As Domestic Violence Awareness Month comes to a close, Enlace recognizes that a single month cannot adequately capture the nuanced anti-violence narratives, grassroots efforts, and community partnerships that help us advance our work to reduce domestic violence (DV) in Central New Mexico’s Latinx and immigrant communities. Enlace also has strived to spotlight how DV often intersects with large-scale, intersectional issues—including gun violence, bodily autonomy, forced displacement, cultural erasure, and policy-level decisions that often have disproportionate implications for hyper-marginalized communities, including our client communities.
With national and global socioeconomic and political landscapes being especially charged, Enlace continues to leverage the expertise and experience of our staff and community partners to ensure we shape a community of care that helps bridge service gaps here in New Mexico. We also recognize that as an agency dedicated to reducing violence at household and community levels, we must frame our work through an asset-based lens: one that recognizes the humanity, experience, talent, resilience, empathy, and compassion of each of our clients.
As part of our anti-violence advocacy, Enlace remains focused on both the short-term and long-term impacts of violence—again, at both household and community levels. We know that violence at home can reverberate through generations—in terms of which narrative is deemed “true”; who is to be believed; and who is to be “cast aside” or “othered.” As history shows, if left unaddressed, such localized violence (at home, in close-knit communities) can lead to large-scale violence, including through racist policies, state-level actions, and broader conflicts like war.
Here in the United States, we have seen historical erasure and white-washing specific to the country’s history of enslaving African Americans and committing genocide against Indigenous populations. This violence continues today. For instance, earlier this month, we referenced the attempt by Texas Governor Abbott to further displace recent immigrants who arrived in Texas by busing them to neighboring states (including New Mexico). As an immigrant-focused organization, Enlace recognizes that such displacement is one form of trauma, as are the state-sanctioned policies that reinforce problematic narratives and amplify violence against immigrants—and groups seeking asylum or protection from violence. In each of these examples, and in a cursory overview of the history of the United States, the same dynamics present in household-level DV situations are at play at a macro-level: a never-ending cycle of imposing power and control, often with fractious, destabilizing, generations-long effects.
Like many young nations, the United States has not learned from its violent beginnings—that alienation, subjugation, displacement, and suffocating power plays will only foster the same in generation after generation. Perpetuating inequities will ultimately lead to a ruinous future devoid of empathy and compassion. As conflicts abroad reverberate globally—including those in Palestine, Israel, and Ukraine—Enlace remains dedicated to supporting survivors with empathy and compassion, and in advocating against oppressive power dynamics that force individuals and groups into desperate circumstances.
Recognizing the inherent humanity of each person—and the complex beauty and capacity for learning therein—is one of the most vital elements of addressing violence and educating individuals, families, and communities about more health-centered, equity-focused narratives that celebrate people as they are. Because we, as individuals, cannot redress and right every systemic inequity, we must work together—to thrive as one. As Indigenous Australian activist Lilla Watson notably said, “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
This month and every day of our operation, Enlace remains dedicated to working together, bridging divides, and finding our common humanity—to help frame a better, healthier future for generations to come.