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Center for Prevention of Abuse Receives 2024 Partner Award

Congratulations to the Center for Prevention of Abuse, the recipient of this year’s Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award.  For more than 40 years, this agency has supported our community with the knowledge and caring that domestic violence can affect all people, from all backgrounds, and that everyone deserves peace.

Partner Award
L-R, Center for Prevention of Abuse staff, Carol Merna, Jennifer Zammuto, and Sid Ruckriegel

Established as a rape crisis hotline in 1975, today, the Center for Prevention of Abuse provides housing and supportive services for victims of domestic violence and provides adult protective services for seniors 60 years and older and adults with disabilities who are experiencing some form of abuse.

The team at the Center for Prevention of Abuse provides violence prevention education to more than 40,000 students each year. Their educators help schools create safe, supportive, and secure learning environments through age-appropriate, evidence-based, and comprehensive curricula for pre-k through college ages.

They are the lead victim-service agency for the Central Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force, providing leadership to more than 46 counties as the first federally granted, sanctioned, and trained provider of beds and services for both labor and sex trafficking victims south of Chicago.

This spring they hosted a multistate educational conference on childhood trauma that brought together therapists, counselors, educators, social workers, service providers, and stakeholders to shine a light on childhood trauma. Hundreds of attendees shared and explored best practices, innovative campaigns and technology, preventative efforts and measures, and survivor care in an effort to prevent and respond to childhood trauma.

In 2007, we created the United Way Partner Award that is presented annually to a United Way agency in recognition of their outstanding leadership, collaboration and engagement with the Heart of Illinois United Way.  In 2009, Jim and Katie Owens were presented with the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Philanthropist of the Year. Over the years, Jim and Katie have provided outstanding volunteer leadership to United Way and our partner agencies. They have served on our campaign cabinet, board of directors, and several committees. To recognize them for their tremendous support, the United Way Partner Award was renamed in their honor to be the Jim and Katie Owens Partner Award.

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