Full Media Archive

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Guest column: End to rape kit backlog will serve healing
February 17, 2014 • The Commercial Appeal
By Memphis Mayor AC Wharton and Sarah Tofte
Last week we stood together as Memphis made a public commitment to address and eliminate the city’s backlog of untested sexual assault kits. read more
Hargitay comes to the rescue
September 5th, 2010 • The Star Advertiser
By Nadine Kam
A dinner with Joyful Heart Foundation officials and local supporters marked a homecoming for "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" star Mariska Hargitay, who was in town last week for a series of private appearances on behalf of the organization she founded. read more
Hargitay Helps Heal The Healers
April 6, 2011 • MidWeek
By Yu Shing Ting
Just as she does on TV, actress Mariska Hargitay (who plays detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), is dedicated to helping survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse heal and reclaim their lives. read more
Hargitay was devastated to lose her 'SVU' partner
September 28th, 2011 • The Today Show
By Ann Curry
“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is back from its summer break, but it’s not the same old show it once was. Leading man Christopher Meloni, who played Det. Elliot Stabler for over a decade, is out, as is actor B.D. Wong, and several new faces have joined the drama. Still, one thing hasn’t changed — Mariska Hargitay is bringing Olivia Benson to the squad room, even though she's lost her on-screen partner. read more
Hawaii: In Real Life ~ One Strong Ohana
March 7th, 2012 • Non Stop Honolulu
By Melissa Chang
In the United States, nearly four children die every day as a result of child abuse and neglect. More than three quarters of these children are under the age of five and more than 40 percent of young victims won’t live to see their first birthday. In 2010, 4,199 cases of child abuse were reported in Hawaii. And yet, most of these could have been prevented: Studies show that the stronger the support network parents have, the less likely they are to abuse their children. read more
Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund’s One Strong ‘Ohana
January 16th, 2012 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
By Diane Ako
From now until March 12, Jamba Juice Hawai‘i will donate 25 cents from each Fit ‘n Fruitful smoothie purchased to the Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund’s One Strong ‘Ohana campaign. read more
Heal the Healers: Support for UH Hilo staff who care for survivors of trauma
November 4, 2016 • UH Hilo Stories
By Susan Enright

Student Health and Wellness Programs at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is among six organizations selected to join the Joyful Heart Foundation’s “Heal the Healers Hawaiʻi” project.

The initiative, funded by the Atherton Family Foundation, supports a series of training and technical assistance sessions to train and support staff working with students who have experienced trauma.

read more
Healing the Healers
April 2011 • Journal of Emergency Medical Services
Each day, EMS providers save lives and put themselves at risk by often suppressing their own emotions. Eventually, this takes its toll. The Joyful Heart Foundation has found a way to help. read more
Healthy Hollywood: Try It On Tuesday – Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart!
October 23rd, 2012 • Access Hollywood
By Terri Macleod
Inspired by her role as Detective Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Mariska Hargitay founded the Joyful Heart Foundation to help abused women and children. Now a decade after Joyful Hearts was founded, Mariska teamed up with KIND nutrition bars to help children of abuse. The two organizations got together to chip in and package healing kits for children currently seeking shelter at Safe Horizon’s Manhattan Child Advocacy Center. read more
Heartbreaking PSA highlights the massive backlog of untested rape kits
February 13, 2018 • HuffPost
By Alanna Vagianos

A new public service announcement is shining a much-needed light on the thousands of rape kits that go untested every year in the U.S.

The Joyful Heart Foundation, which created the PSA, estimates that hundreds of thousands of rape kits are sitting untested in law enforcement facilities around the country due to the lack of resources and funding. “Shelved” lays out in 60 seconds the far-reaching impacts of this backlog.

read more
HI: The Joyful Heart Foundation Presents The Inaugural Joyful Mele Gala In Honolulu
September 1st, 2012 • Getty Images
By Marco Garcia
Pictures from the Joyful Heart Foundation's September 1st Joyful Mele Gala in Honolulu read more
Hilary Swank showcases her trim figure in a plum dress to support Mariska Hargitay at charity event
September 27, 2013 • Daily Mail
By Iona Kirby
Hilary Swank attends a charity event hosted by Mariska Hargitay. read more
Holiday Gift We’re Loving: Me&Ro’s ‘Fearlessness’ Pendant
November 26, 2012 • People Magazine
By Jennifer Cress
This holiday season, why not give a glam gift that gives back? New York City-based jewelry company Me&Ro recently teamed up with actress Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation to create the “Fearlessness Pendant,” designed to raise awareness and funds for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. read more
Hot Photos Of October
Oct 27, 2012 • Radar Online
Mariska Hargitay and her Joyful Heart Foundation partner With KIND Healthy Snacks' Do The KIND Thing program to package and donate healing kits for children in NYC. read more
Hot Pics
May 11th, 2012 • Us Weekly
By US Weekly
Hilary Swank, Mariska Hargitay and Debra Messing LOL'd at Wednesday's Joyful Heart Foundation's Joyful Revolution Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC. read more
Hot Pics: Aloha, Mariska!
September 1st, 2012 • Us Weekly
By US Weekly
Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann attended the Joyful Heart Foundation's Inaugural Joyful Mele Gala in Honolulu, Hawaii September 1. read more
How #MeToo could move from social campaign to social change
November 9, 2017 • CNN
By Sandee LaMotte

A CALL TO MEN launch the Joyful Heart Foundation, which includes an op-ed and public service announcement featuring male celebrities.

read more
How Can We Solve America's Backlogged Rape Kit Problem?
May 11, 2017 • Glamour
By Cady Drell

Someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the United States. That's a number big and scary enough that you'd think it would be a compelling argument for doing something about it, and yet sexual assault cases rarely even go to trial, let alone lead to a conviction. One part of the problem: It's estimated that 175,000 sexual assault evidence kits — often referred to as "rape kits" — remain untested in evidence storage facilities around the country. 

read more
How Mariska Hargitay's 'Law & Order' Role Spurred HBO's Sexual Assault Doc
April 24, 2017 • The Hollywood Reporter
By Ashley Lee

After 18 years of starring in Law & Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay is taking on sexual assault offscreen.

The star of NBC’s long-running procedural series is a producer of I Am Evidence, a new documentary highlighting the hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits in the United States. The dormant status of these kits, some of which have been left in police evidence storage rooms for decades, mirrors the pattern of how the criminal justice system has historically treated sexual assault victims. Meanwhile, perpetrators are never held accountable for their crimes.

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Hundreds of sexual assault kits untested in Missouri
January 5, 2016 • KOMU 8
By Emna Nicolas

COLUMBIA – Hundreds of rape and sexual assault kits in Missouri go untested for months or years at a time, while some are never tested at all.

The current state of Missouri’s system to prosecute rapists is failing survivors who made the choice of enduring the four to six-hour examination required to create a kit.

“And they do that with the expectation that the evidence will be used in their case, and that it will be handled appropriately and effectively,” said Ilse Knecht, the Joyful Heart Foundation's policy and advocacy director.


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I AM EVIDENCE—Time for justice!
December 13, 2017 • HuffPost
By Caroline Hart

If you believe in justice for the victims of sexual abuse, then make Mariska Hargitay’s HBO documentary - I AM EVIDENCE - coming to HBO in the next few months - a priority to watch. It will enrage you to know that over 400,000 rape kits in the USA have remained untested, leaving victims without justice and predators on the loose to rape again.

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I am Pure Joy
February 16th, 2011 • The Huffington Post
By Alanna Zabel
I had the honor of attending Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation annual celebration last week. This organization that Mariska started works to heal, educate and empower victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. T read more
If We Want To Take Sexual Assault Seriously, We Need To Test Thousands Of Rape Kits First
December 10, 2013 • ThinkProgress
By Tara Culp-Ressler
Here in the United States, which came first: A victim-blaming rape culture, or a police force that doesn’t take sexual assault cases seriously? It’s a classic chicken-and-egg situation. There’s no right answer. 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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In Rockville visit, Biden announces new program to curb domestic violence
March 13, 2013 • The Washington Post
By Bill Turque
Vice President Biden, in Rockville Wednesday to announce a new initiative to curb domestic violence, got personal as he described the effort to eliminate what he called “a blight on the nation’s conscience.” read more