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I just uploaded this gorgeous new photo of Mariska wearing the new No More pendant.



Me & Ro No More Pendant

You can bid on the auction here.




The NFL is devoting commercial time to public service announcements from the No More anti-domestic violence campaign during all of its game broadcasts this weekend, including broadcasts on CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN, according to NFL spokeswoman Joanna Hunter.

The 30-second PSA video also ran during the New York Giants-Washington Redskins game on Thursday night.

The PSA delivers a strong message speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault. It includes appearances by actors Courtney Cox, Amy Poehler, Ice-T, Mariska Hargitay, Andre Braugher and Debra Messing.

The NFL has made stopping domestic violence a larger priority in recent weeks after incidents involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald and Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer.

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Viacom and its Velocity division had the privilege to work with Mariska Hargitay, of Law & Order: SVU fame, on a series of public service announcements addressing domestic violence and sexual assault. The mission of the PSAs is to dispel the stigma and disrupt the silence around these issues that are so critical and relevant for our audiences. In partnership with the NO MORE campaign, we produced the spots with celebrity talent from across the company. These issues affect everyone, so we wanted to use the whole spectrum of VIACOM’s bold voices to reach all of our brands’ fans. I must say, watching Mariska direct this campaign blew me away. Her passion, grace, support—and compassion—for the people participating in the PSA left me deeply moved and hugely inspired. She actually had that effect on everyone, from the celebrities in front of the camera to the people behind the scenes, everyone was just so moved by her care and commitment. In advance of the spots’ release, I spoke with Mariska about the creative process for the PSAs, her experiences founding the Joyful Heart Foundation and what it’s really like working with Viacom.

What inspired you to found the Joyful Heart Foundation?
MH: When I started doing research for my role on SVU, I was floored by the statistics on the prevalence of sexual assault and domestic violence. I think my first reaction was, “Wait, this can’t be”— but of course it is. I knew right away that I wanted to do something about it, but the thing that really moved me to action was the letters that started coming to me from viewers. First there were a few, then more, then hundreds, and thousands since then. The women and men writing the letters didn’t ask for an autograph or a headshot. They disclosed their stories of abuse. I was holding in my hands the stories behind the statistics that I had learned. I was proud to be on a show that was brave enough to go into territory that no one was talking about, but I also knew I wanted to respond in a more complete way, to do more to help survivors heal and reclaim their lives. So the Joyful Heart Foundation was my response. Since I started Joyful Heart in 2004, we’ve raised more than $14 million in private funds, directly served over 13,000 survivors and the professionals who care for them, and connected with over a million individuals through education and awareness initiatives. We’ve also championed critical legislation and policy reforms to pursue justice for survivors, including the All-Crimes DNA law in New York State, the first of its kind in the country. And we’re at the forefront of the movement to test the hundreds of thousands of untested sexual assault evidence collection kits—known as “rape kits”—sitting in police storage and crime lab facilities across the country.

The spots are very powerful. Can you talk about the creative for it?
MH: Let me give you a little context first. For the first time in history, the domestic violence and sexual assault movements are coming together under one symbol and one unifying message: “NO MORE. Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.” You can’t overstate the significance of that unity. Because these issues have been so underfunded, organizations have had to stand out—and, by definition, stand alone—to receive support: “We’re not like that organization over there, so please honor our grant request, and not theirs.” It’s not that explicitly stated, but that’s the spirit in which they’ve had no choice but to work. But that is changing. It’s not a coincidence that the first word in the NO MORE declaration is “Together.” That’s very good news for those working to end this violence. At the same time, that unity is bad news for perpetrators. They benefit from silence, from a spirit of scarcity in the movement, from fractured efforts against them. To all of that, we say: NO MORE. Over the next three years, the PSA campaign will roll out across the country in local and national markets via print, broadcast, online and outdoor advertising, in movie theaters across the country, and in major airports and medical facilities. In other words, it will be impossible to ignore. It will also allow us to develop new and meaningful partnerships with visionary organizations like Viacom to spread this message. And most importantly, it will give the field of hardworking organizations that have done so much with so little over the past 40 years a tool to highlight and validate their own work, their own local media relationships, and their own fight to be heard. I’ve had so many advocates tell me how emboldened they feel by being able to point to a NO MORE billboard and saying, “That’s the work I do. Right there. That’s the team I’m on. And we’re all over the country, and we have people in the highest offices of government with us, and advocates like me, and athletes, actors, musicians, and citizens everywhere. And getting stronger every day.”

What was it like directing an emotional spot around such a difficult issue?
MH: Directing the NO MORE PSAs was a dream come true. To be honest, it’s been one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. What we saw during the filming, brave and strong and authentic person after person, was people standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, friends, mothers and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. I was just moved beyond words.

Why is NO MORE as a movement so important to you?
MH: Society still misplaces the shame and stigma on survivors—it’s embedded in the way we think and talk about these issues—and it has to end. A vital goal of NO MORE is to lift that shame and stigma, to liberate the conversation from the attitudes that have suppressed it for so long. Once the conversation begins, the depth of people’s concern about sexual assault and domestic violence has a chance to emerge. But those same people haven’t had a way to demonstrate publicly that these are issues they think about. That’s where the NO MORE symbol comes in. It’s the simplest, most eloquent way to say, “This matters to me.” You can think of NO MORE as a commitment, a vision, a line drawn, but most of all, it’s a call to action. We are confident that, like the red ribbon did for AIDS and the pink ribbon for breast cancer, NO MORE will break down the barriers that prevent people from talking about these issues. The question that so many people have—that practically everyone has—is “What can I do about this?” And the answer is “TALK.” You will pull these issues out of the margins; you will move these issues higher up on the political agenda; you will help lift misplaced shame and stigma; you will help create a society where it is easier for survivors to come forward; you will shrink the sphere of operation in which perpetrators can commit these crimes with impunity. You can say a little or a lot, but TALK. And the NO MORE symbol starts the conversation.

Tell me what you really thought about your experience working with Viacom. How was the process of combining your vision with other creative and production teams?
MH: I am so grateful to you and your team for being so willing to just go there – to think with us, dream really big with us, and to embrace NO MORE wholeheartedly. I cannot wait to see the new PSAs broadcast across your networks this summer: MTV, Spike, Comedy Central, TV Land, BET, and so on. So much has gone into NO MORE, so many people have stepped up, and I’m hard pressed to tell you how moving and inspiring it is to me to have the people of Viacom—with their reach and influence—put their shoulders to this wheel. All of it fills me with so much confidence and renewed hope.

What do you hope audiences take away from these PSAs?
MH: As I said earlier, perpetrators of violence have relied on the fact that the movement to stop them would not come together. They depend on our silence to keep doing what they do. And so we say to them in one collective voice: NO MORE. We will not be silent any longer.

For more on the great work the Joyful Heart Foundation is doing to heal, educate and empower, check out their website here.

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USA NETWORK TO AIR SECOND LAW & ORDER: SVU “NO MORE EXCUSES” MARATHON TO RAISE AWARENESS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT AS PART OF ONGOING PARTNERSHIP WITH JOYFUL HEART FOUNDATION AND THE NO MORE CAMPAIGN

8-Hour Marathon Hosted by SVU Current and Former Cast Members, Featuring a New Special Call to Action by Chris Meloni for More Men to Help Stop Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

USA Network has teamed up with Mariska Hargitay’s Foundation, Joyful Heart, and the NO MORE campaign for the second “No More Excuses” marathon to raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault. The eight-hour marathon on Sunday, June 22 from 3pm – 11pm ET will feature custom wraps from “Law And Order: SVU” veteran Chris Meloni as well as current stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish. The wraps and complimentary digital content will raise awareness of domestic violence and sexual assault, offer help to male and female victims, and encourage more men to get involved and be part of the solution.

“Engaging men is a crucial part of the movement to address and, one day, end sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse,” said Mariska Hargitay. “I am so grateful to USA for their courage, vision and generosity in joining us to involve men in saying NO MORE. Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege. We must confront the myths and excuses that perpetuate violence and abuse. Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors – both women and men. That has to end.”

NO MORE is a public awareness movement focused on domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. Supported by the major national and local organizations working to address these urgent issues, the goal of the NO MORE PSA campaign is to help normalize the conversation and break the social stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. By increasing visibility and fostering more dialogue, NO MORE seeks to change social norms, improve public policies, and generate more resources dedicated to prevention. More information is available at www.nomore.org.

During each episode, viewers will be encouraged to seek out additional information and resources online, including national help hotlines to speak with trained counselors and advocates. Throughout the day, USA, the Joyful Heart Foundation, and NO MORE also will use social media platforms to encourage conversation and inspire greater action to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.

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Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ:VIAB)(NASDAQ:VIA), in partnership with the Joyful Heart Foundation founded by actress and advocate Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, today announced its commitment to raise awareness for the NO MORE movement to end domestic violence and sexual assault with a new series of groundbreaking NO MORE PSAs.

The spots, directed by Mariska Hargitay and produced by Viacom Velocity Creative with Executive Vice President Viacom Velocity Creative Niels Schuurmans and Viacom’s social responsibility umbrella Viacommunity, feature a unique collaboration of Viacom celebrities, including: MTV News correspondent Sway Calloway, Spike Ink Master host Dave Navarro, VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live host Nick Lachey, MTV Catfish stars Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, and BET 106 & Park hosts Bow Wow & Keshia Chanté. Additional celebrities in the PSAs include Sophia Bush, Jemima Kirke, Natasha Lyonne, Danny Pino and more. The spots will begin airing across Viacom’s networks this summer.

A rough cut of one of the Viacom NO MORE PSAs can be viewed here.

Viacom President & CEO Philippe Dauman, who will be honored by the Joyful Heart Foundation at its Joyful Revolution Gala tonight, said, “Viacom has a rich history of engaging its audiences to address important issues, whether inspiring teens to complete high school, encouraging people to live healthy lifestyles or helping to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. We champion our unique ability to make a difference through our platforms, and are proud to focus our megaphones on helping to end the stigma, shame and silence of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

“Viacom has taken the courageous and powerful step to join us to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault,” said Mariska Hargitay. “Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege. Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors – both women and men. That has to end. NO MORE confronts the myths and excuses that perpetuate domestic violence and sexual assault. I am filled with confidence and renewed determination that, together, we can and will put an end to this violence.”

The NO MORE PSA campaign initially launched in September 2013 and was designed to help dispel many of the most common and pervasive myths about sexual assault and domestic violence, and to engage the public in an open dialogue about these important issues. The three-year PSA campaign, developed in partnership with Y&R and world-renowned photographer Timothy White, has been rolling out across the country in local and national markets via print, broadcast, online and outdoor advertising, in movie theaters nationwide, and in major airports and medical facilities.

NO MORE is a public awareness movement focused on domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. Supported by the major national and local organizations working to address these urgent issues, the goal of the NO MORE PSA campaign is to help normalize the conversation and break the social stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. By increasing visibility and fostering more dialogue, NO MORE seeks to change social norms, improve public policies, and generate more resources dedicated to prevention. More information is available at www.nomore.org.

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You can see a BTS shot of the PSA here.




USA Network’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” 16-hour marathon, in partnership with Mariska Hargitay’s Foundation, Joyful Heart, and the NO MORE campaign, netted impressive ratings results on Sunday, April 27 averaging more than 1M viewers P18-49 and P25-54 and more than 500k in P18-34 each hour between 5p and midnight. The episodes airing between 7-11p, when compared to SVU episodes in the same timeslot last year, delivered double digit increases across the board (+29% P18-49, +41% P25-54, +23% P18-34) with 2.6M total viewers (+18%) on average. The 16-hour marathon peaked at 9/8c with the episode “Trophy” delivering 1.1M P18-49, 1.2M P25-54 and 2.8M total viewers P2+. The effort to increase awareness and help stop domestic violence and sexual assault featured star-studded PSAs and cast wraps with the series stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Danny Pino and Kelli Giddish and other celebrities saying “NO MORE” to domestic violence and sexual assault.

Throughout the day, USA, the Joyful Heart Foundation, and NO MORE used social media platforms to encourage conversation and inspire greater action to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. The hashtags #sayNOMORE, #NOMORE and #NOMOREexcuses trended nationally during the marathon and the coalition’s website received a surge in traffic of 2,463% versus the prior weekend. During each episode, viewers were encouraged to seek out additional information and resources online, including national help hotlines to speak with trained counselors and advocates. The National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by RAINN saw a 106% increase in the number of people helped by the hotline, while the National Domestic Violence Hotline saw a 21% increase in calls compared to the prior Sunday.

Mariska Hargitay said about the marathon: “I am grateful to USA for their courage, vision and generosity in joining us to say NO MORE to domestic violence and sexual assault. Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege. Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors – both women and men. That has to end. NO MORE confronts the myths and excuses that perpetuate domestic violence and sexual assault. I am filled with confidence and renewed determination that, together, we can and will put an end to this violence.”

In addition to the current cast, former and guest “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” stars appearing in the televised spots include: Shohreh Aghdashloo, Maria Bello, Andre Braugher, Dann Florek, Marcia Gay Harden, Peter Hermann, DavidMarciano, Chris Meloni, Debra Messing, and Blair Underwood.

NO MORE is a public awareness movement focused on sexual assault prevention. Supported by the major national and local organizations working to address these urgent issues, the goal of the NO MORE PSA campaign is to help normalize the conversation and break the social stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. By increasing visibility and fostering more dialogue, NO MORE seeks to change social norms, improve public policies, and generate more resources dedicated to prevention. More information is available at www.nomore.org.

Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” now in its fifteenth season, is the longest-running primetime drama currently on television. This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, an elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. The series stars Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T, Danny Pino, Kelli Giddish and Raul Esparza. “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is a Wolf Films production in association with Universal Television. Dick Wolf is creator and executive producer; Warren Leight, Julie Martin and Peter Jankowski are executive producers.

The Joyful Heart Foundation, created by Hargitay, has a 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. For more information, please visit: http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/

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Mariska Hartigay, who plays a detective on NBC’s popular drama about sexual crimes, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, also works on issues of sexual assault when she’s not in front of the camera. She’s currently part of a campaign that’s working to challenge Americans’ preconceived notions about rape, gender, and victim-blaming. Her nonprofit organization, the Joyful Heart Foundation, partnered with NO MORE — a group that leverages nonprofits, corporate leaders, athletes, and advocates to draw widespread attention to the work of sexual assault prevention groups — to spearhead a public awareness campaign around the reality of sexual violence.

The celebrity PSAs (which also feature Hartigay’s Law & Order co-stars) challenge traditional assumptions about victimization, like the ideas that rape victims must have done something to “ask for it,” men are never victims of assault, and it’s easy for women to leave abusive relationships.

The NO MORE campaign launched last year, and was updated this week to include additional ads that are more inclusive to male victims of sexual assault.

“Being part of NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege,” Hargitay explained in a statement released on Friday. “Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors — both women and men. That has to end. By confronting the myths and excuses we rely on to avoid ending domestic violence and sexual assault, NO MORE fills me with confidence and renewed determination that we will put an end to the violence.”

The messages in NO MORE’s ad campaign echo much of the recent activism surrounding sexual assault prevention. This week, after an op-ed published in TIME Magazine argued that rape culture is a myth, feminists pushed back with a Twitter campaign that reaffirmed the realities of survivors’ experiences. “Rape culture is when you go to friends for support and they ask you what you were wearing,” Zerlina Maxwell, a feminist activist and writer, tweeted to kick off the #RapeCultureIsWhen hashtag — which spread rapidly and ended up flooded with similar stories about the impact of victim-blaming.

This is hardly the only work that Hartigay has done in this space. Ten years ago, she founded her nonprofit specifically to advocate for policies to address domestic violence and sexual assault. Much of that activism has focused on ending the nation’s rape kit backlog. She recently partnered with law enforcement officials in Detroit to process over 1,000 previously untested rape kits, an effort that helped identify 100 serial rapists.

It’s worth noting that while Hartigay’s real-life activism around the issue of sexual assault is attempting to make a real positive impact, the television show she works for doesn’t always have the same end result. Law & Order: SVU has been accused of furthering some damaging rape myths of its own — namely, the notions that perpetrators of sexual assault are usually strangers who jump out of the bushes, and that rape victims always bear physical markers like cuts and bruises. The show also depicts disproportionately high numbers of false rape cases and rape convictions, compared to a reality where only about two to eight percent of rape reports are fabricated and just three percent of rapists see the inside of a jail cell.

“The way Law & Order: SVU portrays the nature of sexual assault and the occurrence of false reporting feeds the lifeblood of rape culture by making rape out to be something rare and something that victims lie about it in the first place,” activist Sara Alcid wrote in Everyday Feminism last fall.

It’s certainly great to tell survivors’ stories through print ads, but unfortunately, they shouldn’t necessarily expect the same reflection of their experiences on the small screen.

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No More PSA Outtake Video
November 7, 2013

Here’s an outtake from the the No More PSA. It was posted on Vimeo but deleted so I uploaded it to YouTube in case you weren’t able to see it. It’s a very powerful video and message!






Known to millions of viewers as Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU, TV star Mariska Hargitay has just recently amped up her own “real life” activism with her involvement in the NO MORE campaign. The new campaign raises awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault through celebrity PSAs, social media strategy, and perhaps most importantly, offers resources for survivors.

Although the NO MORE campaign has just launched, Hargitay is no stranger to the world of anti-violence organizing: nearly ten years ago, inspired by her role on SVU, Mariska formed her own organization, the Joyful Heart Foundation, which works to support sexual assault survivors.

And now, without further ado, the Feministing Five with Mariska Hargitay.

Suzanna Bobadilla: Can you describe how your acting career has influenced your anti-gender violence activism? It’s really emotionally tough stuff; what strategies do you use to help you stay engaged in this work?

Mariska Hargitay: When I first did research for my role on SVU, I couldn’t believe the stats I was finding. Then the letters started coming to me from viewers. First a few, then more, then hundreds, and thousands since then. The women and men writing the letters didn’t ask for an autograph or a headshot. They disclosed their stories of abuse. I held in my hands the stories behind the statistics that I had learned. And they just made a very deep impression on me.

So I educated myself about these issues. I trained to become a rape crisis advocate, I joined Boards, I got involved. I was proud to be on a show that was brave enough to go into territory that no one was talking about, but I also knew I wanted to do more and play a larger role to help survivors heal and reclaim their lives.

The Joyful Heart Foundation was my answer, which I started in 2004. We’ve raised more than 14 million dollars in private funds, directly served over 13,000 survivors and the professionals who care for them, and connected with over a million individuals through education and awareness initiatives. We’ve also championed critical legislation and policy reforms to pursue justice for survivors, including the All-Crimes DNA law in New York State, the first of its kind in the country. And we’re at the forefront of the movement to test the hundreds of thousands of untested sexual assault evidence collection kits – known as rape kits – sitting in police storage and crime lab facilities across the country. For more information of the rape kit backlog, go to www.endthebacklog.org.

As far as staying engaged in this work goes, sometimes I find that it actually takes conscious effort to disengage from it. I’ve heard that from a lot of advocates. For example, I find myself always asking about the crime rate whenever I visit a place I haven’t been before. A friend told me once that she was on a family vacation on a beach in Hawaii, and all she could think about was how far away the nearest Level 1 Trauma Center was in case of an emergency. So a big part of being able to stay in this work is having strategies for stepping off the field and taking the time to catch your breath, so that when you step back on the field, you can continue to do your best work.

One tried and true strategy for me is laughter. It’s a cliché, but it really is the best medicine. When I’m cracking up about something, it’s almost like I can feel my brain getting rewired. Another thing that can really shift my thinking is to find my way back to gratitude. I say “find my way back” because it’s really easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s a privilege to do this work. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be engaged like this, and I feel myself let go a little when I get back in touch with that truth. And lastly, a nice hot bath is high on my list too. Sometimes just a little self care goes a long way. It’s a good way to send a signal to yourself that you also have an important place among the people you’re caring for and about.

SB: What makes NO MORE different from other anti-gender violence campaigns? Can you share partnerships/innovations that make you particularly proud?

MH: For the first time in history, the domestic violence and sexual assault movements are coming together under one symbol and one unifying message: “NO MORE. Together we can end domestic violence and sexual assault.”

The significance of that unity is not to be underestimated. Because these issues have been so underfunded, organizations have had to stand out to receive support, which, by definition, means that they have had to stand alone. But that is going to change. It’s not a coincidence that the first word in the NO MORE declaration is “Together.” It’s great news for those working to end this violence, bad news for perpetrators who will surely experience the power of that unity.

And it isn’t only the movement coming together. NO MORE engages and invites all sectors of society committed to ending this violence. As the collective of people willing to take a stand grows, the weight of these heavy issues, the weight of having these difficult conversations, the weight of bringing enormous social and cultural change, will begin to be more evenly distributed. With more people doing what they can, advocates and survivors will no longer have to shoulder so much of the burden of bringing attention to this cause.

And NO MORE doesn’t aim to compete with the field for funding. Instead, the goal of NO MORE is to lift up the entire movement and push forward its many advocate partners so that they can reap the benefits of greater awareness – and increased funding that will become available as these issues move towards the center of public and institutional concern. And the research that will be done. And the public policies that could change. That’s a real turning point in this movement.

Another remarkable aspect of NO MORE is the top-down, bottom up approach. There are those participating at the highest levels of government, those working to engage more corporate involvement and forge high-level media partnerships and, at the same time, those individual advocates across the country gaining strength from this unified effort. Just to name one example, one friend who works in the Midwest for a domestic violence organization, the only one covering an enormous area, told me she always felt so isolated in her work. She said what’s even more isolating is the conversations – or non-conversations – she has about her line of work. “People just really don’t want to hear about it,” she told me. “But I can’t tell you how empowering it is to be able to point to the NO MORE symbol and know that I’m part of a bigger movement. And I’m so proud to be able to point to it and say, ‘Look at that. That’s what I do. That’s what I stand for.’ It’s a real gift to those of us out in the field.”

On a personal note, directing the NO MORE PSAs was a dream come true. What we saw during the filming, brave and strong and authentic person after person, was people standing up for each other, for the people they love, for their partners, wives, husbands, children, friends, mothers and fathers, for people they’ve never met, for themselves. I was just moved beyond words.

Society still misplaces the shame and stigma on survivors – it’s embedded in the way we think and talk about these issues – and it has to end. A vital goal of NO MORE is to lift that shame and stigma, to liberate the conversation from the attitudes that have suppressed it for so long. Once the conversation begins, the actual depth of people’s concern about sexual assault and domestic violence often comes out. But those same people haven’t had a way to demonstrate publicly that these are issues they think about. That’s where the NO MORE symbol comes in. It’s the simplest, most eloquent way to say, “This matters to me.”

Simply put, NO MORE is a commitment, a vision, a line drawn – and most of all, a call to action. Like the red ribbon for AIDS or the pink ribbon for breast cancer our hope is that NO MORE will break down the barriers that prevent people from talking about the issues and taking action to prevent them. I have to say, I look at how people have shown up for this effort – corporations, artists, marketing and advertising geniuses, volunteers – and it fills me with so much confidence and renewed hope.

SB: What would you say to someone who thinks they might be/have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault?

MH: Before I answer more completely, let me say that first and most importantly, if you’re in an emergency situation, always call 911. Emergency situations can include a recent threat of violence, a recent act of violence, or if your safety or someone else’s is in imminent danger.

The next most important point: you’re not alone. The experience of sexual assault and/or domestic violence can be extremely isolating. Some might even say these acts cannot exist without isolation, that perpetrators depend on it. So I would speak against that very clearly and say, emphatically: you’re not alone.

At Joyful Heart, we talk about a society that says, “We hear you. We believe you. And your healing is our priority.” Unfortunately, that’s not society’s central message. Society tends to question, doubt and assign blame. So that’s the next thing I would say: “Tell me what happened. I want to hear.” And then I would listen. Simply listen. Without judgment.

And then I would say to the person how deeply sorry I am for what happened, and I would talk about the resources I think would serve that person best. I always remind myself that I don’t have to be an expert, I just have to care. A lot. If the first organization isn’t the right fit, I’d make sure to stay in the person’s life enough so that I can follow up and try another organization.

So if you think you might have experienced domestic violence and/or a sexual assault, and if there is someone in your life whom you trust and who can listen to you in the way you want to be listened to, that could be a good place to begin. It is often good to talk about options together. If there is no such person – and it’s not your fault that there isn’t, because those people aren’t necessarily easy to come by – or if you feel more comfortable or safer contacting a service, there are many available, including:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224, www.thehotline.org
Rape, Abuse and Incest National Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE (4673), www.rainn.org

And when you evaluate what happened to you, when you’re trying to make a judgment about whether something was sexual abuse or domestic violence, trust your inner voice. Survivors often say that there is a voice in them that tries to minimize what happened, a part of them that wants the abuse not to be true. But there is another voice that says: “This is not okay. This could escalate. I’m not being respected here. He just said it won’t happen again, but he said that last time.” And that’s the important voice to listen to in this situation. Sometimes being in danger starts with a subtle shift around respect. Tearing down how you look, how you talk, how you dress, what you think, what you say is not okay, and no one has the right to treat you that way.

No one action step is right for every person – but every person should know that they are supported in their individual choices. And one last time: you’re not alone.

SB: What are ways our readers can support the campaign?

MH: Perpetrators of violence have relied on the fact that the movement to stop them would not come together. They depend on our silence to keep doing what they do. And so we say to them in one collective voice: NO MORE. We will not be silent any longer.

SAY IT. Learn about these issues and talk openly about them. Break the silence. Speak out.

We’re not saying these issues are easy to talk about. They’re not. But for that very reason, we have to talk about them. And the more we talk, the easier the conversation will get.

SHARE IT. Help raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault by sharing NO MORE. Share the PSAs. Facebook it. Tweet it. Instagram it. Pin it.

We are examining and challenging longstanding societal and cultural attitudes. Have the courage to examine your own, then let your commitment to NO MORE encourage those around to do the same.

SHOW IT. Show NO MORE by wearing your NO MORE gear everyday, supporting partner groups working to end domestic violence and sexual assault and volunteering in your community.

Visibility will change the landscape for sexual assault and domestic violence. Don’t underestimate the light you can shed on these issues with these simple actions.

SB: And finally, a Feminsting Five tradition: you’re going to a desert island and get to take one food, one drink, and one feminist. What do you pick?

Food would be prosciutto. I know it’s salty and would make me crazy thirsty, but it’s totally worth it. Drink would be coconut water, to stay hydrated after all that prosciutto. And as for one feminist: Gloria Steinem. And we’d read her essay “If Men Could Menstruate” over and over again for entertainment.

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Thanks to my good friend Linda for the heads up on this! OK! interviewed Mariska and other celebrities that were part of the No More PSA at the Joy Rocks event. You can watch the video below.







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