SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — As the city of Sioux Falls grows, The Compass Center, is also helping more victims.

The organization is preparing for its annual Gala, a fundraiser that helps support free counseling and advocacy services for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence, services that are in high demand.

“We have a waiting list for counseling, we’ve had a waiting list for counseling for several years now and we can’t seem to get rid of it,” The Compass Center Executive Director Michelle Trent said.

The Compass Center has supported victims of rape and domestic violence in Sioux Falls since 1975, but over the past five years, the need for those services has grown dramatically.

“We have so much more of a population now and so many more people coming in, they don’t understand the process, they’re a little different here,” Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department Detective Rachel Tilley said.

Law Enforcement in Sioux Falls work with advocates from The Compass Center every day.

“They are there 24/7 they’re on call, they get calls in the middle of the night to go help these people and that’s what they do. It’s a difficult job and we’re really appreciative that we have the Compass Center that actually goes out and does that,” Tilley said.

The Compass Center now has 11 advocates responding to be with victims anytime a call comes in and walking them through every step of the legal process, but their support goes much deeper.

“At no charge to the victim and we provide it for as long as that victim needs, so it could be one counseling session or it could be 45 counseling sessions, depending on what that victim needs and what their experience has been,” Trent said.

As the number of people in need of their help continues to rise, the Compass Center is also focusing on prevention, reaching out to youth and now starting a new program directed at teens.

“It will be working with the school system,” Trent said.  “The goal is to get youth educating other youth in their schools on how they respond and how they support victims that they know. Teenagers don’t tend to talk to adults, they’re talking to another peer when something happen.”

The funds raised at The Compass Center Gala next week Thursday, April 20th will help fund their new teen prevention program along with all of the other services the nonprofit provides to victims in the Sioux Falls community every day.