SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — This week’s shooting that claimed the lives of three people at a home in Scotland, South Dakota is a tragic reminder that domestic violence can happen anywhere, including rural communities. The Scotland shooting comes on the heels of another shooting that killed a 90-year-old woman in Wessington Springs just over two weeks ago.
People in rural South Dakota grieve when domestic violence turns deadly. But as tragic as these cases are, they come as no surprise to victims’ advocates.
“We unfortunately, see those kinds of cases every day, and while we maybe don’t have headlines about it, we know that maybe they’re headed that direction, or we can try to intervene to try to stop it. But unfortunately, violence has just escalated,” Mitchell Area Safe House Development Director Ashley Hobbs said.
The Mitchell Area Safe House serves an eight-county area. Victim advocates say the recent deaths underscore the importance of knowing what resources are available to people who may live miles from the closest shelter.
“We work with our local law enforcement, they help us out, they’re educated with the situation, they know about us, we have a gal that goes out to our communities and talk with them and inform them of everything,” Mitchell Area Safe House Victim Advocate Kaleena Kaiser said.
The Safe House has secured a $2-million grant to build a new facility that nearly doubles the size of its current shelter. The expansion speaks to the need within the community, and beyond.
“We want people to know that there’s resources here, we want to get better education in front of them, better resources ability to house more people,” Hobbs said.
Construction of the new Safe House is expected to start in the spring. The expansion will broaden their outreach to more communities while raising awareness and assuring victims that it’s important to reach out for help.
Organizers will announce the location of the new Safe House during a fundraising event in Mitchell on December 3rd.
If you’re a victim of domestic violence, call the 211 Helpline Center and they’ll direct you to the closest place for help.