Mary’s Place is one of Savannah Georgia’s Rape Crisis centers. The center was founded in 1974 by a victim of sexual assault known as Mary along with several of her friends who worked for the National Organization of Women. The women created the non-profit organization by advocating for victims of rape by assessing their needs through interviews.
In 1983, Mary’s Place received its first funds from Chatham County and used those funds to hire an Executive Director and establish an office. Currently, Mary’s Place has six full-time employees and fifteen-part time employees who provide resources and education programs to approximately 500 victims.
Through prevention and education programs, the organization reaches 20,000 youth and adults annually. Perla Leiva, the Bilingual Interpreter of Mary’s Place was asked why she believed sexual assault crisis centers were necessary in the community.
She responded by stating, “Having resources available to victims who need resources is essential. That is ultimately how are non-profit organization began.”
Mary’s Place offers counseling, housing assistance, shelter, survivor resources and more for victims in need. Volunteer services are also available. Although Savannah State University offers similar services, there are conflicting views amongst students about the usage of the services offered on campus.
Some students have a mistrust in the service and believe that their vital information has been misused in the past. Other students, like Mariah Slaughter, believe: “It is more convenient to use the free services here on campus”.
It essential to bring awareness to similar free services to give students who are uncomfortable using campus treatment. There should be a place to receive counseling, report abuse and more.
No answer is an answer and it is always best to receive the help you need. The National Sexual Abuse Hotline is open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-656-4673.
To reach Mary’s Place, visit 105 Wheeler St. or call (912) 472-1798. Visit https://marysplacecoastalempire.org/ to donate, view services, volunteer and more.