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Child abuse hotline gets a new number

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico has a new hotline number to report child abuse and neglect.

Gov. Susana Martinez and Children, Youth, and Families Secretary Yolanda Deines on Monday announced the new statewide number — 1-855-333-SAFE.

The department has had a hotline for 12 years, but officials say the new number is easier to remember.

Caseworkers at the Children, Youth and Families Department's Albuquerque-based central intake unit answer the calls and get as much information as possible.

A supervisor then reviews each case, deciding whether it will be investigated and whether it's a priority.

Cases are sent to the county where the child lives.

The department averages 33,000 calls a year about child abuse or neglect.

About 18,000 are investigated and about 4,700 cases are substantiated. Most are for physical neglect.