Joyful Heart in the News

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Advocates Praise Senate Bill on Sexual Assault Victims’ Rights
may 24, 2016 • The New York Times
By Emmarie Huetteman

WASHINGTON — Advocates for victims of sexual assault on Tuesday praised the Senate’s unanimous approval of a bill that would establish a set of rights for victims, including the right to be informed of the results of forensic tests and to have evidence preserved.

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Joe Biden Honored by Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation for Efforts to End Domestic Violence
may 12, 2016 • Us Weekly
By Anna Chan
Worthy of recognition! Vice President Joe Biden was honored at the Joyful Heart Foundation’s annual star-studded Joyful Revolution Gala on Tuesday, May 10, in New York City. read more
Key legislators approve amended version of bill to test rape kits
April 30, 2016 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
By Sophie Cocke

Hawaii’s police departments will likely be required to take action on hundreds of rape kits that have sat in storage facilities for years, as well as new rape kits, after key lawmakers Friday agreed to an amended version of House Bill 1907.

The bill gained traction after the Honolulu Police Department revealed in February that it had 1,500 untested kits that contain forensic evidence from rape victims. The untested kits, which could help solve crimes and catch serial rapists, date back more than a decade.

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Victims' Group: SD Rape Kit Testing Law a Mixed Bag
April 20, 2016 • Public News Service
By Brandon Campbell

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota's new rape kit testing law is now in effect, but a sexual assault victims' group argues it may not go far enough to tackle the state's backlog. 

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Every rape kit booked into evidence in Hawaii should be tested by police
April 12, 2016 • Huffpost Hawaii
By Kata Issari & Natasha Alexenko

In 1993, Natasha was raped and robbed at gunpoint by an unknown assailant in New York City. She went to the hospital, where a medical forensic exam was done but the rape kit containing evidence from the assault sat in the police department’s evidence room for nine years. 

Natasha’s attacker was identified in 2007 when DNA from the rapist was matched to the evidence from her assault. In the years that he was out on the streets after Natasha’s rape, Victor Rondon went on a cross-country crime spree.

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Sunday afternoon shopping with Me&Ro
April 12, 2016 • The Examiner

Sunday, April 10, 2016, was not just one of those ordinary lazy Sunday afternoons. Influential friends gathered in an apartment overlooking the Hudson River in New York City to hold a shopping event with philanthropy brightening the heart of the matter. 

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Joyful Heart Foundation Releases First-of-its-Kind Study on Victim Notification as Part of Work to End the Rape Kit Backlog
April 8, 2016 • My Social Good News
By Api Poder

NEW YORK – Today, the Joyful Heart Foundation released Navigating Notification: A Guide to Re-engaging Sexual Assault Survivors Affected by the Untested Rape Kit Backlog. This groundbreaking report will help jurisdictions working to eliminate their backlogs of untested rape kits to create survivor-centered, trauma-informed policies and protocols for victim notification.

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The Variety Power of Women luncheon honored Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Megyn Kelly, Misty Copeland, Vera Wang and Mariska Hargitay for philanthropic work that included gun safety initiatives, global health, child and sex abuse prevention
April 8, 2016 • U.S. News & World Report
By Jocelyn Noveck

NEW YORK (AP) — Host Billy Eichner quipped at Variety's Power of Women luncheon Friday that he wasn't being paid nearly enough for the emcee job he was doing — and that's why he knows what it's like to be a woman in Hollywood.

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Jane Doe No More to Honor Actress Mariska Hargitay and the Joyful Heart Foundation with Dr. Henry C. Lee Award
March 8, 2016 • Naugatuck Patch

Jane Doe No More, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing support and improving the way society responds to victims of sexual violence, is proud to announce Mariska Hargitay, star of the NBC hit drama Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU) and the Joyful Heart Foundation along with Attorney James G. Clark and the Victim Rights Center of Connecticut will be honored at the Jane Doe No More Dr. Henry C. Lee Award & Recognition dinner with the 7th annual Dr. Henry C. Lee Award on Friday, March 18, 2016.

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New celebrity PSAs address myth, societal attitudes that confront male survivors of childhood sexual abuse
March 7, 2016 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
By Sophie Cocke

Joyful Heart and 1in6 are proud to share a new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign to address the myths and excuses surrounding males who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, and to invite male survivors to seek help at 1in6.org. The PSAs were created in partnership with Viacom, directed by Joyful Heart’s Founder & President, actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay, developed in partnership with Y&R, Executive Creative Director/Writer, Rachel Howald, and photographed by world-renowned celebrity photographer Timothy White.

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Mariska Hargitay directs powerful new PSA supporting male sexual abuse survivors
March 3, 2016 • Today Pop Culture
By Sarah Epstein

Mariska Hargitay is taking a page from her "Law and Order: SVU" character, Olivia Benson, and fighting to raise awareness about male survivors of sexual abuse.

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Joyful Heart Groundbreaking Celebrity PSAs Address Myths, Societal Attitudes that Confront Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
March 2, 2016 • Joyful Heart Foundation
By Joyful Heart Foundation
The Joyful Heart Foundation and 1in6 – in partnership with Viacom – today launched a new series of print and broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) that speak to the excuses and societal attitudes that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with and direct viewers to resources for help. read more
Ohio tests 10,000 rape kits to clear backlogs, hundreds indicted
February 18, 2016 • Reuters
By Kim Palmer

An effort Ohio launched about five years ago to manage its backlog of rape kits has resulted in more than 10,000 tests to recover physical evidence and led to at least 445 indictments, the state Attorney General's office said on Thursday.

"This is a tremendous milestone," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "The testing of these 10,000 kits has helped identify hundreds of alleged assailants, many of whom repeatedly committed violent attacks."

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Faced With Staggering Backlogs of Rape Kits, States Change Testing, Investigations
February 17, 2016 • The Pew Charitable Trusts
By Rebecca Beitsch

Seeking to secure justice for thousands of rape victims, about 20 states are moving to test a backlog of unexamined rape kits found in storage rooms in police departments across the country — and change the rules for how rape cases are handled in the future.

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Why One Ohio Court Case Could Be Detrimental for Rape Victims Everywhere
February 8, 2016 • Broadly.
By Lindsay Schrupp
Despite Ohio's extensive initiative to test thousands of previously untested, backlogged rape kits, one Ohio Supreme Court case could affect the ways in which future rape cases are prosecuted. read more
Why an Ohio Supreme Court case involving rape kits is drawing national attention
February 17, 2016 • Cleveland.com
By Rachel Dissel

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Cleveland rape case in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court could result in tougher standards for prosecuting cases reopened after tests on thousands rape kits, some that had been shelved for decades.

State and national victims' advocacy groups are closely watching the case. They've filed legal briefs warning that, if an appeals court decision stands, it could undermine justice for rape survivors and allow serial rapists to evade prosecution.

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Joyful Heart Foundation and Partners File Amicus Brief in Ohio Case That Could Undermine Justice for Rape Survivors
January 20, 2016 • ENDTHEBACKLOG
By Joyful Heart Foundation
We have just filed an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Ohio, which is appealing the Ohio Court of Appeals’ decision to use the state’s backlog of untested rape kits in part to dismiss rape and kidnapping charges against an alleged serial rapist. Partners AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, Rape Abuse Incest National Network, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence and National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) joined Joyful Heart in the filing. read more
It’s Not a Backlog, It’s a Lack of Concern for Rape Victims
January 15, 2016 • Counterpunch
By Lauren Finley

According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), an American is sexually assaulted every 107 seconds. “Rape kit” is the term used to describe the physical evidence obtained from a victim who reports being sexually assaulted. Victims’ bodies are, in essence, the crime scene. They endure what some might describe as a second sexual violation, being scraped, poked and prodded, only out of hope that their perpetrator can eventually be held accountable. And perhaps not rape again, as so many do.

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New Mexico Audit Finds 5,411 Untested Rape Kits
January 7, 2016 • Public News Service

SANTA FE, N.M. – Victims' rights advocates are hoping New Mexico officials take steps during the upcoming legislative session to deal with the state's backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or rape kits.

A state audit discovered more than 5,400 kits still sitting in police evidence lockers around the state. 

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