Media Archive by Format: online

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A disturbing trend: evidence in rape cases often goes untested
August 2016 • Seattle Magazine
Elaine Porterfield
The backlog of untested rape kits goes back years, and it's hindering the justice process. read more
A flawed, inconsistent police response to sexual assault in Maryland
December 3, 2016 • The Baltimore Sun
Catherine Rentz and Alison Knezevich

Catherine Becket hadn't forgotten that evening three years ago in her Parkville apartment, though she tried.

Then, as she watched with outrage while Stanford University student Brock Turner served three months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman, she resolved to confront her own memories. She called Baltimore County police this summer about reopening her sexual assault case.

But she soon discovered that would be difficult.

read more
A Joyful Heart Foundation And KIND Visit Safe Horizon's Manhattan Child Advocacy
October 23rd, 2012 • Zimbio
Zimbio
Actress Mariska Hargitay, Linda Fairstein and Maile Zambuto package healing kits for children currently seeking services at Safe Horizon's Manhattan Child Advocacy Center in support of The Joyful Heart Foundation and KIND Healthy Snacks' Do the KIND Thing program at Safe Horizon's Manhattan Child Advocacy Center on October 22, 2012 in New York City. read more
A Star Fights Abuse in Hawaii
April 3rd, 2012 • MidWeek
Yu Shing Ting
The Joyful Heart Foundation, created by Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, is taking on child abuse in Hawaii with the One Strong Ohana campaign read more
Actress Hargitay Backs Detroit Rape Kit Project
March 10, 2014 • Associated Press
Corey Williams
Actress Mariska Hargitay, who portrays a police detective on television, on Monday pledged her support for a real-life crime-fighting effort: quicker testing for a backlog of thousands of rape kits in the Detroit area and across Michigan. read more
Actress Hargitay, Prosecutor Worthy discuss rape kit project
March 10, 2014 • My Fox Detroit
Associated Press
Actress Mariska Hargitay joined Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy Monday to discuss proposed legislation that would speed up sexual assault kit testing. read more
Actress Mariska Hargitay Joins Kym Worthy In Push For Rape Kit Testing
March 10, 2014 • CBS News
CBS News
An award-winning actress is joining forces with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in her push for legislation and funding to clear a backlog of 11,000 untested rape kits in Detroit. read more
Actress Mariska Hargitay: Violence Against Women Act Saves Lives (Video)
April 26th, 2012 • The New Civil Rights Movement
David Badash
Mariska Hargitay, best known for her role on TV’s “Law And Order,” says in this video that the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) saves lives, and adds that “restricting it to only some members of our community” defeats its purpose. Hargitay, an Emmy Award winner and daughter of the late actress Jayne Mansfield, is also the founder of and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which helps women who have been sexually abused. read more
Addressing Abuse
January 11th, 2012 • MidWeek
Kata Issari
When Mariska Hargitay began playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit more than a decade ago, the content of the scripts opened her eyes to the epidemic of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. read more
Ads Say 'No More' To Domestic Violence, But Will Audience Listen?
Jan. 14, 2015 • NPR
Maggie Penman
The subtext? No more domestic violence, and no more sexual assault. read more
Advocacy group says Kansas City has 1,324 untested rape kits
May 19, 2015 • KSHB Kansas City
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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Advocates praise senate bill on sexual assault victims’ rights
may 24, 2016 • The New York Times
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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Adweek's Top 5 Commercials of the Week: Dec. 12-19
Dec. 19, 2014 • Adweek
David Griner
Apple bridges generations, celebrities fall silent, and Ikea shows what kids really want read more
America's Cold-Case Crisis
February 25th, 2011 • The Daily Beast
Linda Fairstein
Testing old rape kits could put countless rapists in prison—and exonerate others who were wrongly convicted. Linda Fairstein on the tragedy of letting these truth-tellers collect dust. read more
An Incomprehensible Failure
September 20, 2016 • The Huffington Post
Sarah Haacke Byrd

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice released its much-anticipated report about policing practices in Baltimore, Maryland. Included in their examination is scathing evidence that victims of sexual assault in the city are denied equal and full access to the law.

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Anthony Edwards Discloses His Own Sexual Assault Story
November 10, 2017 • UPROXX
Dan Seitz

Anthony Edwards, best known for his work on ER and in Top Gun, has been working to discuss male victims of sexual assault for a long time, working with groups like Joyful Heart to raise awareness that sexual assault is a problem for everyone. Edwards recently took to Medium, however, to lay bare the personal impetus behind this: That he’s a survivor of sexual assault as well.

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Assault survivors have waited too long
March 4, 2017 • Albuquerque Journal
Jayann Sepich and Ilse Knecht

Every year, thousands of individuals who have been sexually assaulted take the step of reporting the crime to the police. They submit to an examination of their body and have evidence collected in a process that typically takes four to six hours. The evidence is saved in a “Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kit” – a rape kit.

DNA evidence is an invaluable investigative tool. When tested, communities can identify serial perpetrators, take dangerous offenders off the streets, exonerate the innocent and prevent future crimes.

read more
At Last! A National PSA Campaign to End Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
September 24, 2013 • The Huffington Post
Anna Kegler
After writing almost a year ago about the need for a major public campaign around sexual violence prevention, I was overjoyed to hear that the Joyful Heart Foundation (headed by Mariska Hargitay of SVU fame) and No More were joining forces to create a nationwide PSA campaign to address domestic violence and sexual assault. read more
Awaiting Assembly Action State Senate Passes DNA Databank Expansion; Sheriff Gerace Calls Bill A ‘No-Brainer’
March 11th, 2012 • The Post-Journal
Andrew Carr
The New York State Assembly is on deck to approve the state's DNA Databank Expansion Bill. Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed the expansion of the bill to include all misdemeanor convictions. read more
Be Fearless, Men
June 6th, 2012 • Cool People Care
Sam Davidson
Joyful Heart Foundation wants to engage men, in the spirit of Father’s Day, as crucial participants and survivors themselves in the effort to address, prevent, and one day end sexual violence, domestic violence, and child abuse. That’s why the non-profit organization teamed up with leading jeweler Me&Ro to offer the “FEARLESSNESS” tube bracelet for men. read more
Beauty for a Cause
October 9th, 2012 • ABC 4
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and there are some beauty companies that support various causes. Fran’s Chocolates, founded by Fran Bigelow, is a proud supporter of the Joyful Heart Foundation. read more
Being Raped In A Bankrupt City
March 27, 2014 • BuzzFeed
Emily Orley
Wayne County, Mich., the region where Detroit is located, has been riddled with problems for decades. But when a massive backlog of rape kits was discovered, a few mighty voices decided to work on changing the way sexual assault is viewed and how victims are treated, while also opening every single kit. read more
Biden: We can do more to stop domestic violence
March 13, 2013 • USA Today
Vice President Joe Biden joined Attorney General Eric Holder and Mariska Hargitay at an event in Maryland Wednesday to highlight the urgent need to reduce domestic violence homicides. (March 13) read more
Biden: ‘Guys … you have to step up’ to fight violence against women
April 25, 2015 • The Hill
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
Bill Introduced to Reduce National Rape Kit Backlog
September 6, 2017 • KTVN Channel 2
KTVN Channel 2

A bill called the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence Reporting (SAFER) Act was introduced today and will reauthorize, strengthen, and extend the Sexual Assault Forensic Registry program in an effort to help reduce the national rape kit backlog.

This legislation would also ensure pediatric forensic nurses are eligible for training, highlighting the need for pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners in responding to children suffering from abuse.

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