HARRISBURG—The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape will present Cathleen Palm with its annual Vision of Hope Award honoring her work to prevent child sexual abuse during the Vision of Hope Gala March 31 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey.
A resident of Berks County Palm co-founded the Protect Our Children Committee in 2003 where she currently serves as the Executive Director Through her work on the committee, she pressed for video testimony of child victims, advocated for child abuse prevention funding, called for critical examination of child fatalities and helped to enact state legislation requiring every county to convene multidisciplinary fatality and near-fatality reviews. Her work also aided in the creation of the Task Force on Child Protection.
“Cathleen has championed the causes of children in Pennsylvania as a legislative aide, policy advocate and community activist for more than two decades,” PCAR CEO Delilah Rumburg said. “Through her work, she has positively affected the lives of thousands of children. PCAR is honored to add Cathleen’s name to the distinguished list of the Vision of Hope Award recipients.”
PCAR established the Vision of Hope Award in 2006 to recognize people who have made a difference in the lives of children through outstanding contributions in the area of child sexual abuse prevention. The award is presented annually to an individual that demonstrates a commitment to ensuring the safety of our children by increasing awareness, strengthening policies or creating initiatives/campaigns that promote healthy families and communities.
“I am humbled by this award,” Palm said, “but more importantly in knowing that today a child bravely disclosed, a family believed, and professionals promoted healing and prevention because of Vision of Hope.”
Child sexual abuse is one of the most common forms of abuse perpetrated against our children. Without adult protection and intervention, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before their 18th birthday.
PCAR and the National Sexual Violence Resource launched the Vision of Hope Fund in 2005 to raise awareness and funds to be used to prevent sexual abuse and help children heal. The fund has raised more than $900,000 since its inception to support efforts including the Internet safety programs for parents, education for family physicians and training for professionals who are mandated reporters of child abuse. Learn more by visiting http://www.visionofhopefund.org
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape is the oldest state anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve the state’s 67 counties. Each year these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to more than 30,000 men, women and children affected by sexual abuse.