Schock Announces Peorian Honored with Top Victim Rights Award
Martha Herm Selected as Recipient of Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy
Mar 18 -
Today, Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) announced that Peoria victim rights advocate Martha Herm has been selected as a 2013 recipient of the Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy. Herm serves as the executive director at The Center for Prevention of Abuse in Peoria, IL. As a member of the U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus, Schock was able to nominate a constituent from the 18th District whose efforts have made a difference in the lives of crime victims and survivors, and those who serve them. Herm is one of two recipients to win this award nationwide and she is one of only six to be recognized nationally for an award by the Victims’ Rights Caucus this year.
“Martha is truly a visionary in her field. Her contributions to victims’ rights and public safety as executive director of the Center are extraordinary,” said Schock. “Throughout the years, Martha has shown an unwavering commitment to ending domestic violence. Since taking over as the executive director more than two decades ago she has become the face of the remarkable transformation the Center has undergone. Martha is a deserving recipient of this honor because her efforts have revolutionized the way the Center approaches the issue of domestic violence in Central Illinois.”
“I am totally overwhelmed by this award. It is quite humbling to be named when there are thousands of victim advocates all across the country who are doing amazing work and deserve this level of recognition too,” said Herm. “I am very touched and honored that Congressman Schock nominated me. I will share this honor with my team at The Center for Prevention of Abuse and the community who has supported our mission to help everyone in Central Illinois live free from violence and abuse.”
When nominating Herm, Schock touted her leadership since taking over the Center in 1990. The Center originally served as a rape crisis hotline in 1975. Since 1990, Herm has transformed the Center into the only organization in Illinois to offer domestic violence services, elder abuse and sexual assault services, and abuser intervention programming under one roof. She has worked to ensure the Center’s five departments cater to all segments of the community. Over the past 20 years, the Center has grown into serving all types of clients: men, women, old, young, victim and abuser. The Center is the only agency in the state of Illinois to provide free combined services to victims of crime and abuse. Martha’s goal at the Center is to proactively get to the source of the problem instead of reacting to the abuse after it occurs.
Supporting Schock’s nomination were Emma Vandeveer, President, Board of Directors for The Center for Prevention of Abuse and Peoria County Sheriff, Michael McCoy. Both praised Herm as a “very worthy candidate for this recognition.”
The U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus hosts an awards ceremony, which in the past has included award winners, their families, and representatives from national, state, and local victim assistance programs nationwide. This year the ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 18th in Washington, D.C.
The Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy honors the memory of Ed Stout, the Director of Aid for Victims of Crime of St. Louis, MO – one of the nation’s three oldest victim assistance organizations – who died in 2005 following a 30 plus year career inspiring victims and those who serve them. The honoree of this award is a professional or volunteer whose efforts directly benefit victims and survivors of crime. The award recognizes innovations in victim assistance and crime victim services in the areas of program development, public or agency policy development, community and public awareness, and collaboration among community and justice based organizations that serve victims of crime.
The U.S. Congressional Victims’ Rights Caucus was founded in 2006. The mission of the Caucus is to elevate crime victim issues in Congress in a bipartisan manner without infringing on the rights of the accused, and to represent and advocate before the Administration and within Congress on behalf of crime victims. Since 2006, the Caucus has honored outstanding individuals, agencies and collaborative initiatives whose efforts directly benefit victims and survivors of crime, and promote individual and public safety.