Media Archive by Format: online

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Cuomo Signs Law to Expand New York's DNA Databank
March 19th, 2012 • From the G Man
Joella Marano
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo joined by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver today signed into law a historic bill that makes New York State the first "all crimes DNA" state in the nation, by requiring DNA samples be collected from anyone convicted of a felony or Penal Law misdemeanor. In addition, the new law also significantly expands defendants' access to DNA testing and comparison both before and after conviction in appropriate circumstances, as well as to discovery after conviction where innocence is claimed. read more
Cuomo, thronged by crimestoppers, signs DNA bill
March 19th, 2012 • Albany Times Union
Casey Seiler
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill expanding the state’s DNA database to include misdemeanors in addition to felonies. Left out of that list of crimes: first-offense misdemeanor marijuana possession, a crime that Assemblywoman Barbara Clark [corrected] noted scoops up a disproportionate number of black and Latino youths. read more
Cuomo: DNA bill shouldn’t be subject to ‘Albany game’
February 29th, 2012 • Albany Times Union
Casey Seiler
In a Red Room jam-packed with law enforcement officials and victims advocates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pressed the case for his expansion of the state DNA database to include samples from all misdemeanor and felony convictions — and resisted calls to expand the legislation to include other criminal justice reforms. read more
Debate grows over DNA database expansion
January 23rd, 2102 • Fox News
Julie Tremble
New York law enforcement officials are pushing for a major expansion to the state's DNA databank. If approved, the state would require those convicted of misdemeanor crimes to submit DNA samples just like felony convicts already do. read more
Debra Messing Fulfills 'Lifetime Dream' by Heading to Broadway
October 16, 2013 • ABC News Radio
Jeanette Torres
Debra Messing discusses new role in upcoming Broadway play, and her participation in the Joyful Heart Foundation's NO MORE Campaign read more
Debra Messing, Ice-T, Coco, Sam Ronson Party With Mariska Hargitay For Real-Life Special Victims
May 10th, 2012 • VH1
Sabrina Rojas Weiss
I’m sure almost every night in New York and Los Angeles, there is a room that contains handfuls of celebrities, bankers and society ladies clinking glasses and pledging thousands to some cause or another. But, though I have been to a whole lot of those kinds of soirees, I feel like the one I went to last night, a benefit for the Joyful Heart Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street in NYC, is a little bit different from the others. read more
Denim Day in LA & USA Is April 25, 2012
April 24th, 2012 • HPC MarketWire
Peace Over Violence
Millions of people will wear jeans on Wednesday, April 25 to participate in Denim Day in LA & USA to raise awareness around sexual violence issues and support survivors of sexual assault. read more
Detective Olivia Benson on the Case: Mariska Hargitay’s Emotional Plea to Get Backlogged Rape Kits Tested
March 12, 2014 • Time
Charlotte Alter
The Law & Order: SVU star teared up when she discussed the immense backlog of untested rape kits. read more
Detroit’s rape kit backlog identified more than 800 serial rapists
December 19, 2017 • The Daily Dot
Samantha Grasso

Detroit’s eight-year dive into its untested rape kit backlog identified more than 800 serial rapists, illustrating the importance for law enforcement to take sexual violence seriously as part of the “Me Too” movement empowering survivors around the world.

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Did Mariska Hargitay Help Catch A Real-Life Rapist?
March 11, 2014 • Huffington Post
Erin Whitney
It's no news that "Law & Order: SVU" star Mariska Hargitay fights for survivors of sexual assault in real life. The Joyful Heart Foundation, which she founded to help put an end to sexual and domestic violence, has recently helped the city of Detroit obtain funds to process a backlog of nearly 11,000 untested rape kits. read more
DNA doesn’t lie
May 30th, 2011 • Boston Herald
Linda Fairstein
The fact that there are estimated to be almost a quarter of a million untested rape evidence collection kits collecting dust in police department warehouses across this country remains a national embarrassment. read more
DNA Evidence CAN Stop Serial Rapists
August 4th, 2011 • Ms. Magazine
Stephanie Hallet
It was an ordinary day in October, 2002. Julie Weil and her infant son were picking up Julie’s daughter, three-year-old Emily, from her Florida preschool at noon. As Julie buckled her daughter into her car seat, she felt a sudden blow to the head. read more
DNA test key in state rape kit overhaul
October 23rd, 2009 • Times Union
Carol Demere
It was the first overhaul in 20 years of what is officially known as the sexual offense evidence collection kit and the upgrade was seriously needed, state Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Denise E. O’Donnell said. read more
Doing Good with Verizon Wireless
May 21st, 2010 • Business Edge
Wayne Rash
Nine years ago, a Verizon Wireless employee named Amy became a victim of domestic violence. Despite court orders and a legal battle, Amy's husband continued to stalk her, interrupted her work, and ultimately killed her. She was just one of thousands of women affected each year by such violence, and one of far too many to be killed as a result. read more
Domestic Violence: The Secret Killer that Costs $8.3 Billion Annually
December 5, 2013 • Forbes
Robert Pearl
A woman comes to the doctor with depression, fatigue and insomnia. A co-worker stays late in the office even when there is not much to do. A sales associate appears tired and distracted. For each of these individuals, domestic violence – physical, sexual, verbal, emotional or psychological abuse against an intimate partner – could be the underlying cause of distress. read more
Eagle Club Indoor Golf Raises More Than $10K For Actress Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation
April 11, 2017 • Patch
Nikki Gaskins

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—Eagle Club Indoor Golf is excited to announce the recent success of its first ever “Drive-A-Thon” fundraiser. On March 31st and April 1st, San Francisco’s #1 spot for indoor golf culminated its quarter long fundraising campaign with a drive-a-thon to benefit Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping sexual assault survivors heal and reclaim a sense of joy in their lives. The money raised—$10,200 total—will benefit the non-profit’s “End the Backlog” campaign.

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Editorial: A rape kit calamity
February 20, 2017 • Savannah Morning News
Savannah Morning News

Joanie is a Missouri woman who was brutally raped in 1991 by a man she didn’t know and then was virtually ignored by the criminal justice system.

Fortunately, her attacker was eventually caught and sent to prison, thanks to persistent officials in that state who made sure the rape kit taken after her attack was tested and the results shared.

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Ella Burnside, Founder of Taking on Goliath
October 20th, 2011 • The Voice Tribune
Ashley Anderson
It’s one thing to say you’re going to do something, it’s another to actually do it. That’s the lesson Ella Burnside took from her English class at Christian Academy and one she’s become an example of through her work with Taking on Goliath, a fundraiser for the Joyful Heart Foundation. read more
End our backlog of rape kit processing
November 6, 2013 • Shreveport Times
Sarah Tofte
Every year, thousands of individuals take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. read more
Ending the Backlog
September 28th, 2010 • The Huffington Post
Mariska Hargitay and Neal Baer
By failing to test rape kits, we are telling victims that pursuing justice doesn't matter, that convicting violent perpetrators and taking them off our streets is not a top priority. read more
Ending the Rape Kit Backlog
February 21, 2014 • Women's Media Center
Marcia G. Yerman
The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report in January entitled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action.” read more
Every rape kit booked into evidence in Hawaii should be tested by police
April 12, 2016 • Huffpost Hawaii
Kata Issari & Natasha Alexenko

In 1993, Natasha was raped and robbed at gunpoint by an unknown assailant in New York City. She went to the hospital, where a medical forensic exam was done but the rape kit containing evidence from the assault sat in the police department’s evidence room for nine years. 

Natasha’s attacker was identified in 2007 when DNA from the rapist was matched to the evidence from her assault. In the years that he was out on the streets after Natasha’s rape, Victor Rondon went on a cross-country crime spree.

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Exclusive: USA to Air SVU Marathon Featuring New Video From Chris Meloni
June 19, 2014 • TV Guide
Kate Stanhope
USA will air a second Law & Order: SVU "No More Excuses" marathon this month, this time with the help of former star Christopher Meloni, TVGuide.com has learned exclusively. Throughout the marathon, viewers will be encouraged to seek out additional information online, or to call national help hotlines to speak with counselors and advocates. read more
Exclusive: USA, Mariska Hargitay Team Up for an SVU Marathon with a Cause
April 23, 2014 • TV Guide
Kate Stanhope
To commemorate National Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention month, and in partnership with Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation and the NO MORE campaign, USA will air a special 16-hour SVU "No More Excuses" marathon hosted by Hargitay and her SVU co-stars. read more
Eye on Entertainment
May 10, 2013 • The Washington Post
Lifestyle Blog
Images from the Joyful Heart Foundation's 2013 Joyful Revolution Gala read more

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