Refuge House is the domestic and sexual violence center for Leon and the seven neighboring counties in North Florida: Franklin, Gadsden, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Taylor, and Wakulla. Refuge House first opened its doors to provide emergency shelter on February 14, 1978, and later merged with Tallahassee Rape Crisis to provide sexual violence services, as well.
1978: Our first emergency shelter opens in Leon County.
1980: Rape crisis services launched.
1983: We hire our first children’s counselor, with support from the Tallahassee Junior League.
1992: Injunction Office opens in the Courthouse.
1994: Passage of the federal Violence Against Women Act.
1995-1998: Rapid expansion into the rural counties.
1998: Hospital-based Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program (SANE) founded.
2000: Taylor County Emergency Shelter opened; Gadsden Outreach Office donated by the community.
2002: Capital Campaign supports construction of new Leon County Emergency Shelter and Child Care Center.
2005-2008: Three phases of Transitional Housing program open in Leon County.
2008-2011: Spanish-speaking capacity developed across all agency services.
2013-14: Renovation of Taylor County Emergency Shelter.
2014-15: Advances in collaboration with DCF Child Welfare Services.
2015-16: Refuge House-DCF Child Welfare collaboration expands to 8 counties.
2016: Refuge House opens standalone Sexual Assault examination center