Thursday, February 5, 2009

NM Domestic Violence Homicide Team Issues Findings

The New Mexico Domestic Violence Homicide Review Team has been working for more than a decade to identify gaps in the response to domestic and sexual violence and create effective solutions for addressing those gaps.

In 2008, the team worked for the first full year under the statutory authority of N.M. Stat. Ann. §31-22-4.1 on homicides occurring in 2005 (closed cases). Findings are documented in the 2008 Annual Report which can be found here.

In the review of 21 cases, 57 percent of the homicides involved the offender stalking the victim prior to the murder. From this finding, the team recommended an improved criminal justice response to stalking and repeated violations of protective orders.

This finding is highlighted by the 2003 study related to stalking in New Mexico, which stated nearly one-in-four women and one-in-14 men are stalked at least once in their lifetime in the State of New Mexico ( 2003 New Mexico Victimization Survey).

Other findings:

Finding: 15 of the 21 (71%) homicides occurred while the victim and offender were separated (broken up, breaking up, getting a divorce, etc.).

Finding: 12 of the 21 (57%) homicides involve the offender committing the crime of stalking prior to the murder.

Finding: 9 of the 21 homicides (43%) involve offenders who have at least one prior driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge.

Finding: Many domestic and sexual violence related homicides involve coworkers or other bystanders who are affected by the domestic and sexual violence and yet are unsure of how to help or respond to the situation.

Finding: Many victims, often women, cannot escape from violent relationships due to their financial dependence on their offenders.

Furthermore, many of the homicides involved co-workers or other bystanders who are affected by the domestic and sexual violence and are unsure of how to help or respond. This reveals a need for workplace policies on domestic and sexual violence and an overall increased public awareness.

More information on the New Mexico Domestic Violence Homicide Review Team is available here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

National GOP Committeman's Personal Insight.

Pat Rogers
I asked NM Republican Pat Rogers, who was in Washington, D.C. for the RNC meeting last week, to shares his viewpoint on the selection of a new RNC Chair and his experience as a National Committeeman from New Mexico.

Here are his thoughts on the new Chairman Michael Steele.


Michael Steele was elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee on January 30, 2009. The former Lt. Governor of Maryland is presently the head of GOPAC, a conservative political action committee formed originally by Speaker
Newt Gingrich. The RNC Chairman's race was contentious with six well-qualified candidates in an election that took six ballots and many hours.

Michael Steele is a committed conservative with a message and a style that will attract voters to the Republican banner in New Mexico and in all fifty states. He is a frequent guest on FOX, CNN and other outlets. His Republican National Convention speech "Drill, Baby, Drill" introduced him to a new set of supporters. His most recent visit to New Mexico was in mid-January where he hosted a "meet and greet" at Calibers, a local shooting range. The New Mexico crowd was enthusiastic and energized by his take-charge message of freedom and fiscal and personal responsibility.

Michael grew up in Washington DC and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center (naturally all sophisticated readers will immediately recognize GULC as the premier law school in the nation) and he spent several years studying at a monastery. Michael Steele is seriously pro-freedom, pro-life and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He and his wife raised a family in Maryland where he was very active in grassroots/local politics before his Lt. Governor term and his (unsuccessful ) 2006 US Senate race in Maryland.

Michael Steele asked me to represent him at the six vote counts and that was quite an honor. Nothing in my New Mexico experience, however, prepared me for an election process in which the Secretary of State, ACORN, the Attorney General or Democrats did not try to change the rules for partisan advantage, file lawsuits , stuff the registration lists or locate ballot boxes and votes after the election.

While Michael Steele's election was something to celebrate, two other votes were not as successful. New Mexico's National Committeewoman, Rosie Tripp lost a very close
race for the RNC Secretary position. Rosie's campaign skills and the energy she brought to any event was something to see. As the Chairman of the Socorro County Commission, and with her years of RNC and New Mexico public service,
she was able to put up a great battle for the office.

The other vote I lost (approximately 167-1 or so) was my attempt to oppose secret ballots. I am not convinced of the need for secret ballots in the RNC elections, but a slightly larger number of RNC members do not (presently) share my concerns. As we moved through the fourth and fifth ballots, I was sensing some support for my position.

The New Mexico activists overwhelmingly supported Michael Steele. He will move the nation, New Mexico and the Republican party forward. We are lucky to have him at the helm. The Republican National Committee and the New Mexico Republican Party are prepared to offer effective leadership in the difficult times we are facing.

Photo Credit: MG Bralley