Media Archive by Year: 2016

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Why One Ohio Court Case Could Be Detrimental for Rape Victims Everywhere
February 8, 2016 • Broadly.
Lindsay Schrupp
Despite Ohio's extensive initiative to test thousands of previously untested, backlogged rape kits, one Ohio Supreme Court case could affect the ways in which future rape cases are prosecuted. read more
Why an Ohio Supreme Court case involving rape kits is drawing national attention
February 17, 2016 • Cleveland.com
Rachel Dissel

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A Cleveland rape case in the hands of the Ohio Supreme Court could result in tougher standards for prosecuting cases reopened after tests on thousands rape kits, some that had been shelved for decades.

State and national victims' advocacy groups are closely watching the case. They've filed legal briefs warning that, if an appeals court decision stands, it could undermine justice for rape survivors and allow serial rapists to evade prosecution.

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Victims' Group: SD Rape Kit Testing Law a Mixed Bag
April 20, 2016 • Public News Service
Brandon Campbell

PIERRE, S.D. - South Dakota's new rape kit testing law is now in effect, but a sexual assault victims' group argues it may not go far enough to tackle the state's backlog. 

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Untested rape kits in Idaho raise concerns
November 9, 2016 • The Salt Lake Tribune
The Associated Press
Police chief Chris Allgood says he doesn’t want to put DNA into database if crime not committed. read more
The Variety Power of Women luncheon honored Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o, Megyn Kelly, Misty Copeland, Vera Wang and Mariska Hargitay for philanthropic work that included gun safety initiatives, global health, child and sex abuse prevention
April 8, 2016 • U.S. News & World Report
Jocelyn Noveck

NEW YORK (AP) — Host Billy Eichner quipped at Variety's Power of Women luncheon Friday that he wasn't being paid nearly enough for the emcee job he was doing — and that's why he knows what it's like to be a woman in Hollywood.

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Tempe sending around 500 sexual-assault kits, some dating to the early '90s, for testing
June 8, 2016 • AZ Central
Chris Coppola
The kits are being tested because they never were submitted or need to be checked again with new methods. read more
SVU's Mariska Hargitay on Vice President Joe Biden's Guest Role and THAT Premiere Shocker
September 21, 2016 • People
Lanford Beard

Mariska Hargitay has had to portray a lock of terrifying, disturbing scenarios in 17 seasons on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but the actress and mother of three was especially impacted by one shocking scene in the season 18 premiere. 

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Restoring joy to abuse victims
June 2016 • Hawaii Business Magazine
Jackie M. Young

When actress Mariska Hargitay started playing a sexual-assault detective on TV in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 1999, she began to get mail full of stories of personal abuse.

“She trained for the role at a rape-crisis shelter,” explains Kata Issari, 54, executive director of the Hawaii region of Joyful Heart Foundation, “and she was shocked at the statistics of sexual abuse and wondered why everyone wasn’t talking about these issues.”

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Ohio tests 10,000 rape kits to clear backlogs, hundreds indicted
February 18, 2016 • Reuters
Kim Palmer

An effort Ohio launched about five years ago to manage its backlog of rape kits has resulted in more than 10,000 tests to recover physical evidence and led to at least 445 indictments, the state Attorney General's office said on Thursday.

"This is a tremendous milestone," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said. "The testing of these 10,000 kits has helped identify hundreds of alleged assailants, many of whom repeatedly committed violent attacks."

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Ohio Supreme Court reverses decision in Cleveland rape kit case that drew national attention
July 27, 2016 • Cleveland.com
Rachel Dissell

CLEVELAND, Ohio –The Ohio Supreme Court today unanimously reversed the decision of a Cleveland appeals court in a rape kit case being watched across the country.

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No urgency in testing rape kits amounts to no respect for victims
January 5, 2016 • Miami Herald
Fabiola Santiago

Where’s the urgency, the respect for rape victims?

On Tuesday afternoon, a day after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released a report revealing the high number of rape-evidence kits that sit untested for DNA in police storage facilities, the police agency with the highest number of them remained mum.

Still working on trying to get information, a spokesman of the Miami-Dade County Police Department told the Miami Herald.

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New York Giants join My Sisters' Place to help end domestic violence
October 25, 2016 • White Plains Daily Voice
Nicole Briggs
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – During Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants joined with longtime partner My Sisters’ Place and the Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress, producer, director and advocate Mariska Hargitay, to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month. read more
New Mexico Audit Finds 5,411 Untested Rape Kits
January 7, 2016 • Public News Service

SANTA FE, N.M. – Victims' rights advocates are hoping New Mexico officials take steps during the upcoming legislative session to deal with the state's backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or rape kits.

A state audit discovered more than 5,400 kits still sitting in police evidence lockers around the state. 

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New celebrity PSAs address myth, societal attitudes that confront male survivors of childhood sexual abuse
March 7, 2016 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
Sophie Cocke

Joyful Heart and 1in6 are proud to share a new series in Joyful Heart’s groundbreaking, celebrity-driven NO MORE PSA campaign to address the myths and excuses surrounding males who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, and to invite male survivors to seek help at 1in6.org. The PSAs were created in partnership with Viacom, directed by Joyful Heart’s Founder & President, actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay, developed in partnership with Y&R, Executive Creative Director/Writer, Rachel Howald, and photographed by world-renowned celebrity photographer Timothy White.

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Miami PD to begin work on state’s largest backlog of untested rape kits
January 4, 2016 • Miami Herald
David Smiley

An effort to identify and process every untested rape kit in Florida has found that more than 3,700 exist in Miami-Dade County, including 2,243 held by Miami police alone — the most of any law enforcement agency in the state.

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Mariska Hargitay says this issue hasn't changed in the 18 years she's been on SVU
September 14, 2016 • Refinery29
Shannon Carlin

Mariska Hargitay is opening up about how her role on Law & Order: SVU has made her an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse.

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Mariska Hargitay of ‘Law & Order: SVU’ talks untested rape kit backlog
June 22, 2016 • Hidden Remote
Anne Goetz
‘Law & Order: SVU’s’ Mariska Hargitay addresses the United State of Women Summit at the White House. read more
Mariska Hargitay directs powerful new PSA supporting male sexual abuse survivors
March 3, 2016 • Today Pop Culture
Sarah Epstein

Mariska Hargitay is taking a page from her "Law and Order: SVU" character, Olivia Benson, and fighting to raise awareness about male survivors of sexual abuse.

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Law & Order: SVU' star and director Mariska Hargitay confronts sexual consent
January 2, 2016 • Inquisitr
Edward Vkanty

Mariska Hargitay has again been directing episodes of Law & Order: SVU and her most recent efforts aired Wednesday night in the appropriately titled episode, “A Misunderstanding.” The episode was written by Celine C. Robinson, who previously wrote six other episodes for the series, and centers around a young high school couple in a story that involves a he-said, she-said scenario addressing issues related to sexual consent. Hargitay says the episode was daunting to direct, because sexual consent is as murky topic in real American courtrooms as it is in fictional legal dramas.

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Key legislators approve amended version of bill to test rape kits
April 30, 2016 • Honolulu Star Advertiser
Sophie Cocke

Hawaii’s police departments will likely be required to take action on hundreds of rape kits that have sat in storage facilities for years, as well as new rape kits, after key lawmakers Friday agreed to an amended version of House Bill 1907.

The bill gained traction after the Honolulu Police Department revealed in February that it had 1,500 untested kits that contain forensic evidence from rape victims. The untested kits, which could help solve crimes and catch serial rapists, date back more than a decade.

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Joyful Heart launches new 'Hawaii Says No More' PSA campaign
November 17, 2016 • Hawaii News Now
Hawaii News Now

Locally and nationally recognized musicians, television personalities, athletes, cultural practitioners, and community leaders have joined forces launched a campaign today to raise much-needed visibility and awareness about the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault across the state in a dramatic new series of public service announcements released today by the Joyful Heart Foundation.

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Joyful Heart Groundbreaking Celebrity PSAs Address Myths, Societal Attitudes that Confront Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
March 2, 2016 • Joyful Heart Foundation
Joyful Heart Foundation
The Joyful Heart Foundation and 1in6 – in partnership with Viacom – today launched a new series of print and broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) that speak to the excuses and societal attitudes that male survivors of sexual abuse are confronted with and direct viewers to resources for help. read more
Joyful Heart Foundation Releases First-of-its-Kind Study on Victim Notification as Part of Work to End the Rape Kit Backlog
April 8, 2016 • My Social Good News
Api Poder

NEW YORK – Today, the Joyful Heart Foundation released Navigating Notification: A Guide to Re-engaging Sexual Assault Survivors Affected by the Untested Rape Kit Backlog. This groundbreaking report will help jurisdictions working to eliminate their backlogs of untested rape kits to create survivor-centered, trauma-informed policies and protocols for victim notification.

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Joyful Heart Foundation brings awareness to domestic violence and sexual abuse
June 5, 2016 • Hawaii News Now
HNN Staff
In Hawaii, one in seven women is sexually assaulted, according to advocates for victims. read more
Joyful Heart Foundation and Partners File Amicus Brief in Ohio Case That Could Undermine Justice for Rape Survivors
January 20, 2016 • ENDTHEBACKLOG
Joyful Heart Foundation
We have just filed an amicus brief on behalf of the State of Ohio, which is appealing the Ohio Court of Appeals’ decision to use the state’s backlog of untested rape kits in part to dismiss rape and kidnapping charges against an alleged serial rapist. Partners AEquitas: The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence Against Women, Rape Abuse Incest National Network, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence and National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) joined Joyful Heart in the filing. read more

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