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Our Staff

Janie Ward Lauve, Executive Director

Janie holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  She brings an enthusiasm for service, particularly in the realm of advocacy for the important issue of sexual assault in our communities. She has over 20 years of executive management experience with non-profit organizations and also brings to her new role as Executive Director extensive knowledge of community services for children and families; strong organization, communication and community engagement skills; and demonstrated experience in board relations, policy development, strategic planning, program planning, advocacy, and grant writing. 

Janie has served as the Vice President of Community Initiatives for the Lowcountry Food Bank.  Prior to moving to South Carolina from Louisiana in 2012, Janie served in various executive leadership positions including the Executive Director of the Louisiana Maternal and Child Health Coalition, Director of the Community Solutions Institute for the Louisiana Association of Non Profit Organizations (LANO) and the Executive Director of the Louisiana State Interagency Coordinating Council for EarlySteps.

Janie is married to Richard Lauve and between them they have six children.  She lives in Mount Pleasant with her husband.  In her leisure, Janie enjoys fishing, gardening, cooking, and reading.

Janie is honored to be a part of such an outstanding, mission driven organization and looks forward to advancing PAR’s mission of preventing sexual violence and its consequences and providing essential services to victims and survivors in the Lowcountry.  You can contact Janie at ExecDirector@PeopleAgainstRape.org 


Ansley Gathers, Coordinator of Volunteer Services

Ansley is a Charleston native with over fifteen years of experience effecting change through education, advocacy, and support.  During her career, Ansley has worked with clients from diverse ethnic, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. She has provided clinical support, mental health services and systems care to children, families, ex-offenders, transient, indigent, and mentally ill populations. She is a firm believer in education and the power it has to dictate thoughts and behavior. She has become increasingly aware of the effects of community change through pro-social interactions.

Ansley earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Master’s Degree in Human Services with a concentration in Social and Community Services. She has a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Counseling and is a Certified Crisis Prevention Intervention Trainer and credentialed as a nationally recognized Human Services-Board Certified Practitioner.

Ansley is so excited to be a member of the PAR staff which will allow her to further PAR's mission to provide advocacy and support to survivors and to educate the community about issues surrounding sexual assault.  

If you would like to contact Ansley, her email is Volunteer@PeopleAgainstRape.org.


Kris Mady, Follow-Up Coordinator

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Kris is a graduate from the University of Vermont where Kris received their degree in Social Work.

 Kris is very passionate about creating a safe space for all people and is focused on social and economic justice and advocacy.  Kris' focus has been working towards the equal treatment of LGBTQAI+ folks, incarcerated individuals, as wells as migrant Latino farmworkers. Kris currently lives in the Charleston area and serves on the Board of Directors of We Are Family, a youth centered LGBTQAI+ agency. 

Kris is thrilled to be the Follow Up Coordinator for PAR and excited to be a part of the great work PAR does for the community! If you would like to contact Kris, their email is FollowUp@PeopleAgainstRape.org


LeKara Simmons, Prevention and Education Coordinator

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LeKara is a graduate of Armstrong State University in Savannah, Georgia. While at Armstrong, LeKara received a Bachelor's Degree in Public and Community Health and Master's Degree in Public Health. During her time in Savannah, LeKara was a volunteer and contractor with the Coastal Health District before she was hired as the Adolescent Health and Youth Development Coordinator. LeKara has over six years of experience working with youth, parents, and community members educating on sexuality education including teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention.

LeKara also has experience working with the Department of Family and Children Services and the Department of Juvenile Justice providing education on consent, healthy relationships, and boundary setting. 

LeKara is thrilled to be working with PAR and is excited to be working in prevention and education. She is passionate about providing education to the community and raising awareness about sexual assault. If you would like to contact LeKara, her email is Prevention@PeopleAgainstRape.org.


Garrett Hall, Outreach Coordinator

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Garrett enlisted in the United States Air Force in August 2009 and later began working with victims of sexual assault in March of 2014 as a Victim Advocate for the United States Air Force. He started working as a volunteer with PAR in January 2015 and accepted a Staff Intern position in November 2015. Most recently, he accepted the Outreach Coordinator Position in November 2017.

Garrett is honored to be part of the PAR Staff and looks forward to increasing the awareness and prevention of sexual assault. If you would like to contact Garrett, his email is Outreach@PeopleAgainstRape.org.


Leigh Friar, Victim Advocate

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Leigh Friar is a student at the College of Charleston with plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Gender Studies. Leigh is passionate about issues dealing with racial and economic justice, supporting survivors of sexual assault, and working with members of the LGBTQIAP+ community. Leigh currently volunteers with My Sister's House, the local domestic violence shelter, and Girls Rock Charleston, an alternative to incarceration youth program. 

Leigh is excited to join the PAR team as a victim advocate. If you would like to contact Leigh, their email is Advocate@PeopleAgainstRape.org.


Nick Mercer, Victim Advocate

Nick graduated from Towson University in Baltimore, MD with a degree in Family & Human Services and a minor in LGBT Studies.

As a Certified Family Life Educator, Nick is interested in using educational programs as a way to prevent sexual assault and turn rape culture into consent culture. He has facilitated programs for fraternities and sororities as well as other college-aged populations and particularly enjoys bringing men into the conversation around sexual assault. 

In addition to advocating for survivors of sexual assault, Nick is passionate about teen pregnancy and HIV prevention. He serves on the Charleston County Teen Pregnancy Prevention Council and the Charleston Area World AIDS Day Committee. If you would like to contact Nick, his email is Advocate2@PeopleAgainstRape.org.