Full Media Archive

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Some advocates believe rape kit testing should not be left to law enforcement’s discretion
Nov. 9, 2015 • Idaho Press-Tribune
By Ruth Brown
Advocates, legislators and law enforcement discuss current rape kit testing laws and what, if anything, should be done to change them. read more
The War on Drugs Could Be Making Our Communities More Dangerous
November 8, 2015 • Vice News
By Justin Glawe

When 11 corpses were discovered in and around the Cleveland home of Anthony Sowell in the fall of 2009, there were some 4,000 untested rape kits being neglected by local cops. The deranged rapist and murderer was stopped, but his case exposed the stunning mishandling of missing persons and sexual assault cases in the city,  a problem advocates argue has festered nationwide as the war on drugs has sucked up public safety dollars that might otherwise have gone toward putting rapists and killers behind bars.

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Celebrities Answer Phones for Charity Trades
February 18, 2016 • Look to the Stars
Bloomberg Tradebook’s fourth annual Charity Day took place on November 4, and this year it was bigger and more global than ever. read more
Rutgers says 'no more' to sexual violence, domestic abuse
November 3, 2015 • The Daily Targum
By Natasha Tripathi

Two weeks ago on Oct. 1, Jake Comito gathered about 60 blue 3-by-2-foot poster boards with “NO MORE” printed at the top to Quad Circle on Livingston campus, where students were walking through and asked what the boards were all about.

The Rutgers Business School junior and resident assistant would then explain that he and a few close friends have taken the initiative to align with the Joyful Heart Foundation’s campaign against sexual violence and domestic abuse, "NO MORE."

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Giants set new tone for NFL inclusion
October 31, 2015 • espnW
By Jane McManus

Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich has become used to discussing deeply personal subjects, be it his own cancer or discovering that his wife, Danielle, had experienced domestic violence. Last week, Herzlich was one of four NFL players featured in a new series of ads from Joyful Heart and No More, the umbrella organization raising awareness about domestic violence.

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12 celebrities who use their fame for good
October 30, 2015 • TriplePundit
By Mary Mazzoni

Most of us know Mariska Hargitay for her role as Detective Olivia Benson on the long-running television hit, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” But what went on behind the scenes may come as a surprise.

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Thompson: A rape survivor opens up
October 29, 2016 • The Detroit News
By Bankole Thompson

Detroiter Ardelia Ali was only 18 when she encountered the worst kind of sexual violence and trauma any woman could undergo. After the end of a day’s shift at Burger King, she was walking to catch a bus near Hoyt and Seven Mile on the evening of Nov. 18, 1995, when she felt a knife on her back. Forced to a nearby vacant land, she was raped.

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9 celebrities who’ve been touched by domestic violence
October 26, 2015 • Everyday Health
By Sara Altshul

Though she hasn’t personally experienced domestic violence, in her iconic role as Detective Olivia Benson on the long-running TV drama, Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay has lived, breathed — and solved — unspeakable crimes against women and children for the past 16 years. Her role has clearly gotten under her skin. In 2004, she founded the Joyful Heart Foundation, a national organization that has served more than 14,000 survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence and the professionals who help them.

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New York Giants: What you're missing in Cowboys game
October 25, 2015 • Fansided
By Nafisa H

Oh, it’s on! The New York Giants take on the Dallas Cowboys today in what will surely be an interesting showdown. With first place in the NFC East division on the line, the Giants are looking to even their 2015 series against their biggest rivals and bounce back from a dismal performance in Philadelphia Monday night. 

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New York Giants join My Sisters' Place to help end domestic violence
October 25, 2016 • White Plains Daily Voice
By Nicole Briggs
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – During Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants joined with longtime partner My Sisters’ Place and the Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress, producer, director and advocate Mariska Hargitay, to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month. read more
In a man's game, Mark Herzlich is standing up for women
October 24, 2015 • The New York Times
By Bill Pennington

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich grew up in locker rooms, from peewee football to the N.F.L.

“It’s a very unusual work environment — a small space and 100 percent male,” Herzlich said.

Locker to locker, the setting is marinated in machismo, with a lineup of employees celebrated for their toughness.

“We play a rough game on TV,” Herzlich said. “People see us and say: ‘Man, look at that dude. That’s a guy right there.’ ”

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NFL players commemorate National Domestic Violence Awareness Month in upcoming "SVU" marathon
10/23/2015 • The Futon Critic
The new interstitial campaign features Mariska Hargitay and NFL stars encouraging everyone to "get off the sidelines" to help stop domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Staffers From The Center In Stamford Talk At Sexual Assault Symposium
September 25, 2015 • Stamford Daily Voice
By Tom Renner
STAMFORD, Conn. -- Jessica Buchanan and Charlotte Poth of The Center for Sexual Assault Crisis Counseling and Education, located in Stamford, joined the national conversation on sexual assault prevention education at The Fearless Conference: An Innovative Symposium on Sexual Assault held on Sept. 18 in New York City. read more
Mariska Hargitay is front and center as 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' kicks off its 17th season
September 14, 2015 • Daily News
By Jaqueline Cutler
Mariska Hargitay returns as Sgt. Olivia Benson in the 17th season of “Law & Order: SVU.” read more
More than 40 police agencies to get $79M to test rape kits
September 11, 2015 • USA Today
By Steve Reilly and Charisse Jones
A USA TODAY/TEGNA joint investigation finds thousands of untested rape kits sitting in police department evidence rooms across the country. Rape victims, politicians and police are speaking out, hoping to change that. read more
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79 million to test rape kits
September 10, 2015 • Al Jazeera
Funding will go toward DNA testing on an estimated 70,000 rape kits, which are often backlogged because of expense. read more
New national funding will clear Utah’s backlog of untested rape kits
September 10, 2015 • The Salt Lake Tribune
By The Associated Press
White House, NYC prosecutor pledge $79M to test the kits nationwide. read more
State Attorney's Office receives $2 million federal grant to clear rape test-kit backlog
September 10, 2015 • jacksonville.com
By Derek Gilliam
State Attorney Angela Corey announced Thursday afternoon that her office has received nearly $2 million in a federal grant to eliminate the about 1,300 sexual-assault test kits sitting on evidence shelves at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. read more
Nearly $80 Million Will Be Used to Finally Test Thousands of Rape Kits
September 10, 2015 • Jezebel
By Anna Merlin

Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Loretta Lynch were in New York Thursday to announce that the White House has awarded $41 million in new rape kit testing grants to police departments across the country, added to the $38 million in grant money that Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance already contributed. That $79 million will be used to test 70,000 backlogged rape kits across the country. Finally.

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$79m pledged to eliminate persistent rape kit backlog
September 10, 2015 • The Guardian
By Jessica Glenza
Joe Biden and attorney general Loretta Lynch announce initiative to end backlog of untested sexual assault DNA kits. read more
Millions Earmarked to Clear 'Disturbing' Rape Kit Backlog
September 10, 2015 • NBC News
By Kate Snow, Rich McHugh and Tracy Connor
New effort underway to clear rape kit backlog. read more
Rape, suspended in time
September 7, 2015 • Las Vegas Sun
By Megan Messerly
Hoping to bring closure to victims, Las Vegas fighting to analyze thousands of backlogged rape kits that have been in storage for decades. read more
Metro Changes Rape Kit Policy After Finding Nearly 100 Unprocessed In Past Ten Years
August 26, 2015 • WSAV3
By Sheila Parker

There are estimates that as many as 400-thousand rape kits in the United States are gathering dust on police evidence shelves – going untested. The issue has caused outrage and led to some reforms at local, state and federal levels. We wanted to find out what the status was here. News 3 has been looking into the problem for months .

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‘Law and Order: SVU’ News 2015: USA Network’s Next Marathon Of The Addictive Cop Show Will Benefit A Good Cause
August 26, 2015 • Enstars
By Dave Odegard
The police procedural’s next binge-offering on cable will be a call to end domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Why Haven't 70,000 Rape Kits Been Tested for DNA?
July 20, 2015 • NBC News
By Kate Snow and Rich McHugh

Hundreds of thousands of rape kits that could identify serial sexual attackers are sitting untested by police departments across the country — despite promises and federal funds to clear the backlog, a new agency-by-agency count suggests.

Documents obtained exclusively by USA TODAY Media Network, an NBC News partner, uncovered more than 70,000 neglected forensic evidence kits amassed by more than 1,000 police agencies. That's just a fraction of the nation's 18,000 police departments, so the total number of untested kits is likely far higher.

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