Noem Looks to Break Cycle of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Trafficking

Noem Looks to Break Cycle of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Trafficking 

Sioux Falls, S.D. – Rep. Kristi Noem today met with local advocates and law enforcement officials at the Compass Center in Sioux Falls to discuss strategies to help break the cycle of violence and trafficking in South Dakota.Noem was joined by advocates from the Compass Center, Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department, South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, New Colossus, and the Sioux Falls Police Department.

“Around one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and as the mom of two daughters, that’s a cycle I’m committed to breaking,” said Noem. “Whether a woman faces violence at home, on a college campus, or as the result of a human trafficker, I want to ensure organizations like the Compass Center have the resources and flexibility necessary to provide a way out and a hope for the future. Alongside their efforts, we must make sure survivors are supported. Because women who experience violence are more likely to fall into poverty, our anti-poverty programs must be effective in giving them a path to upward mobility.”

“Sexual and domestic violence are hard topics to discuss, especially as a community. The facts are that South Dakota ranks second in the United States for number of forcible rapes per capita,” said the Compass Center Executive Director, Michelle Markgraf. “The Compass Center appreciates having Rep. Kristi Noem on our campus and hosting a forum to discuss these issues. Her willingness to bring attention to these tough issues is vital to increasing awareness and finding solutions.”

Among other areas, the group discussed the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and advocacy groups, which many noted South Dakota does better than other states. The need to better support mental health and rehabilitation services – particularly in rural communities – was also a main topic of discussion.

Additionally, Noem highlighted proposed investments into the Office of Violence Against Women, which provides much of the federal grant funding for domestic violence shelters, including those attending today’s roundtable. Under the current House proposal and President Trump’s proposal, support for the Office would increase by  $20-$70 million over FY2017 levels, even though overall government spending would decrease.

The Compass Center provides crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, and prevention education service to those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

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