12-2002 (Gaby, Anita & Ex Dir)

Legal Aid 4-12-2002 (Beth)

Commission on the status of Women 4-12-2002 (Deborah)

Women’s Community Asso. 4-12-2002 (Peggy)

Albuquerque Bar Asso. for pro bono atty 4-12-2002

Woman’s Shelter 4-12-2002

Albuquerque Women’s Recourses 4-12-2002 (Jennifer)

Albuquerque Volunteer Lawyers 4-12-2002

NM Crime Reformation 4-12-2002

Project Sandoval 4-12-2002

Legal Facts 4-12-2002

Legal Services 4-12-2002

UNM Legal Benefits Inc. 4-12-2002 (David Boaz)

Albuquerque Law Clinic 4-15-2002

NM Coalition Against Domestic Violence 4-15-2002

Women’s Resource Center 4-16-2002 (Rosemarie Fritz)

Cmty & Indidan Legal Services 4-16-2002 (Duffy)
Bill Fuller State Rep. 4-17-2002

Human Rights (827-6838) 4-18-2002

Heather Wilson 4-18-2002 (Jane)

Center for Civic Values 4-22-2002 (Sandra Gardner)

Legal Awareness 4-22-2002

Legal Asst Div. of the Bar 4-22-2002

Southern NM Legal Services 4-23-2002

Southern NM Legal Services Wash. DC 4-23-2002

ACLU 4-23-2002

Victims Assistance 4-23-2002

Albuquerque Ctr for Peace & Justice 4-23-2002

Assistance League 4-23-2002

Bridges for Women 4-23-2002 (Beatrice)

Crime Victims 4-23-2002

Barrett House 4-23-2002

Health Care for Homeless 4-23-2002

Stepping Stone 4-23-2002

AAB 4-23-2002

Safe House Children 4-25-2002

Concerned Women for America 4-2002

NMCCC 6-19-2002 (Susan O’Brian)

Please respond to this email ASAP, I am in need of assistance and have gotten no where in my struggle.

Thank you,
Terri White

Response from S.A.F.E. House Michele Fuller:

There are several things inherently and intrinsically questionable about this email. Among them the fact that the writer identifies her contacts with the numerous agencies s/he lists as having occurred almost eight years ago.


1. Protective Services is easily accessed by calling their Central
intake number at 1-800-797-3260.

2. Crime Victims Reparation Commission can be contacted at 505-841-9432.

It is both telling - and interesting to me - that this writer contact so many people and received no help at all.

Michele Fuller
S.A.F.E. House

As always, I will mention the S.A.F.E. House Mission Statement:

To shelter and empower survivors of intimate partner domestic violence and to improve the way New Mexico responds to this violence.

I don't see any empowering or response from this S.A.F.E House employee.
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