For Mariska Hargitay playing Detective Olivia Benson on NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit since 1999 has meant much more than just acting. “I’m so proud to be on a show that sheds light onto the darkness. I’m so proud to be on a show that talks about things that people don’t want to talk about. And the next day, you know if it’s on TV then people might feel safe discussing it” Hargitay explains. The involvement with the show coupled with the incredible response from fans lead Hargitay to create the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to shed light on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault. “The fact of the matter is that sexual assault and domestic violence are issues that need to be dealt with, that need to be reckoned with. And we can end it…if we talk about it, if we take responsibility, if we say no more to bystanders.” Her cause reached a new level last night in Los Angeles as she gathered her friends Hilary Swank, Chris Meloni and Maria Bello for the JoyROCKS event to celebrate the launch of a new three year PSA campaign. The various PSA’s will feature forty-five celebrities that joined Mariska in demanding: “NO MORE excuses. NO MORE silence. NO MORE violence.” As was reiterated all night as guests helped donate to the cause by pledging money to certain programs and initiatives, one in three women will experience some sort of violence or assault, but something can be done! Join the conversation and action by creating dialogues in your community as that’s sometimes all the power you need according to Mariska’s friend of eighteen years, Maria Bello, “she has inspired victims of sexual violence to stand up and tell their story, which has rarely been done, I am very inspired by her and proud.” To find out more about Mariska’s cause visit www.joyfulheartfoundation.org and www.nomore.org or search twitter using #NOMOREexcuses.
Plus, see more celebrities from this week’s parties!