Carol June Young Specht

Carol June Young Specht was a Past President of the local League of Women Voters, President of Women Against Rape (WAR), and co-founder of the Coles County Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She advocated with a passion for victims of rape and domestic violence during the mid-twentieth century.

While serving on jury during a rape trial, Carol Specht found herself appalled by the insensitive and brutal treatment of the rape victim by the defendant's attorney. Turning her disgust into action, she became involved with the local Women Against Rape chapter, often spending her holidays answering calls and helping victims of sexual assault. Eventually, she became President of the local WAR chapter and would go on to co-found the Coles County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (now HOPE of East Central Illinois).

During her time as a prominent social activist in East Central Illinois, her life was tragically and ironically taken by the violence that she fought so hard against. She was murdered during a home invasion on June 7th, 1983.

After her untimely death, her tireless efforts to end violence against women were recognized by the State of Illinois House of Representatives with the passage of HR 664 on February 8, 1984. To continue her legacy, her daughters, with the help of the Eastern Illinois University Foundation, set up a scholarship in her name. The Carol Specht Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a single mother who is pursuing a career in a helping profession such as teaching, counseling, or social work.        


Submitted by Constance Specht, Carol June Young Specht's daughter