Joyful Heart in the News

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A disturbing trend: evidence in rape cases often goes untested
August 2016 • Seattle Mag
By Elaine Porterfield
The backlog of untested rape kits goes back years, and it's hindering the justice process. read more
Ohio Supreme Court reverses decision in Cleveland rape kit case that drew national attention
July 27, 2016 • Cleveland.com
By Rachel Dissell

CLEVELAND, Ohio –The Ohio Supreme Court today unanimously reversed the decision of a Cleveland appeals court in a rape kit case being watched across the country.

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Mariska Hargitay of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ talks untested rape kit backlog
June 22, 2016 • Hidden Remote
By Anne Goetz
‘Law & Order: SVU’s’ Mariska Hargitay addresses the United State of Women Summit at the White House. read more
Joe Biden: We need to stop this culture of rape jokes and 'locker room banter'
June 14, 2016 • MSN
By Rachel Revesz

The phrase “rule of thumb” comes from the 1300s, when courts ruled that men could no longer beat their wives with a rod of a larger circumference than their thumb.

It was a powerful metaphor from US vice president Joe Biden to illustrate the gender inequality that continues today.

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Restoring joy to abuse victims
June 2016 • Hawaii Business
By Jackie M. Young

When actress Mariska Hargitay started playing a sexual-assault detective on TV in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999, she began to get mail full of stories of personal abuse.

“She trained for the role at a rape-crisis shelter,” explains Kata Issari, 54, executive director of the Hawaii region of Joyful Heart Foundation, “and she was shocked at the statistics of sexual abuse and wondered why everyone wasn’t talking about these issues.”

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Inside the national effort to combat the rape kit backlog – and how Detroit Is leading the fight
June 9, 2016 • People
By Diana Pearl

After Natasha Alexenko was raped and robbed at gunpoint in New York City in 1993, her first instinct was to try to wash the experience off her.

"It was an ordeal that changed my life forever," she says. "And your first instinct after you've been assaulted – at least mine – was to take a hot shower."  

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Tempe sending around 500 sexual-assault kits, some dating to the early '90s, for testing
June 8, 2016 • AZ Central
By Chris Coppola
The kits are being tested because they never were submitted or need to be checked again with new methods. read more
Joyful Heart Foundation brings awareness to domestic violence and sexual abuse
June 5, 2016 • Hawaii News Now
By HNN Staff
In Hawaii, one in seven women is sexually assaulted, according to advocates for victims. read more
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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