Daybreak Home The Daybreak Crisis Recovery Center, Inc.
Supporting victims of sexual violence

1931 Leighton Avenue
Anniston, Alabama 36207
(256) 237‑6300

24-HOUR HOTLINE:   1-800-656-HOPE



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Email us at: tracedaybreak@bellsouth.net

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Calhoun County Sheriff's Office

The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network
Daybreak’s Mission  Back to top
Daybreak’s mission is to provide 24-hour, non-judgmental crisis intervention for all rape victims. Any woman, man or child who is victimized by a sexual predator shall be believed, supported, counseled, and advocated for by the staff and volunteers of this center. All services provided by daybreak shall be free of charge. Additionally, daybreak’s mission is to educate persons residing, working or conducting business in our seven county coverage area about the issues surrounding sexual assault. Finally, daybreak’s mission is to empower women of all ages by giving them knowledge to help prevent them from becoming a victim of sexual assault.

Services Provided By Daybreak  Back to top
Crisis hotline services Daybreak's hotline services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our hotline number is 1-800-656-HOPE. This hotline number can be used anywhere in the United States for immediate assistance to your local sexual assault crisis center.
24/7 Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) The Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) responds to victims of rape in our local emergency rooms to provide advocacy and support services to them and their families. SART members also help to maintain the 24-hour crisis hotline.
Individual crisis counseling Daybreak is able to provide free counseling services to victims of sexual assualt and their families. Call 256-237-6300 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Special Investigator on site Daybreak is proud to have a Special Investigator who is a deputy with both the Calhoun and Cleburne County sheriff's departments. The Special Investigator handles all sexual assault cases in these counties not handled by the cities of Annison or Oxford. The Special Investigator's services are free of any charge.
Referrals to community agencies Daybreak is able to provide referrals for assistance to any community agency in our seven county coverage area.
Community awareness and public education concerning issues of sexual assault Daybreak's Prevention Educator and SART/SANE Coordinator are able to provide educational trainings to a wide variety of organizations, schools, churches, police, and civic groups. We are able to provide these trainings free of charge and, in some instances, provide CEU credits. Please contact Daybreak for more information or to schedule a training.
Pathways to Recovery (new) A new treatment option for sexually reactive children. This program offers twenty-seven weeks of biweekly individual therapy sessions designed specifically for children who have been sexually abused and are now acting out in sexual ways towards other children. Participants must be 16 years of age or younger. Call 256-237-6300 for more information or to register a child. Note: This program is not grant funded. Session fees must by paid by custodial parents/guardians or intervening agencies.

A Short History of Daybreak  Back to top
Daybreak’s history begins with the heartbreaking story of a young girl we’ll call “Ann.” Ann was a troubled child with an equally troubled past. At the age of 12 she had been abandoned by her mother and then placed in a foster home when her mother was sent to prison. Ms. Rhonda Hardagree, an employee of a local social service agency, was notified soon after Ann’s placement in the foster home that the child had run away. Soon after the child left the foster home, she was found running naked along the roadside. Seeing that Ann had experienced some horror, a Good Samaritan picked her up off the roadside and took her to the local hospital’s emergency room. Upon Ann’s arrival at the hospital, Ms. Hardagree was notified of her client’s whereabouts. At the hospital, Ms. Hardagree discovered that Ann had been held captive, bound at the hands and feet, and raped repeatedly by a gang of five men. Immediately, Ms. Hardagree requested that the local rape crisis center be called to offer support to the child, only to be told that a rape crisis center did not exist for this area.

Fueled by anger at Ann’s situation and by memories of her own rape, Ms. Hardagree became determined to initiate an agency whose mission was to provide rape crisis intervention services to the Calhoun County area. Ann’s rape occurred in the fall of 1994. By March of 1995, Ms. Hardagree had rallied support for rape crisis services and established The Daybreak Crisis Recovery Center. The Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) was instrumental in Daybreak’s creation as they donated the money for Daybreak to apply for it’s 501 (c) (3) status. APSO also agreed to fund a year of service for the 24-hour crisis hotline number, a pager to be passed among volunteers and letterhead for the newly created agency.

In it’s infancy, Daybreak provided only one service to sexual assault victims: the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). SART volunteers were paged when a rape victim was being treated at local hospital emergency rooms and met victims at the hospitals to provide crisis counseling, educational literature and clothing for the victim to wear home. Daybreak was operated strictly from the trunks of the volunteers’ cars.

In December of 1995, Daybreak received grant funding from the Alabama Department of Public Health to secure office space and to provide prevention and education services to Calhoun, Cleburne, Clay, Etowah and Talladega counties. In December of 1999, Cherokee, Dekalb and Randolph counties were added to Daybreak’s service area at the request of the Alabama Coalition Against Rape. Soon afterward, Clay County received funding to establish it’s own rape crisis center. Daybreak now serves seven counties, however, is unable to provide SART services to Cherokee, Dekalb and Randolph counties due to funding and staffing constraints. Daybreak has now expanded it’s services and is able to offer free counseling, court advocacy, peer support groups, community resource referrals, investigative services and community awareness and education programs.

Meet The Staff  Back to top
Kirsten Stephenson
Executive Director/Counselor
Kirsten Stephenson, LPC, NBCC, began working in the Violence Against Women field in 1999, after successfully leaving a violent marriage. Frustrated with the current system and it's inability to help her during her situation, she set forth to work with others who had been in similar situations. Ms. Stephenson went to work at 2nd Chance, a domestic violence shelter in Calhoun County, as Shelter Director. After several years, Ms. Stephenson accepted a position at The Daybreak Crisis Recovery Center. During her tenure at Daybreak, Ms. Stephenson successfully completed her Master's Degree in Counseling and was promoted to Executive Director of the agency. Ms. Stephenson lives in Anniston, Alabama, with her daughter Ashley, who says that she too will one day "help people like Mommy does."
Steve Robertson
Special Investigator
Steve Robertson, Special Investigator, is a respected and integral member of the Daybreak staff. Since 2003, Mr. Robertson has provided victims of sexual assault in Calhoun and Clebume Counties with critical forensic and investigative services. Working closely with victims and the District Attorneys' offices, Mr. Robertson has full arresting privileges, investigative powers, and the ability to provide expert testimony when needed. Mr. Roberson served for 22 years on the Anniston Police Department and spent several years as Guntersville, Alabama's Police Administrator. Currently, he is also an active member of the Fraternal Order of Police and resides in Anniston.
Trace Fleming Smith
Prevention Educator/ Fundraising Coordinator
Trace Fleming-Smith, LBSW, is a native of northern New Hampshire but chose to attend Jacksonville State University after a visit with family living in Alabama. As an advocate against violence, she works as the Community Programs Manager at The Daybreak Crisis Recovery Center where she coordinates sexual assault educational trainings and seminars. In 2005, Trace founded Women's Issues Support and Empowerment (WISE), a women's empowerment group at JSU, after seeing the need for women's issues awareness in her local community. While acting as the Alumni Leader for WISE, Trace helped to start the WISE Legacy Scholarship, a scholarship dedicated for students who are actively supporting the end of violence against women. In 2008, Trace became President of the Board of Directors for The Alabama Coalition Against Rape (ACAR). She also is a member of the Alabama Sexual Violence Prevention Committee and the Alabama Council of Violence Against Women.
Toni McPherson
SART/SANE Receptionist Coordinator

Alicia "Toni" McPherson has worked with Daybreak since 2005, after her retirement from Tyson Food, Inc. While at Tyson, Ms. McPherson worked in the Truck Maintenance Department maintaining purchasing orders and other office work. Her administration skills have helped her at Daybreak where she works as a part-time Receptionist/Support Staff. Ms. McPherson is a native of Alabama, and lives close to her family of two daughters, three grandsons, and three great-grandchildren.

Daybreak News

July 12, 2007 Daybreak receives letter of support from RAINN. Click here to view.

February 2008 Daybreak announces “Pathways to Recovery” - a new treatment option for sexually reactive children.

March 31, 2008 Join Daybreak in supporting V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, at JSU's production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues.


Copyright© 2009, The Daybreak Crisis Recovery Center, Inc.