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True Consequences

Mar 22, 2020

The following episode discusses themes which may be difficult for some listeners. It deals with issues of domestic violence, child abuse, neglect, and child murder. Listener Discretion is advised. 

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence please call the national Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233

To report child abuse or suspected child abuse please call 1-855-333-SAFE [7233] or #SAFE from a mobile device. 

New Mexico has never done a great job of protecting children from child abuse. This is an issue we as a community cannot seem to figure out. According to statistics released by NM CYFD, in 2018 15 out of every 1000 kids in New Mexico were victims of abuse and neglect. In 2017 that number was 25 out of 1000. The national average in 2018 was 9 out of 1000 cases. In a 2019 Albuquerque Journal Article, Dan McKay states - “Only three states had a higher rate of child maltreatment than New Mexico in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available..” I have said over and over again on this show that the problem of child abuse and child murder in New Mexico is not new.  These challenges and issues continue to plague New Mexico to this day. And they will continue to be an issue unless we are willing to face it and address it. This episode is very close to home for me. It is the story of why I started this show. It is the story of the murder of my brother Jacob’s from 33 years ago.. Season 2 of True Consequences will feature stories like this in a new segment called, New Mexico’s Forgotten Children.

On April 10, 1987 my mom, Brenda, was working her shift at a local grocery store in Socorro, New Mexico. She had received a call from my grandmother stating that she needed to leave my baby brother Jacob somewhere so she could go to church. My mom only had an hour left on her shift and figured my brother could safely be left with her boyfriend at the time. Shortly after my brother was dropped off, my mom’s boyfriend runs frantically into her workplace to let her know my brother is on the way to the hospital. I start this episode by speaking with my mom and walking through the details of the case. At one point she becomes unable to continue as she is overcome with emotion. I will step in and continue the story for her and then we will resume the interview. I am hoping that this episode will get people talking about the issue of child abuse in New Mexico. I did not initially want to release an episode about my brother because I was worried that it would be too intense. I now realize that by telling my story I am breaking my own stigma related to this issue and if this story can help one child then it was all worth it. 

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