Full Media Archive

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Law & Order: SVU' Tackles Male-on-Male Sexual Abuse in 'Personal Fouls'
September 27th, 2011 • AOL TV
By Chris Harnick
The second episode of 'Law & Order: SVU' Season 13 is one for the TV history books. Not only does it feature guest stars Dan Lauria, Mechad Brooks, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, but it'll also tackle the taboo issue of male-on-male sexual violence. read more
Law and Order Actress Raises Rape Kit Backlog Awareness
September 29th, 2010 • NBC News
By NBC News
The season premiere of NBC's "Law and Order SVU" tackled the ongoing problem of backlogged rape kits sitting untested in police warehouses... delaying the prosecution of rape suspects. It was a problem brought to life in Los Angeles in 2009 and now actress Mariska Hargitay has started a foundation to help raise awareness and funds to get those rape kits tested. read more
Law: North Carolina police must inventory untested rape kits
June 29, 2017 • Associated Press
By Christina Sandidge

No one knows how many untested rape kits have been shelved by local police departments throughout North Carolina, leaving victims to wonder if their cases will ever be solved, and leaving perpetrators free to strike again. A new law aims to change that by year's end.

The state budget, enacted this week following a veto override, requires that local law enforcement agencies take inventory of the kits they have and report their findings to the State Crime Lab by January 1.

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Lawsuit expands allegations that city of Houston didn't properly investigate rapes
December 25, 2017 • San Antonio Express-News
By Robert Downen

A woman who waited five years for charges to be filed against her alleged rapist is suing the city of Houston, accusing authorities of showing "deliberate indifference" by failing to investigate a backlog of rape kits that could have identified her attacker much earlier.

Beverly Flores last week joined a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in September by another former Houston resident, DeJenay Beckwith. The two women seek damages, saying officials violated their due process and equal protection rights.

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Lending a Hand
September 27, 2013 • People Magazine
By Jordan Strauss/AP
Chris Meloni and Mariska Hargitay at JoyROCKS event, benefiting the Joyful Heart Foundation. read more
Let’s Talk About It: ‘Hundreds of thousands’ of rape kits are sitting on shelves
January 9, 2017 • Ionia Sentinel-Standard
By DomesticShelters.org

It was traumatic enough that in 1996, at just 17 years old, Helena was raped repeatedly by a stranger who approached her at a self-service car wash, pressing a knife to her throat before forcing her to drive to an abandoned truck yard. What followed was 13 years of being ignored by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. Her rape kit—collected the same day that her rapist assaulted her, held her hostage, then freed her after threatening to kill her family if she went to police—sat on a shelf somewhere gathering dust for over a decade.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda and Mariska Hargitay and other well-known New Yorkers give. Here’s why.
November 28, 2017 • The New York Times
By The New York Times

After the post-Thanksgiving shopping days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday, which kicks off the season of charitable giving.

As The New York Times continues its Neediest Cases Fund campaign, we reached out to some prominent New Yorkers to ask them to name an organization to which they devote their resources.

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Lobbying to reduce the Rape Kit Backlog
March 24th, 2010 • CBS News
By Laura Strickler
This week, Valerie Neumann, a rape victim who was profiled in a CBS News investigation into the national rape kit backlog, is pounding the halls of Congress asking dozens of lawmakers to support legislation that will require DNA from all rape kits to be tested. read more
Locals, lawmaker speak out about Georgia’s rape kit backlog
November 18, 2017 • Savannah Morning News
By Brittini Ray

It’s been four years since Paige Bullard was sexually assaulted on Savannah State University’s campus, but her journey as a rape victim advocate is just getting started.

And she says one of the biggest lessons that she has learned is that “what happened to her did not have to happen to someone else.”

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Look of the Day
May 18th, 2011 • InStyle
By (Photo Cred: Mike Coppola, Getty Images)
Hilary Swank at the Joyful Heart Foundation Gala read more
Mad About Mariska
June 17th, 2010 • Hamptons Magazine
By Jo Piazza
Hargitay is one cliché worth talking about. In the midst of 12- to 15-hour days of physically grueling shoots for Law & Order: SVU, Mariska finds time to be a hands-on parent to her four-year-old son, August; push the envelope to grow the Joyful Heart Foundation, her charity for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse—and chat with a reporter to explain how she has time to do it all. 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
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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Mariska Hargitay + Other Celebs Say NO MORE to Domestic Violence + Sexual Assault
September 25, 2013 • MTV Act Blog
By Claire Biggs
Mariska Hargitay, of "Law & Order: SVU," made her directorial debut this week when she helped NO MORE launch a series of star-studded PSAs that will kick-start a three-year campaign to urge bystanders to speak out against sexual assault and domestic violence. read more
Mariska Hargitay - Hargitay Urging U.s. Politicians To Expand Dna Registry
January 23rd, 2102 • Contact Music
By Contact Music
Actress Mariska Hargitay is urging politicians to support the possible expansion of the U.S. Dna registry, so real-life detectives would be able to solve assault, abuse and murder cases faster. read more
Mariska Hargitay and Ali Wentworth Share Smooch at Joyful Heart Gala
May 10th, 2012 • E! News
By Rebecca Macatee
Why just hug your friends when you can kiss 'em? Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay and author and comedienne Ali Wentworth were so excited to see each other Wednesday night at the Joyful Revolution Gala in NYC that they locked lips on the red carpet! read more
Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni Gather To Support No More Domestic Violence
September 28, 2013 • Perez Hilton
By Perez Hilton
Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni joined each other on the red carpet in Los Angeles to promote the Joyful Hearts Foundation’s new NO MORE PSA to stop domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Mariska Hargitay And Debra Messing Find Textiles Hilarious
July 6, 2012 • Jezebel
By Anna Breslaw
Mariska Hargitay and Debra Messing attend the Theodora & Callum Shopping Event Benefitting The Joyful Heart Foundation on July 6, 2012 in Bridgehampton, New York. read more
Mariska Hargitay and her Joyful Heart Foundation Support Child Abuse Survivors
Oct 24 2012 • She Knows.com
Mariska Hargitay and her Law & Order: Special Victims Unit co-stars Kelli Giddish and Danny Pino join her Joyful Heart Foundation as they partner with KIND Healthy Snacks’ Do the KIND Thing program to package healing kits for children currently seeking services at Safe Horizon’s Manhattan Child Advocacy Center on October 22, 2012 in New York City. read more
Mariska Hargitay and Hugh O'Brien show how to use celebrity ethically
May 18, 2013 • Ethics Alarms
By Jack Marshall
Hargitay is an unusual Hollywood story. The daughter of a screen legend (her mother was famous sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, and Mariska, then a toddler, was in the car Mansfield was driving when she died in a horrific accident), Hargitay achieved stardom the old-fashioned way, by working through the ranks. read more
Mariska Hargitay and Jennifer Love Hewitt rock Aziam Tank for Charity
January 25th, 2011 • John Simon Daily
By John Simon Daily
Law & Order star Mariska Hargitay celebrated her birthday over the weekend wearing an AZIAM Wife Lover made exclusively for the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization in which Harigtay founded in 2004 to support victims of sexual assault. read more
Mariska Hargitay and Joe Biden Visit National Domestic Violence Hotline Headquarters
October 30, 2013 • E! Online
By Alyssa Toomey
Mariska Hargitay and Joe Biden are joining forces for a good cause. read more
Mariska Hargitay and Joe Biden Will Be in Town Tomorrow
October 29, 2013 • The Austinist
By Aleksander Chan
Law & Order: SVU's Detective Olivia Benson will join Vice President Joe Biden for his trip to Austin to visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline tomorrow, the Statesman reports. read more
Mariska Hargitay and ‘I Am Evidence’ want to eliminate the rape kit backlog
November 29, 2017 • IndieWire
By Jean Bentley

When Mariska Hargitay landed the role of Detective Olivia Benson on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” she had no idea that it would turn her into an activist for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. But in 2017, almost two decades after the long-running show began, she’s helped spearhead a mission to eliminate the rape-kit backlog in the U.S. — and has produced a documentary with HBO and her former SVU coworker Trish Adlesic called “I Am Evidence” that helps bring the issue to light.

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Mariska Hargitay asks you to "Do the KIND Thing"
September 25, 2012 • CBS News
By Camille Mann
Mariska Hargitay is asking people everywhere to "Do the KIND Thing" in support of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a non-profit which helps survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. read more