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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 

Janet Watts, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Janet received her BA in journalism from the University of SC and did further MA work at the American University in Cairo, Egypt.  She has over 20 years' experience working with volunteers in social justice and church settings in the Charleston area.  

Her passion for reproductive justice has led her to serve on the Charleston Teen Pregnancy Prevention Board and be a strong supporter of sexuality education in our public schools.  She was a state-wide trainer for Provide offering classes to governmental and non-profit agencies on unintended pregnancy options, assisting some of the most vulnerable populations in the state.  Janet promoted and taught the Our Whole Lives curriculum for kindergarten through adult students.  These comprehensive and age-appropriate classes serve religious organizations and other agencies that want to give their participants the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways. 

Janet has lived and worked on three continents.  She has volunteered locally with the Girl Scouts, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Radio Readers for the Blind, Lowcountry Food Bank, Women’s Rights Empowerment Network, Charleston Area Beekeepers, and several public school PTAs.  Janet and her husband have three amazing and independent children.

If you have volunteer-related questions or would like to contact Janet, her email is

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

Shelby Wade, Prevention and Education Coordinator

Hafeezah Yates, Outreach Coordinator

Leigh Friar, Victim Advocate

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Leigh is a recent College of Charleston graduate with degrees in both Psychology and Gender Studies. Leigh currently works and volunteers with local community organizations including We Are Family, My Sister's House, Carolina Youth Action Project, and Charleston Alternative to Detention Initiative. They are most passionate about building alternatives to incarceration, supporting queer liberation, and improving community response to sexual violence. In their spare time Leigh enjoys painting and exploring local estate sales.

If you would like to contact Leigh, their email is

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