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On July 14, 2010, the Joyful Heart Foundation held a day-long retreat program entitled, Transforming Trauma. Over 100 sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse service providers representing 17 different agencies and organizations attended the program. Professionals from Children's Institute Inc., Good Shepherd Shelter, Rainbow Services, Peace Over Violence, The Village Family Services, LAPD, Los Angeles City Attorneys office, LA Child Guidance, The Rape Treatment Center, CPEDV and other organizations came together to support one another to engage in mindful self care and wellness behaviors that directly contribute to competent services for survivors and an effective and robust movement to end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
On May 20, 2010, Mariska testified before the United States House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security on the backlog of untested rape kits in this country. The day before her testimony, she had the opportunity-and great honor-to meet with United States Attorney General, Eric Holder. In this 15th Anniversary year of the Violence Against Women Act, Mariska thanked Mr. Holder for the work he has done to combat violence against women and elevate the national conversation about the issue. The Associate Attorney General, Thomas J. Perelli, also attended the meeting, as did Joyful Heart Executive Director Maile Zambuto, Melissa Schwartz, the U.S. Department of Justice Public Affairs Specialist, and Peter Hermann, Mariska's husband and a Joyful Heart Board Member.
On November 8, 2001, Amy Homan McGee, a mother of two, was shot to death by her husband in their home in Pennsylvania. The murder was the final act of violence in a history of cruelty and abuse. She was thirty-three years old.
In 2010, with the help of the Verizon Foundation, Penn State Public Broadcasting created "Telling Amy's Story," a documentary chronicling the events leading up to Amy's death. Hosted by Joyful Heart Founder and President, Mariska Hargitay, the film uses interviews with Amy's friends and family, law enforcement officers, court personnel and co-workers at the Verizon store where she worked to examine the opportunities that may have changed the outcome of Amy's story. As Detective Fishel, the lead investigator on Amy's case and the film's narrator, says, we must look at "what we can do as a community to change the ending for another victim."
The Joyful Revolution has gained momentum, and the 2010 Joyful Heart Gala was a testament to the promise, growth and evolution of how a community can respond to the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.
Skylight, the expansive SoHo event space, was awash in this year's bold color scheme of pink and black. A bright pink carpet—provided by Karastan—awaited Founder and President Mariska Hargitay and her husband and Joyful Heart Board Member Peter Hermann, as well as many other Joyful Hearts who have given their inspired support.
On Thursday, February 11, Michael Stars teamed up with The Buzz Girls, a network of stylish, professional women in entertainment and lifestyle industries to host the launch event for the limited-edition Joyful Heart tee benefiting Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation at Michael Stars on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. During the three hour event, more than 60 women gathered to support Mariska's efforts in providing healing to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues.
More than 170 supporters of Joyful Heart gathered on a mild, Southern California evening to toast Joyful Heart founder and president, Mariska Hargitay, and to recognize Joyful Heart's work to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Shelli and Irving Azoff generously and joyfully opened up their warm Beverly Hills home to this shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.
The evening was organized with the dedication and assistance of the Joyful Heart Board and: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Jennifer Aniston, Shelli Azoff, Maria Bello, Courteney Cox, Sheryl Crow, Bridget Gless Keller, Sharon Lawrence, Maryam Lieberman, Ashley McDermott, Debra Messing, Molly Smith and Hilary Swank.
On February 2, 2010, Deputy Associate Attorney General Karol V. Mason, Acting Director for the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Catherine Pierce, and Joyful Heart founder and president Mariska Hargitay addressed nearly 300 attendees at the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors (STOP) Conference in San Francisco. Also presenting, was author, advocate and vicarious trauma expert, Laura Van dernoot Lipsky, who spoke as part of Joyful Heart's Heal the Healers program. The four-day conference brought together representatives of the offices of the governor, attorney general, or other state criminal justice agency from every state government and territory in the nation.
On a sunny Saturday morning in LA, the Joyful Heart Foundation joined philosophy on Saturday to raise awareness about the need for domestic violence support services throughout California by building healing and wellness kits for women in crisis shelters. Our goal was to create enough kits to give one to each of the estimated 600 women currently being served in one of Los Angeles County's domestic violence shelters.
Mariska Hargitay, accompanied by Joyful Heart Board members, staff and other guests, joined more than 450 civic and community leaders at Peace Over Violence's 38th Annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner. The event, held at The Beverly Hills Hotel, recognized the contributions of leaders across sectors in the fight against sexual and domestic violence. The annual fundraising dinner brought together a diverse group of leaders from the public sector, community organizations, private corporations and the entertainment industry to raise awareness on teen and adult sexual and domestic violence.
On October 22, medical experts, legal professionals, survivors of sexual assault and advocates, including staff and Board members from the Joyful Heart Foundation, joined New York State Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise E. O'Donnell at St. Luke's - Roosevelt Hospital in unveiling a new "rape kit" training video. The new video, A Body of Evidence: Using the NYS Sexual Offense Evidence Collection Kit, was designed for medical professionals to ensure that the inherently intrusive sexual assault evidence exam is less traumatic for victims and more productive for law enforcement.