Center For Prevention of Abuse director is recognized

By Marshanna Hester

March 18, 2013 Updated Mar 18, 2013 at 9:26 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A Peoria-area victim's rights advocate is now nationally recognized for her work in the community.

Martha Herm of Washington, Illinois is the recipient of the 2013 "Ed Stout Memorial Award for Outstanding Victim Advocacy". Herm is the Executive Director of Peoria's Center for Prevention of Abuse.

She took over the leadership role more than 20 years ago. Since then, the Center has evolved into a one-of-a-kind facility in the state. It provides services for men, women, children, victims and abusers.

It is that dedication that influenced Congressman Aaron Schock to nominate her, with help from some of the center's key partnerships.

"To be able to take victims of domestic abuse and put them somewhere safe is a great for Peoria Sheriff and city," said Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy.

"We are the only agency like this in the state of Illinois that has all five components of education, child, women and men domestic violence assistance. So what she has done very quietly really has benefited oftentimes silent victims in our community," said Congressman Aaron Schock.

Herm said she is honored by the award and credits her staff and community who contribute to the center's mission. She said she is not sure if the recognition means additional federal funds, but said it would come in handy.

"Particularly in our prevention education," she said. "So many schools want us to come out and talk to the kids about bullying. We just don't have enough resources enough staff to be able to do that."

The center will hold its annual partners in peace luncheon Tuesday at noon at the Peoria Civic Center.

Martha Herm will be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in April.

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