Dawn Center of Hernando County is a certified domestic and sexual violence center providing no cost supportive services for victims/survivors to heal and plan their futures. Dawn Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to creating social change in the community and breaking down the barriers of stigma, silence,
The 24 Hour Crisis Hotline is answered by a trained victim advocate. Crisis management, safety planning, and resources are provided to each caller. The hotline is available to assist survivors and their loved ones. All calls are confidential. The 24 hour hotline is avaiable to women, men, and children in domestic and/or sexual violence situations. For hotline support, dial
352-686-8430. Translation services available in 150 languages.
The Emergency Shelter is available and staffed 24 hours a day for survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence and their children. Personal care items including food, clothing, personal hygiene items, and household items are available to residents. Services including advocacy, individual and group crisis counseling and support, safety planning, goal setting, linkage to community resources, and information on the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence are provided to survivors during their stay. If you feel you need shelter please call the local 24-hour hotline at 352-686-8430. All services offered at no cost and are available to women, men, and children.
The Outreach Team offers services in a non-residential setting. Services include individual and group crisis counseling and support, safety planning, goal setting, linkage to community resources, and information on the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence. An economic justice advocate can work with survivors with financial literacy, resume writing, credit repair, and economic related sufficiency. For survivors not in need of Emergency Shelter who are seeking advocacy services, the outreach program is a great option. All services offered at no cost and are available to women, men, and children.
Awareness is a key component in changing the way our community thinks about and responds to domestic and sexual violence. It is also important to educate and inform our friends, neighbors, and the community at large regarding the availability of services in Hernando County. Our staff works directly with community leaders and partners to raise awareness, effect social change, and address system gaps. To this end, Dawn Center plays a leadership role in Hernando County's Domestic and Sexual Violence Task Force, Sexual Assault Response Team, and Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team.
The Legal Advocacy Team is located at the Hernando County Court House to assist victims through the criminal and civil legal processes (including filing for injunctions/restraining orders). Our advocates provide accompaniment throughout the legal process and during court hearings. Legal Advocates provide no cost services to women, men, and children. Legal Advocates are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice, however they can make referrals to a Florida certified attorney for injunction petitions and court accompaniment at no charge to the survivor or the local community legal aid provider for other legal issues.
Dawn Center has an advocate co-located at our local Child Protection Investigations Office. The project provides technical assistance and case consultation to child welfare workers and connects child welfare involved families to Dawn Center services as needed. This cutting edge project is part of a state-wide initiative to support survivors and hold batterers accountable.
Our staff and direct-service volunteers are certified in domestic and sexual violence advocacy. An advocate's primary role is to provide individualized support and resources to survivors and their families. Using an empowerment framework, we support survivors in making their own decisions and crafting their own plans. In addition to Dawn Center services, advocates can provide access to the Attorney General's Crime Victim Compensation Program and other survivor-specific resources.
Download a copy of the Hernando Cares guide here. This is a collaborative project to provide local resources for Mental Health and Substance abuse.
Primary Prevention Education is a way to teach our youth about building healthy relationships, creating personal boundaries, challenging gender norms, and raising awareness toward teen dating violence before it ever starts. Dawn Center goes into schools, churches, social groups, libraries, and other sites where youth gather to educate and build trusting relationships with the youth of our community.