Bears’ Beat Report: Highlighting Sexual Assault Advocate Mari’e Lish


Mari’e Lish: I’m Mari’e Lish. I’m a sexual assault advocate with the Crisis Line and Safe House of Central Georgia. So, we accompany victims of sexual assault through the forensic interview process and the forensic examination. So, we’ll go with them to court, we’ll accompany them to any interaction they have with law enforcement. We support them through the forensic exam and we actually are able to do exams at our centers so that victims are having to go through the ER and more.

Devyn Mode: And so, how did you hear about this job and what made you want to pursue it?

Mari’e Lish: So funny little story, I actually worked at Starbucks and this lady would come by the drive through like every single day like clockwork at 5:30. She got a flat white with five Splendas. But, she kept handing me these cards and she was like, “You need to come work with us.” And you know, “I want you to come work with us.” And I was finally like, “Who are you? What do you do?” So she came in and on my break we talked about it, and I was like, “Okay.” And I went in and I interview with Dottie, the woman you met earlier, and the next day, it wasn’t even an interview, and I started my training the next weekend.

Devyn Mode: How did you time at Mercer contribute to that, or did it?

Mari’e Lish: Being an LPP major, like understanding the legal process, you know, and having a realistic expectation of how long everything takes, and how political it can be too, really has affected my outlook and my job. I didn’t have to learn the law.

I actually did my Capstone on the lack of crisis resources in rural areas because that’s something, as a profession and as scholar, too, that we hadn’t really looked into a whole lot. Women in rural areas are, you know, just as deserving and just as entitled to resources as women anywhere else. Location shouldn’t determine your access to the resources that you need.

I eventually would love to go home. Home is Donaldsonville which is way southwest Georgia. But I would eventually love to go home and open an agency.

Devyn Mode: So if anyone is watching this and needs a resource, what would you tell them?

Mari’e Lish: Our hotline is 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That number is 478-745-9292.