High Demand For Sexual Assault Victim Resources

The Compass Center looking for options to alleviate waiting list for victims

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – South Dakota has the second highest rate of rape in the nation, coming in only behind the state of Alaska.

With such a high occurrence of these sexual violence crimes, many outreach centers are operating at maximum capacity.

“The compass center is in Sioux Falls to help survivors of sexual and domestic violence,” said Michelle Markgraf, Executive Director of The Compass Center.

Every day, those impacted by sexual assault and violence walk through the doors of The Compass Center.

The facility offers free services to survivors such as counseling and advocacy services.

The demand for these services is increasing.

The compass center currently has a wait list for victims to meet with counselors — something the executive director attributes to the growing notion that it’s okay to speak out.

“What we think is happening is that people are finding it easier to talk about their assault, either domestic or sexual violence that they suffered. And because of that, they’re looking for resources. Which makes us very happy that they’re trying to heal and to come for counseling and unfortunately that also means we have a lot more people coming through our doors and we are just not able to keep up with the need at this moment.”

The center is looking for short-term solutions to alleviate the waiting list, such as possible group sessions for counseling. While that approach may be different than usual one-on-one sessions, the outcome and mission won’t change.

“What we do at The Compass Center is we 100 percent believe what the survivor tells us. We’ve had a lot of people come in our doors and talk to a counselor and start crying and say, ‘This is the first time anybody believed my story.”

Even though there is a waiting list, The Compass Center stresses if someone is in crisis to contact them immediately and they will make accommodations to get that person help.

MORE INFORMATION: http://www.abusecounselingsiouxfalls.com/services.html