Are you wondering,

You may be wondering if you or someone you love needs help. CAV is a place for getting more information and to learn about what could be your next steps.

If you are questioning your safety and well-being due to a relationship that feels unhealthy, is violent or abusive, CAV can help you answer your questions. Call CAV's 24-Hour Crisis Hotline 575-758-9888 (collect calls accepted). If you are unable to call us collect, you can call toll-free 1-888-758-8082 M-F, 8-5.

Is it abuse? Is it unhealthy?

If it is, you are not alone. 1-in-4 women and 1-in-7 men in the U.S. experiences relationship abuse.

It's not always easy to tell at the beginning of a relationship if it will become abusive. Abusive behaviors don't always appear overnight but rather emerge as the relationship grows. Domestic & sexual violence doesn't look the same in every relationship, but one thing abusive relationships have in common is that the abusive partner does many kinds of things to have more power and control over their partners.

  • Healthy relationships are built on an understanding between two people who recognize how important it is to negotiate, empathize, apologize, support and love one another. You cannot create a loving and supportive relationship alone. Healthy relationships are based on trust, mutual respect and compassion.
  • Unhealthy relationships are ones in which violence (verbal, physical, sexual) is used to control partners, other signs of unhealthy relationships can be found in red flags of abusive behavior (see list below).

You can read more in My healthy/unhealthy? by CAV's Malinda Williams.

If you are beginning to feel as if your partner is becoming abusive, there are behaviors you can look out for. Watch for these red flags. If you'd like to call an advocate to talk about what's going on, call CAV's crisis hotline 575-758-9888 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

Red Flags of abusive behavior are:
  • Telling you that you can never do anything right
  • Embarrassing or shaming you with put-downs
  • Controlling every penny spent in the household
  • Taking your money or refusing to give you money for expenses
  • Looking at you or acting in ways that scare you
  • Controlling who you see, where you go, or what you do, who you talk to
  • Preventing you from making your own decisions
  • Telling you that you are a bad parent or threatening to harm or take away your children
  • Preventing you from working or attending school
  • Destroying your property
  • Threatening to hurt or kill your pets
  • Intimidating you with guns, knives or other weapons
  • Pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to or do things sexually you’re not comfortable with
  • Pressuring you to use drugs or alcohol
  • Checking your cell phone for who you call or text, monitoring your Facebook page for who you communicate with
  • Repeatedly physically causing you pain

If you would like more information on warning signs or red flags, visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline page.

You can learn more about the different types of violence and abuse by going to our Different Types of Violence page.

Are you nervous about what happens if you call? Go to What to Expect When You Call Us to find out more.

If it is abuse, what you should know:
  • The abuse is never your fault. You deserve safety and respect, and there are services to help you now.
  • Relationship abuse in New Mexico can be fatal. An estimated 15-20% of homicides in our state results from domestic violence.
  • LGBTQI victims of relationship abuse are entitled to protection by law enforcement and the courts. New Mexico’s domestic violence laws are gender neutral and include household members and dating partners.
  • Whether you call our hotline once, stay in our Shelter for a month, or attend a weekly counseling group, we will help you make a safety plan that works for you.
  • All our services at CAV are Free and Confidential. Call our 24-hour hotline at 575-758-9888 if you or someone you love needs help.