SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Domestic violence can happen anywhere at any time.

The Compass Center executive director Michelle Trent says the organization has seen an increase in domestic violence since the pandemic.

But there’s another trend the Sioux Falls non-profit is noticing, clients reporting an escalation of violence.

“They might have talked about in the past assault or those kinds of things. Now we’re talking more about assaults with weapons, assaults where people’s lives are at risk,” The Compass Center executive director Michelle Trent said.

Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota serves Davison and the surrounding counties.

Executive Director Nancy Wietgrefe says the need has always been there, but tragedies over the past several months are underscoring the problem.

“I think people are realizing that it’s more prevalent than maybe what we had thought, and maybe people don’t want to admit it’s in our areas,” Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota executive director Nancy Wietgrefe said.

There are advocates all over the state ready to help victims of domestic violence.

“We’re certainly here for you. Just call the advocate even if you’re not ready to flee the situation. Have a safety plan in place so if you do feel like your life is in danger you have that plan ready to go and you can make that call and you’ll already have everything lined up,” Wietgrefe said.

And there’s something everyone can do: talk about the problem.

“Violence happens in the dark so I think the tendency to not want to talk about these things also adds protection to perpetrators and so we have to talk about them. We have to shine a light on the things that are happening or it will continue to happen,” Trent said.

If you need help, click the link for phone numbers and a map of shelters in South Dakota.