Refuge House is the domestic and sexual violence center for Leon County 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 also provide sexual violence services.

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1978

Our first emergency shelter opens in Leon County on February 14th.

1980

Rape crisis services launched.

1983

We hire our first children’s counselor, with support from the Tallahassee Junior League.

1992

Refuge House Injunction Office opens in the Leon County Courthouse.

1994

Passage of the federal Violence Against Women Act.

1995-1998

Rapid expansion into the seven neighboring 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 our new Leon County Emergency Shelter and Child Care Center.

2005-2008

Three phases of our Transitional Housing Program open in Leon County.

2008-2011

Spanish-speaking capacity developed across all agency services.

2013-2014

Renovation of the Taylor County Emergency Shelter.

2015-2016

Strength through partnerships: Refuge House-DCF Child Welfare collaboration promotes family safety in 8 counties. Our InVEST partnership with the Leon County Sheriff’s Office promotes perpetrator accountability and enhanced advocacy services.

2016

Refuge House opens stand-alone Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Center.

2018

InVEST services expanded to Wakulla County.