Joyful Heart in the News

DETROIT (AP) — Actress Mariska Hargitay, who portrays a police detective on television, on Monday pledged her support for a real-life crime-fighting effort: quicker testing for a backlog of thousands of rape kits in the Detroit area and across Michigan.

Hargitay, a star of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," joined Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in announcing legislation at the state level aimed at stopping serial rapists by better identifying and arresting suspects in sexual assault Photography by Monica Morgan Photographycases through the testing.

For the past few years, Worthy's office has been slowly wading through sexual assault kits recovered in 2009 from a Detroit police storage facility. They contain DNA and other evidence from rape cases, but a majority of the 11,000 kits never were tested in a lab.

Hundreds of thousands of kits are believed to sit untested in police departments across the country.

Testing can bring justice to rape victims, said Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which works with victims of sexual abuse, child abuse and domestic violence.

The organization has taken on the rape kit backlog issue because the lack of prompt testing "is the clearest and most shocking demonstration of how we regard these crimes in our country," she said.

Title
No Longer Ignored, Evidence Solves Rape Cases Years Later
August 2, 2014 • The New York Times
By Erik Eckholm
Like hundreds of thousands of other rape kits across the country containing evidence gathered from victims, that of Ms. Ybos lay untested for years on a storeroom shelf. read more
Memphis Police official says rape kit backlog is shrinking
July 15, 2014 • The Commercial Appeal
By Daniel Connolly
As of June, 1,185 previously untested kits have been tested. An additional 2,495 kits remained at forensic labs, and 5,553 remained untested. read more
Star-Studded PSAs Say No More To Domestic Violence
July 10, 2014 • Look to the Stars
By Look to the Stars
Viacom Velocity Creative has partnered with Mariska Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, to create a star-studded NO MORE PSA Campaign. read more
VH1's Nick Lachey Joins NO MORE To End Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault
June 30, 2014 • VH1
By Christopher Rosa
VH1 is sick of the silence, excuses, stigma and victim-blaming that comes with domestic violence and sexual assault cases. That’s why we are joining forces with NO MORE, a campaign dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault for good. read more
Senate Delay Threatens Funding for Thousands of Untested Rape
June 23, 2014 • Autostraddle
By Kaitlyn
It’s a problem of unknown magnitude — recent estimates place the numbersomewhere around 100,000 — but the consequences of the nationwide rape kit testing backlog are clear and appalling. read more
Exclusive: USA to Air SVU Marathon Featuring New Video From Chris Meloni
June 19, 2014 • TV Guide
By Kate Stanhope
USA will air a second Law & Order: SVU "No More Excuses" marathon this month, this time with the help of former star Christopher Meloni, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively. Throughout the marathon, viewers will be encouraged to seek out additional information online, or to call national help hotlines to speak with counselors and advocates. read more
Mariska Hargitay on Her Most Challenging ‘L&O: SVU’ Season Yet: Even a Bad-Ass Can Be a Victim
June 19, 2014 • The Wrap
By Sharon Waxman
Hargitay talks with The Wrap about motherhood, growing up in Hollywood and how Det. Benson has turned her into an avenging angel off-screen. read more
Congress poised to approve $41 million to help clear backlog of untested rape kits
June 16, 2014 • The Washington Post
By Spencer S. Hsu
Congress is poised to approve $41 million sought by the Obama administration to examine untested DNA evidence collected from rape victims and held by state and local police across the country. read more
Congress Moves Forward on Rape-Kit Funding
June 5, 2014 • Ms. Magazine
By James Hildebrand
The U.S. Senate subcommittee on commerce, justice, science and related agencies showed its support this week for combating the backlog of untested rape kits by including $41 million in its 2015 fiscal year spending bill as part of a community-based sexual assault response reform initiative. read more
Making A Joyful Heart With Mariska Hargitay, Debra Messing, “Girls” star Jemima Kirke, Ice-T and Coco, James Lipton and More
June 4, 2014 • Arthur Kade
By Arthur Kade
#InTheLab with Arthur Kade was on the red carpet of the 10th Anniversary of Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Revolution Gala. read more
Mariska Hargitay Gets Support from Celeb Pals for Joyful Heart!
May 30, 2014 • http://www.justjared.com/2014/05/30/mariska-hargitay-gets-support-from-celeb-pals-for-joyful-heart/
By Just Jared
Mariska Hargitay poses with her pal Debra Messing on the red carpet at the Joyful Heart Foundation’s Joyful Revolution Gala on Thursday evening (May 29) at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. read more
Viacom and Joyful Heart Foundation Partner For ‘No More’ Domestic Violence PSAs
May 29, 2014 • The Variety
By Laura Prudom
Viacom has partnered with Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation for a new series of PSAs aimed to raise awareness for the NO MORE movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Rape survivors face resistance in fight to test rape kit backlog
May 29, 2014 • MSNBC
By Meredith Clark
After San Francisco resident Heather Marlowe was drugged and raped at the city’s annual Bay to Breakers race in May 2010, she trusted local police to process her rape kit–the evidence collected during a forensic exam–and update her if any leads turned up. When they didn’t call for more than a year, she began researching why. read more
Viacom & the Joyful Heart Foundation Say "No More" to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
May 29, 2014 • The Wall Street Journal
By Business Wire
Viacom Inc., in partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation founded by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, today announced its commitment to raise awareness for the NO MORE movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault with a new series of groundbreaking NO MORE PSAs. read more
Joyful Heart Foundation and Viacom Ring The NASDAQ Stock Market Opening Bell to Say NO MORE to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
May 16, 2014 • The Wall Street Journal MarketWatch
By Global Newswire
Viacom and the Joyful Heart Foundation will visit the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square in support of NO MORE. read more
Mariska Hargitay: ‘Society Continues to Misplace Blame on Survivors’
May 15, 2014 • Time
By Mariska Hargitay
Despite the progress we as a nation have made in the movement to end sexual violence, much work remains. read more
USA Network’s ‘SVU: No More Excuses’ Marathon a Social and Ratings Success
April 30, 2014 • Lost Remote
By Adam Flomenbaum
The night proved to be a big success, both ratings-wise and across social media. The episodes that aired between 7-11pm delivered double-digit ratings increases across the board with an average of 2.6M total viewers. The hashtags #sayNOMORE, #NOMORE and #NOMOREexcuses trended nationally. read more
Exclusive: USA, Mariska Hargitay Team Up for an SVU Marathon with a Cause
April 23, 2014 • TV Guide
By Kate Stanhope
To commemorate National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention month, and in partnership with Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation and the NO MORE campaign, USA will air a special 16-hour SVU "No More Excuses" marathon hosted by Hargitay and her SVU co-stars. read more
Celebrity PSAs Address Male Survivors Of Childhood Sexual Abuse
April 1, 2014 • Look to the Stars
By Look to the Stars
The new campaign speaks to the excuses and myths that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with. read more