Pat Griffen: An Unlikely Catalyst for Change – By Chrystal Allen-O’Jon
Against Abuse, Inc. has provided social services in Pinal County, Arizona since 1981. Against Abuse, Inc. is a private non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals and the community to understand the nature and effects of family violence and the resources available to meet the needs of those abused. In addition, the agency has taken a proactive role in providing a family focused, culturally sensitive continuum of prevention and intervention services to individuals and families in need of services. https://www.against-abuse.org/.
Let’s dig into how the founder of Against Abuse, Pat Griffen became an unlikely hero to many women. When speaking to Ms. Griffen it strikes you that serving others comes as natural to her as breathing air. When asked how Against Abuse started, she states ” It all started as a simple conversation with one group to another as to how one might help women and children caught up divorce and abuse”. Ms. Griffen goes on to explain that “back in the day” 40 years ago legislature was in place in several counties in Arizona that allowed funds from divorce to fund victims of domestic abuse. By chance, Pat ran into someone who was running an underground organization similar to hers. Having a simple discussion to strategize on how best to get funds distributed to families in need, turned into a whole movement. “In the past, people didn’t acknowledge domestic abuse. The viewpoint then was you just discuss those things”. So, Pat although small in stature, went about the community via churches and other organizations to spread a big message of obtaining Safe Houses for victims of domestic abuse and their children. This turned into a 5013c organization, where Pat was hired to work on a three-month basis and is still working. As a young mom Pat thought she’d make extra money doing something she was passionate about, helping abuse victims. Her passion turned into the recruitment of 17-20 safe homes via some fema funding. The idea was to provide a safe place for women and their children while they went through the process of being healed and reestablished.
To date, Against Abuse has the largest network of safe homes in Arizona and carries liability insurance, etc. to create a safe environment without expense to those families in need.
Check out our next quarter AMPS Issue where we discuss more about this organization and how we can all help!