Now entering its 26th year of providing service to people experiencing domestic and sexual abuse, agency introduces new brand and name more indicative of its work today.

St. Augustine, Fla. (Oct. 3, 2016) – The Betty Griffin House, which has provided emergency shelter and services for residents experiencing domestic or sexual abuse since 1989, has announced a new name for the nonprofit agency: Betty Griffin Center.

“After more than two decades it was time for us to refresh our design, but also to have a name and brand that captures all the services we provide beyond our important role in providing shelter for those fleeing domestic or sexual abuse,” said Betty Griffin Center Executive Director, Joyce Mahr. “In addition to providing shelter for more than 350 people annually, last year Betty Griffin Center provided 7,085 hours of free counseling services to 500 participants. Betty Griffin Center also operates a 24-hour crisis helpline and two thrift shops to help fund these services. We have many other initiatives under way in our communities. We think the new name, Betty Griffin Center, better captures the extent of services we provide today.”

As part of the transition, the agency has also launched a new brand campaign that includes a new logo and tagline, along with a new website and marketing materials. The new brand will be incorporated into use at all its public facilities, thrift shops and other assets over the next few months.

The announcement of the new name and brand also corresponds with Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October. Conceived by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, advocates across the nation who are working to end violence against women and their children join together to mourn those who have died because of domestic violence, celebrate those who have survived and connect those who work to end violence throughout the U.S. The event evolved from ‘The Day of Unity,’ event held in October 1981.

“We’ve worked on this transition for more than a year, and we felt October was the most opportune time to for an announcement to further heighten awareness about the issue in our community,” Mahr said. “Last year, our counseling services increased by 130 percent, reports into our Rape Crisis Unit increased by 32 percent and we had a 55 percent increase in the nights at shelter, so this is still a very serious problem in our community.”

The bold and refreshed look of the Betty Griffin Center logo, designed by Brunet-Garcia Advertising, are meant to match the organization’s drive and enthusiasm to provide supportive and empowering services – including individual and group counseling, legal services and age-appropriate violence prevention education and training
in schools and for other civic and community groups in St. Johns County.

The design firm and nonprofit staff used the tulip, one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, as a design element – the bulb in the middle signifying the nutrients the tulip stores to rejuvenate each year and connecting well with the nonprofit agency’s mission to help people build new life after domestic or sexual abuse. A figure also appears in the center of the tulip with its arms toward the sky, which is meant to reflect an individual overcoming hardship and reflects an upward movement.

“Our goal is to see that everyone we help at Betty Griffin Center experiences new hope for the future, and we feel the logo and tagline ‘Healing for Now. Hope for Tomorrow.’ really captures the identity what we do in our community,” Mahr said.

About Betty Griffin Center
The Betty Griffin Center was founded in 1990 by concerned citizens and incorporated as the Safety Shelter of St. Johns County to develop plans to provide shelter for local victims of domestic violence and their children. In 1992, the nonprofit agency contracted with a local motel for space and started a 24-hour crisis line and court advocacy program. By 1994, the agency purchased and opened Betty Griffin House as a permanent shelter. The shelter was expanded in 1998 to meet local demand, and a sexual assault program was added the same year. The Sexual Assault Victim Recovery Program is currently recruiting on call volunteers to provide victim advocacy. For information contact Kelly at 904-808-8544.

Today, Betty Griffin Center shelters 250 to 350 victims of domestic and sexual abuse annually, operates a 24-hour helpline, provides professional counseling for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, provides age appropriate violence prevention training and operates two thrift stores at Julington Square and Anastasia Square to assist in funding the agency’s ongoing operations
For more information or to make a donation, visit To report if you or someone you know is being abused, call the Betty Griffin Center 24-hour crisis helpline at (904) 824-1555.


Media Contact:
Ron Whittington
(904) 563-0402