Full Media Archive

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Tens of thousands of rape kits go untested across USA
July 16, 2015 • USA Today
By Steve Reilly
A nationwide count by USA TODAY reveals abandoned rape kit evidence. read more
Zambuto & Prichard: Resources Needed to Test Rape Kits
July 10, 2015 • The Ledger.com
By MAILE M. ZAMBUTO AND THERESA L. PRICHARD

Recently, the Joyful Heart Foundation announced that Jacksonville has 1,943 untested rape kits in law enforcement evidence storage facilities. Sadly, Jacksonville is not alone.

Despite the fact that DNA evidence can be an incredibly powerful tool to solve and prevent crimes, the federal government estimates that across the country there are hundreds of thousands of rape kits that have never been sent to a crime lab for testing.

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The risk we take with Charlotte’s rape kit backlog
June 29, 2015 • The Charlotte Observer
By Maile M. Zambuto
From Maile M. Zambuto, Chief Executive Officer of the Joyful Heart Foundation, and Monika Johnson Hostler, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the President of the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, read more
Investigative Report: How Victim-Blaming Led to the Rape Kit Backlog
June 22, 2015 • RH Reality Check
By Sofia Resnick
“I honestly understand why a lot of people don’t report rape,” Kiyona Phillips told RH Reality Check in an interview. “Because if you’re not half-dead or beat in the face or it’s not recorded in any kind of way, you really have to prove that this happened to you.” -Kiyona Phillips read more
Will new focus on rape kit tests put thousands behind bars?
May 30, 2015 • Associated Press
By Sharon Cohen
The evidence piled up for years, abandoned in police property rooms, warehouses and crime labs. Now, tens of thousands of sexual assault kits are giving up their secrets — and rapists who've long remained free may finally face justice. read more
HomeFree Content States on Skates roller skaters return to Salida, raise $26,000
May 26, 2015 • The Mountain Mail
By Ryan Summerlin

Three Ark Valley High Rollers are back in their street shoes after 78 days of skating from the Atlantic to the Pacific Coast.

Their roller derby teammates, friends and some people who were just plain curious packed into Café Dawn Monday for their return party to see a slide show of the trio’s last 3½ months.

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We’re Letting Untested Rape Kits Languish In Warehouses And It Has Huge Consequences
May 21, 2015 • Think Progress
By TARA CULP-RESSLER

Despite more than a billion dollars in public funding dedicated to helping law enforcement officials test the DNA evidence collected in rape kits, there’s still a huge backlog of untested kits collecting dust in storage facilities across the country, according to advocates who testified at a Senate committee hearing this week.

Because DNA evidence is collected on a local level, we have no idea exactly how many rape kits are languishing unopened in massive warehouses. Advocacy groups in the field believe that the total number is in the hundreds of thousands.

...

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Joyful Heart Reveals Rape Kit Backlog Data, but More Remains Unknown
May 20, 2015 • Nonprofit Quarterly
By SHAFAQ HASAN

The Joyful Heart Foundation’s Accountability Project, an initiative that’s part of the #EndTheBacklog program focused on identifying the extent of the national rape kit backlog, has released new information detailing the number of untested kits in several cities nationwide.

Through public record requests, the foundation discovered the following totals:

Charlotte, North Carolina: 1,019 untested kits

Jacksonville, Florida: 1,943 kits

Kansas City, Missouri: 1,324 kits

Portland, Oregon: 1,931 kits

San Diego, California: 2,873 kits

...

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Taking Sexual Assault Seriously: The Rape Kit Backlog and Human Rights
By Sarah Haacke Byrd
Statement for the record for Sarah Haacke Byrd, Managing Director for the Joyful Heart Foundation before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. read more
Advocacy group says Kansas City has 1,324 untested rape kits
May 19, 2015 • KSHB Kansas City
By Lexi Sutter

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A national rape victim advocacy group says Kansas City has 1,324 untested rape kits.

The nonprofit Joyful Heart Foundation released information Tuesday about testing backlogs in five cities. It says it hopes the cities will "take aggressive and comprehensive steps toward rape kit reform."

“We do feel that the transparency and accountability around releasing the numbers will pave the way for true reform around rape kit testing,” explained Ilse Knecht, the senior advisor for policy and advocacy for the Joyful Heart Foundation.

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Despite DNA, the Rapist Got Away
May 19, 2015 • The New York Times
By Nicholas Kristof
Sexual assault thrives with impunity, and that’s one reason we should routinely test rape kits, to chip away at the impunity and raise the costs of rape so that it becomes less common. read more
Mariska Hargitay tears up at Joyful Revolution Gala, talks 'huge progress' of domestic violence, sexual assault awareness
May 7, 2015 • Daily News
By RACHEL MARESCA

Mariska Hargitay couldn't be prouder of how far her foundation has come.

The "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" actress, who founded the Joyful Heart organization in 2004, teared up when talking about it to the Daily News' Confidential column at Wednesday's Joyful Revolution Gala.

 ...

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Man Charged in 1995 New York City Rape and Robbery After DNA Match
May 4, 2015 • Jezebel
By Anna Merlan

The Manhattan District Attorney has charged Joseph Giardala, 44, with raping and robbing a woman in New York City’s West Village in 1995. New York couldn’t identify Giardala by name after the rape, but entered his DNA into a national database, where it matched with a case in Florida earlier this year. In the years since allegedly raping a 25-year-old woman at knifepoint, Giardala has lived in at least eleven different U.S. states and appears to have traveled out of the country dozens of times.

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5 Celebrities Who Are Champions For Domestic Violence Survivors
May 2, 2015 • Bustle
By Jamie Kenney

In tonight's highly anticipated fight against Manny Pacquiao , Floyd Mayweather will make over $100 million. He estimates that he will make $200 million at least. Truly, those might be modest estimates. Let that sink in for a second. Personally, I think it's pretty disgusting that literally anyone would make that much money for a single event. There are certainly better places that money could be spent.

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Why Every Business Should Also Get Into the Business of Good
April 29, 2015 • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/suzanne-lerner/why-every-business-should_b_7169922.html
By Suzanne Lerner

As a founder of a global brand for over 25 years, Michael Stars (I founded it in 1986 year with my husband, Michael), it would be easy for me to only focus on opportunities that made me money or elevated my company's profile. But instead, I've chosen a dual career: one as a business leader, and one as a leader in philanthropy.

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Salida roller derby athletes tackling cross-country fundraising skate
April 28, 2015 • The Denver Post
By Jason Blevins

Kim Bouldin sounds lost.

"What day is this? I've lost track. I think we are on day 20," she says, her voice lost in the growl of a passing truck.

She's at a roadside convenience store just outside Biloxi, Miss.

The days are a blur. Roller skating 700 miles on rough roads over three weeks does strange things to your mind and body, says the mother and wife from Salida.

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Biden: ‘Guys … you have to step up’ to fight violence against women
April 25, 2015 • The Hill
By Jordan Fabian
Vice President Biden is teaming up with actress Jessica Szohr for an event raising awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence. read more
States on Skates and Joyful Heart Foundation
April 8, 2015 • Click Orlando
Q&A with Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order actress, and creator of Joyful Heart Foundation
April 1, 2015 • Fempower
By Melissa Seymour

Melissa Seymour: Hi, Mariska! Thanks so much for speaking with us today. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

Mariska Hargitay: I’m an actress an activist, and a mom of three.  I’ve played Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit for the past 16 years. I’ve also taken my turn behind the camera, directing the groundbreaking NO MORE PSAs and a number of episodes of Law & Order: SVU.  I am also the Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

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2,800-Mile Trek Brings Colorado Team to Berwick
March 30, 2015 • St. Mary Now
By Zachary Fitzgerald

A Colorado women’s roller derby team, on a mission to raise funds to stop domestic violence and sexual assault, skated their way into the Tri-City area Sunday as part of a 2,800-mile trip across the country.

Kim Bouldin, 43, of Salida, Colorado; Brenna Eaker, 29, of Salida, Colorado; Gracie Cole, 31, of Nathrop, Colorado; and Rebecca Hudson, 30, of Buena Vista, Colorado, stopped in Berwick on Sunday to spend the night. All are members of a roller derby team called the Ark Valley High Rollers on a journey they’re calling “States on Skates.”

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Mariska Hargitay on Olivia Benson: Actress Reveals how role made her want to help others
March 6, 2015 • Inquisitr
By Regina Avalos

Mariska Hargitay is speaking out on Olivia Benson and the impact the role has had on her life in a new interview with People Magazine. Hargitay has portrayed Benson for the last 16 years on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and the role has changed her life.

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NO MORE Releases Chilling Domestic Violence Super Bowl Ad
January 29, 2015 • MSNBC
By Tamron Hall
The co-founder of “No more” joins Tamron Hall with a look at the campaign’s chilling new Super Bowl commercial about domestic violence. Plus, they discuss a series of PSA’s featuring current NFL players. read more
They Put A Celebrity On Camera And Asked Her To Talk About A Rough Topic. She Only Got 2 Words Out.
Jan. 20, 2015 • Upworthy
By Laura Willard
She's totally speechless, and how can you blame her? read more
Ads Say 'No More' To Domestic Violence, But Will Audience Listen?
Jan. 14, 2015 • NPR
By Maggie Penman
The subtext? No more domestic violence, and no more sexual assault. read more
Adweek's Top 5 Commercials of the Week: Dec. 12-19
Dec. 19, 2014 • Adweek
By David Griner
Apple bridges generations, celebrities fall silent, and Ikea shows what kids really want read more

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