Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay will be among the speakers at the Democratic National Convention tonight, talking about Vice President Joe Biden’s leadership on violence against women policy, and more specifically, the nationwide backlog of untested rape kits.
Mariska Hargitay To Address Convention
This is a topic that Hargitay, who has long played Detective Olivia Benson on the hit NBC show, has been very passionate about and she’s using her celebrity to help end the backlog of rape kits that haven’t been tested and entered into a national database because they lack funds to do it.
“I’m honored to participate in the [Comvention], and to endorse @JoeBiden,” the actress shared on her Twitter page. “I feel privileged to call him an ally and a friend, and to shine a light on a man who already burns so brightly in our hearts. Tune in TONIGHT to learn about our work to #endthebacklog.”
Hargitay also Tweeted a recent story in People that further explains her association with Joe Biden and how important this cause is to her.
Through her Joyful Heart Foundation, she’s helping to transform society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and support survivors’ healing. Hargitay has partnered with Biden, who made a cameo on her show, for years in an effort to help.
According to People, the Mariska Hargitay and Joe Biden met in 2013 and ever since have worked together to generate funding opportunities to address these issues, which has resulted in the federal government creating the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) in 2014. Congress has approved between $41-48 million annually for the program.
It provides local communities with resources to test backlogged rape kits in their police storage facilities, create multi-disciplinary teams to investigate and prosecute cases connected to the backlog, and address the need for victim notification and re-engagement with the criminal justice system.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DNC is centered on virtual programming each night.
I’m honored to participate in the @DemConvention, and to endorse @JoeBiden. I feel privileged to call him an ally and a friend, and to shine a light on a man who already burns so brightly in our hearts. Tune in TONIGHT to learn about our work to #endthebacklog https://t.co/KJNeomzweq
— Mariska Hargitay (@Mariska) August 19, 2020