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Rural Health Information Hub

Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota

Summary 
  • Need: To provide victims of domestic violence and sexual assault a safe space, advocacy, education, and family support services.
  • Intervention: Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota provides emergency/transitional housing, support and referral services, family visitation services, and community education.
  • Results: In 2022, Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota answered 350 crisis calls, provided shelter for 132 survivors, and advocated for 94 survivors.

Description

Established in 1984, Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota provides 24/7 emergency and transitional housing for adults and children who are escaping situations of domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault. The facility uses security cameras and an alarm system that connects directly to police dispatch.

Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota horizontal logo.

Established in 1996, the Family Visitation Center (FVC) provides a safe location for children in abusive situations or whose parents are determining custody rights. The FVC serves as a neutral location for children being picked up by parents with visitation rights or for monitored visitation at the Center (for cases of documented or suspected abuse).

Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota serves the following rural counties:

  • Aurora
  • Davison
  • Douglas
  • Hanson
  • Hutchinson
  • Jerauld
  • Miner
  • Sanborn

Services offered

Shelter Services:

  • Emergency Shelter: temporary safe housing for victims and their children. Six rooms house up to 27 people. Men and people with special needs are housed in different locations.
  • 24-hour Crisis Hotline: 605.996.4440 in addition to online chat feature and texting options
  • Support Advocacy Services: trained advocates provide support for protection orders and law enforcement domestic violence assessment and at hospitals and courts
  • Resource Information: referrals for medical, counseling, social, and legal services as needed
  • Support Group: weekly meetings for clients with past or current abusive relationships
  • Domestic Abuse Intervention Project (DAIP): 27-week program for individuals who abuse their partners to learn how to change their beliefs and behaviors
  • Community Education, Prevention, and Awareness: speakers, videos, and materials to educate community members on domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault
  • ESG (Emergency Solutions Grant) and SD Security Deposit Program: temporary financial and rental assistance available for qualified applicants

Family Visitation Services:

  • Supervised visitation and transfers
  • Common Sense Parenting Classes: 6-week session for parents of school-aged children
  • Responsive Parenting Classes: 6-week session for parents of infants and toddlers

Results

  • Outreach: In 2021, 26 education programs reached 407 individuals.
  • Services provided: In 2022, Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota answered 350 crisis calls, provided shelter for 132 survivors, and advocated for 94 survivors. The program assisted in 28 protection orders, provided advocacy to 22 sexual assault survivors, and provided 61 families with visitation services.
  • Volunteers: A number of volunteer opportunities were offered, including direct services, donation and shelter upkeep, and fundraising and awareness. Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota received assistance from 28 individual volunteers for a number of 4,211 service hours.
  • Housing Program: In 2022, 28 clients in the emergency housing and security deposit program received assistance.

Challenges

There is a perception that domestic violence and sexual assault don't happen in small towns. The program is working to provide more community awareness on these issues.

The need for FVC services is important for families in crisis, especially those experiencing domestic violence. Visitation services have very limited federal or state funding and are underutilized by the community. The continuation of the FVC is more and more dependent on funding from the community.

Replication

Community support and networking with other social service agencies are crucial.

Contact Information

Coleen Hoffman, Executive Director
Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota
coleen@safeplace-esd.org

Topics
Abuse and violence
Families
Housing and homelessness

States served
South Dakota

Date added
November 14, 2017

Date updated or reviewed
November 28, 2023

Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub, 2023. Safe Place of Eastern South Dakota [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/project-examples/986 [Accessed 4 March 2024]


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