New Mexico bishops attack anti-child abuse push

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on a New Mexico campaign aimed at tackling child abuse (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

New Mexico Catholic leaders are expressing skepticism about a new “Pull Together” state campaign aimed at tackling child abuse.

Santa Fe Archbishop John Wester and Las Cruces Bishop Oscar Cantu said Monday that state resources should instead be placed toward expanding earlier childhood education and programs fighting poverty.

The new state-funded campaign features slick commercials and a new website to draw residents to revamped Children, Youth and Families Department programs like foster care and parenting tips.

Wester says the campaign underestimates the lack of internet access for people living in poverty.

He also says he questions the state’s intention with the campaign while New Mexico children rank among the nation’s poorest and state lawmakers refused to allow voters to decide on expanding pre-K programs.

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4 a.m.

The state agency tasked with protecting New Mexico children is launching a new campaign aimed at getting more parents involved in fighting child abuse.

Children, Youth and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobson says the “Pull Together” campaign beginning Monday will help parents and change the way state officials address child wellbeing.

The statewide campaign features slick commercials starring Albuquerque-born UFC fighter Carlos Condit and images of children around New Mexico.

Jacobson told The Associated Press the campaign isn’t about rebranding her once-troubled agency but is about engaging parents and “creating a movement” to transform the way residents sees child abuse.

The plan includes a new pulltogether.org website that will allow parents to chat with each other and make reporting child abuse easier.

Jacobson helped launched the New Mexico True campaign as tourism secretary.

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