Two new laws to protect domestic violence victims in New Mexico

Governor Bill Richardson has signed into law two domestic violence bills.

One is designed to help domestic violence victims keep their jobs and the other makes it easier to prosecute stalkers, including cyber stalkers.

They take effect July first.

They're part of a package of domestic violence bills the administration has been pushing in the legislative session that ends tomorrow.

One measure requires employers to give leave to workers who are domestic abuse victims so they can meet with police and lawyers and go to court hearings without losing their jobs.

The second broadens the language in the current stalking law.

The administration's domestic violence czar, Sharon Pino, says 71 percent of domestic violence homicides in New Mexico occur after a victim has left the relationship. In nearly 60 percent of those cases, the victim is stalked prior to the murder.