Connecting Services with Survivors at WAVI

Apr 15, 2024 | Community Stories, Grant Stories

In the wake of the pandemic, nonprofit Working Against Violence, Inc. (WAVI) has seen heightened demand from survivors of domestic and sexual violence. In 2022, stays at its shelter increased by 22 percent, along with rising requests for transportation.  

A passenger van, purchased with a BHACF Community Action Grant, allows WAVI to better serve not only those in Rapid City, but also those living on the Pine Ridge Reservation. “Because of the generous gift, we were able to purchase a van to allow for increased transportation of the women, children, and men we serve,” said Linda Shroll, Executive Director at WAVI.   

Within Pine Ridge, the van will help connect clients with case management and referrals, medical or legal advocacy, assessments, and more, Shroll said. Clients can now travel to and from Pine Ridge and a safe shelter in Rapid City if requested.   

The increase in mobility also allows WAVI to partner with the Peaceful Means Project, a program established in part by the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. The program offers sexual violence prevention training and a support system to students in the Oglala Sioux Tribe and their families. In the process, survivors may disclose difficult experiences. WAVI provides emotional support and education to Peaceful Means staff and others who support survivors.

Altogether, the van strengthens WAVI’s services and partnerships in a time of growing need. “We, at WAVI, are so thankful for the generous support provided by the Black Hills Area Community Foundation,” Shroll said.