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There have been fashion shows at Saks Fifth Avenue in the Short Hills Mall, private fundraising events in people’s homes and yearly women’s luncheons where guest speakers discuss relevant issues. In fact, Heller was thrilled to announce Rachel’s major 2015 fundraiser, to be held on October 18 of this year. In an event cosponsored by, and held at, Temple Beth Ahm Yisrael in Springfield, the Rachel Coalition will be hosting “A Conversation with Mariska Hargitay.” Best known for her portrayal of Detective Olivia Benson on NBC’s hit series “Law and Order: SVU,” Hargitay has merged her “reel” and “real” lives in her position as Founder and President of the Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to eradicating domestic violence and sexual assault.

“A revolution always begins from within. This one begins when you decide how you will hold the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse within you, and how you live out that decision,” said Hargitay on the Foundation’s website.

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Mariska is an honoree but not attending because it’s in LA and the same night as the JHF Gala.

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company (US), an award-winning non-profit that provides transformational theatre-arts programs and mentorship to underserved Los Angeles County youth and families, has announced that Melissa Peterman (ABC’s “Baby Daddy”) is hosting its 6th Annual Gala, “Change. Together.” on May 29th, 2014 at the historic Cicada Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles.

Confirmed attendees include Lacey Chabert (“Mean Girls” “Family Guy”), Kirsten Vangness (“Criminal Minds”), Roma Maffia (“Pretty Little Liars”), Dot Marie Jones (“Glee”), Kathy Kinney (“Secret Life of the American Teenager”), Maile Flanagan (“Shameless”), Sara Scott (Creative Exec., Universal Pictures), Anne Sweeney (President, Disney/ABC Television Group), and Nina Tassler (Chairman, CBS Entertainment)

This year’s honorees include Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles, 26th District), and Bradford Bancroft and the Bancroft Family. 2014 Host Committee Members include: Ed Asner, Austin and Virginia Beutner, Viola Davis and Julius Tennon, Hector Elizondo, Bruce Greenwood and Susan Devlin, Mariska Hargitay, David Henry Hwang and Kathryn Layng Hwang, Annie Lukowski, Melissa Peterman and John Brady, Karine Rosenthal and Bob Fisher. The evening will feature presentations by youth participants, cocktails, silent and live auctions, dinner, and an awards ceremony.

To find out more about the event, click here.

All proceeds benefit the ongoing efforts of The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company’s internationally-recognized, model mentoring program that uses theatre arts to reach underserved youth in the juvenile justice system, foster care, gangs, treatment centers, and violence?plagued neighborhoods. Each year, US impacts the lives of more than 5,000 local residents with the power of the performing arts.


Mariska designed this beautiful ornament for Bloomingdale’s. It’s $40 and 100% of the proceeds go to the Child Mind Institute. You can purchase it here.


According to the Peace over Violence twitter Mariska wrote the foreword to the new book When Dating Becomes Dangerous: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Relationship Abuse.

Hot Off the Press! Executive Director of Peace Over Violence Patti Giggans and longtime advocate, teacher and author Barrie Levy release their new book for parents: When Dating Becomes Dangerous!

“Parents are the first and most important advocates in a child’s life, and this book serves as a tool to support them in this pivotal role.” -Mariska Hargitay, President and Founder of The Joyful Heart Foundation, Actor & Advocate

Send your teenager out into the dating world equipped with the knowledge, strength, and communication skills to walk away from abusive relationships—and to develop healthy ones.

You can read more about the book and purchase your own copy here.

Thanks to my good friend Linda for the heads up on this! Mariska & Chris narrated a short film on how innovative financing can help pay for treating HIV/AIDS. To learn more about innovative financing you can visit their website here.

Proceeds Benefit: La MaMa Experimental Theatre

This is your chance for you to visit the set of one of TV’s most popular shows ever, Law & Order: SVU and get a behind-the-scenes look at how NBC’s hit TV show is made, up-close and personal.

Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit chronicles the life and crimes of the elite Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department. The cast includes Mariska Hargitay as Detective Olivia Benson, Richard Belzer as Detective John Munch and Ice-T as Detective Odafin “Fin” Tutuola. We know you will never forget this amazing visit to the set of television’s most enticing show, Law & Order: SVU.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness how television magic is made!

Donated By: Warren Leight and NBC

Place your bid here. Bidding ends on December 4th at 2pm EST.

Yesterday, Vice President Biden visited the National Domestic Violence Hotline to commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Vice President Biden created the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the Violence Against Women Act in 1994 (VAWA) and has long championed the cause of ending domestic violence. The Vice President was accompanied by actress Mariska Hargitay, a key advocate working against abuse. Together Vice President Biden and Mariska toured the Hotline, met with frontline advocates, and observed these life-saving services in action.

His voice thick with emotion, Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday again toured the National Domestic Violence Hotline he helped create, calling victims of such abuse “prisoners in plain sight.”

Housed in an unmarked building in suburban Austin, the hotline was founded in 1996, two years after Congress approved the federal Violence Against Women Act, which Biden sponsored while still a senator from Delaware.

“I came primarily to say thank you,” Biden told a packed room of staff members and media. “There’s nothing I’ve been involved with my entire career that makes me prouder, that I think is more sustaining, is more consequential than the work you all do.”

Biden previously visited the hotline as vice president in 2009 and as a senator three years earlier.

Hotline President Katie Ray-Jones said more than 100 staff members handle about 22,000 calls a month _ but that capacity issues meant they still were unable to get to almost 52,000 calls in 2012 alone.

The vice president said women can be held captive by their abusers and that often “the only voice that a woman in distress hears is yours and the folks here in Austin, Texas.”

The center has seen traffic on its website increase 30 percent during the last 12 months, and it is now receiving about a third of its contacts via Internet. Biden’s visit coincides with the unveiling of a new online chat service, thanks to a $250,000 donation from Verizon.

The chat service will only be available Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Central time, to start, but the hotline hopes to raise additional funding to eventually offer it around the clock.

Ray-Jones said the hotline previously set up a chat service pilot program and saw the number of victims reporting sexual violence spike. It’s now bracing for that trend to continue after the rollout of the full chat service.

“The Internet and a chat function offers an additional layer of privacy that you don’t have over the phone,” she said. “There’s another layer of vulnerability when I’m on a phone call and you can hear that I’m crying.”

Ray-Jones also said that in some cases, women who are abused don’t have access to phones or can’t call because their abuser closely monitors phone records. Chatting via Internet can overcome some of those hurdles.

The hotline receives $3.2 million annually in federal funding. Biden said he and President Barack Obama would like $4.5 million for it, but that because of across-the-board government spending cuts known as the sequester, it could fall to $2.9 million.

Biden also toured the facility, personally greeting all of the workers fielding calls. Staffers gave only their first names, citing the hotline’s confidentiality rules _ but one of the first people Biden hugged was Cassandra, who took the hotline’s 3 millionth call July 20.

Meanwhile, an employee named Cindy was still on a call when she saw Biden and began dancing on the balls of her feet with excitement. Upon finishing the call, she rushed forward when Biden smiled.

“I knew you’d remember!” she cried, enveloping him in a bear hug. “I’ve been here since 3:30 this morning waiting for you.”

Biden visited with actress Mariska Hargitay of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” fame, who he described as being such a passionate advocate for the cause that he didn’t know how she had time for a day job. Hargitay also chatted with those fielding calls, and grew teary-eyed when she told them: “I’m so honored to be here.”

“You can stay!” cried one of the center employees, drawing chuckles.

According to the Texas Democratic Party, the most-recent state statistics show that in 2011 there were 177,983 incidents of domestic violence, and that 102 women were killed as the result. Some 11,833 Texas adults and 14,578 Texas children ended up in shelters because of domestic violence that year _ but 21 percent of adults seeking shelter were denied due to lack of space.


On Oct. 19, Charleston playwright Cynthia Wilson, who wrote “Battered but Not Broken,” will take her anti-domestic violence message to the stars. The Hollywood stars, that is.

That evening, she’ll be one of the featured guests at Survivors in Action’s first No Victim Left Behind Gala at the Palazzo di Migianella in El Dorado Hills, Calif.

The list of invitees also includes Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Wesley Snipes, Will Smith and his family, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Mariska Hargitay and Angela Basset. Halle Berry, who works with the Jenesse Center, a domestic violence intervention program in Los Angeles, was scheduled to attend but won’t be there because of the recent birth of her son.

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Meet Mariska Hargitay at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street on September 25th 10-11am

Mariska Hargitay, Actress & Activist, will make an appearance in support of Joyful Heart Foundation and NO MORE. Hargitay will be signing tees to benefit NO MORE, available exclusively at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street.


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