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Mariska Hargitay Real Life Hero For Victims (Part ONE of TWO)







Helps trauma



and Off

By Robyn Ross

_____February 19th, 2010


SVU’s Mariska Hargitay

__Links are in GREEN

___Part ONE of TWO

Mariska Hargitay‘s character on

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

has devoted her life to helping survivors

of assault and abuse,

and the actress is doing her part

in real life as well.

Her Joyful Heart Foundation,

inspired by Hargitay’s experiences

on the show,

aims to aid and inspire people who

have suffered sexual assault,

domestic violence and child abuse.

Hargitay talked to TVGuide.com

about the charity’s pursuit of

a $250,000 grant from Pepsi,

what’s next for her character,

Detective Olivia Benson,

and the odds of Benson

hooking up with her partner,

Detective Elliot Stabler

(Christopher Meloni).


Tell me abouJoyful Heart

and why it’s a cause you feel

so strongly about.

Mariska Hargitay:

Joyful Heart is about the

courage and power of

the human spirit.

It’s about helping people

find their path to healing,

and reclaiming joyful lives

after a traumatic or

violent experience.

Our mission is to heal,

educate and empower

survivors of sexual assault,

domestic violence

and child abuse,

and to shed light into the

darkness that surrounds

these issues.

When I started on

SVU 11 years ago,

I started getting fan mail

from survivors who felt

a connection to Olivia.

In many of these letters,

people would disclose their

personal stories of abuse —

some for the very first time.

I remember getting the sense

that many were living in

isolation with so much shame,

but the shame belonged

to the perpetrators.

I wanted to help find a way

to help people reclaim their

lives and live them with a

renewed sense of possibility

and hope.

And that’s what we work

to do every day at Joyful Heart.

Is there anything more

fulfilling then helping people

rebuild their lives?


Joyful Heart is one of the

charities up for a $250,000

grant from Pepsi.

What would it

do with the money?


The Pepsi Refresh Project is

giving away $1.3 million in

grants every month to people

and organizations with ideas

on how to improve

their communities.

Joyful Heart has submitted

a proposal that will allow us

to fund our magazine,


for a full year.

The magazine was born

from a desire for connection

within our community.

It’s an incredible publication

and it allows us to reach tens

of thousands more people

than we can through our

traditional programs.

We’re asking everyone to

VOTE JOY and support

the Foundation by voting

once a day,

every day at


If you’re reading this interview,

you should go vote right now!




SVU has had so many of

guest-stars this season.

Who was the most fun

to work with?



how lucky am I that I get

to work with such incredibly

talented people week after week.

It’s one of the best

parts of my job.

It’s impossible to

single anyone out.

Rosie [Perez],

John [Laroquette],

Kathy [Griffin] and

Naveen [Andrews]

were all amazing to work with,

and I adore each of them

for different reasons.

Lena Olin,

Mischa Barton,

Jill Scott,

Christine Lahti, and

Quinton Aaron (The Blind Side)

were all just here as well and

were all fantastic.

Sarah Paulson kept me in

stitches for the entire week.

So did Kathy Griffin —

and we even kissed!

And it’s not just all the

established stars we have

on the show;

Cruz Santiago,

this incredible young actor

who portrayed Rosie’s son

in [the episode entitled]

“Hardwire” blew me away.

I can go on and on

about our guest stars!













3 Responses to “Mariska Hargitay Real Life Hero For Victims (Part ONE of TWO)”

  1. keep up the good work,mariska. ilove u

  2. Mariska is one of the few remaining caring souls on this planet.I owe my sanity to her also my willingness to get out of bed everyday.She is a shining light in this grossly dark world. I cant thank her enough just for being the beautiful soul she is.I love you Mariska,in a pure and greatful way.Thank you for giving me hope when I was completly hopeless.

  3. thank you for giving me hope when I was completly hopeless.

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