Drive Out Domestic Violence: The need for the Children’s Inn

Published: Jul. 14, 2021 at 6:18 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This month, Dakota News Now is teaming up with the Children’s Inn for the Drive Out Domestic Violence campaign

There is a growing need for the services provided by the Children’s Inn which helps victims of domestic violence. Longtime Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead knows first hand the importance of The Children’s Inn.

“Tell you a little bit about my history. When I was in the police department we didn’t have The Children’s Inn. And when there was a domestic situation and you had to take children out of a violent home. We brought them to the police station and they were babysat by the officer working behind the desk,” said Milstead.

“You know the police department and the city have been a long-term partner with Children’s Inn. We truly see the need and the benefit that this organization provides to Sioux Falls and all the many families and victims that go to them for services,” said Sioux Falls Police Chief Matt Burns.

The need for those services is greater than ever and the nonprofit has recently broken ground on a larger facility.

“We have so many more people that need to be in a shelter, unfortunately. So we’re moving from 40 beds to 96 beds and it’s just a reflection of how our community is really growing so we’ll need those 96 beds,” said Children’s Home Society CEO Michelle LaVallee. “One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in her lifetime. We see that here in our own city and so when someone is experiencing domestic violence, we want them to know that there is a place that is safe and immediately accessible to them if they want to get out of that situation.”

Police say domestic violence calls increased during the pandemic. However, numbers coming to The Children’s Inn went down.

“And we think two things. One is that people are concerned to be in congregate living because of the spread. And secondly, unfortunately, we think people were home with their abusers. So it’s been a concerning and disturbing trend, even across the country domestic violence is up,” said Michelle.

“Our crisis calls went up, which tells people were still in crisis and wanted to talk to somebody. But they weren’t necessarily comfortably living in a shelter. So we anticipate as the pandemic starts to kind of lessen a little bit and we start to be able to be more in the communities, our numbers will go right back up,” said Children’s Inn Operations Coordinator Amy Carter.

That number is increasing, which just adds to the community need

The Children’s Inn’s new, larger facility is expected to be completed by December of 2022.

You can join us in supporting the Children’s Inn and their work to help victims of domestic violence.

Head over to to make a donation.

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