• Tue, Mar 11 - 4:44 pm ET

It’s Inspiring That Mariska Hargitay Is Using Her SVU Fame To Seek Justice For Real-Life Rape Victims

Premiere Of "Philomena" Hosted By The Weinstein Company - Arrivals

What with Justin Bieber shirtlessly harassing women, Lena Dunham making molestation jokes, and Miley Cyrus exploiting little people and black women for the sake of shock value, it sure is nice to hear about a celebrity using her notoriety to make a positive impact. Mariska Hargitay, who’s best known for catching rapists on Law & Order: SVU, has been getting attention recently for… catching rapists. IRL.

Hargitay is currently producing a documentary, Shelved, about untested rape kits, and the disturbing politics that keep many rape victims from seeing justice. In a powerful video available through USA Today, Hargitay discusses her mission:

Our hope is that this film will shine a light on the rape kit backlog and demand that we collectively account for this dark mark in our history, and take steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Every day in the United States, women and men take the courageous step of reporting their rape to the police. And because of what those individuals have suffered, their bodies are crime scenes.

Wow. That’s such a distressingly accurate way to describe sexual assault. She goes on to expose exactly how important it is that people who receive rape kits get the chance to see closure:

They’re living, breathing, feeling crime scenes from which doctors and nurses collect evidence in a sexual assault collection kit, better known as a rape kit. This process typically takes between four and six hours. Now, one would assume that if somebody endures a four- to six-hour invasive exam, that the evidence would be handled with care and immediately tested. And when they are handled that way, and they are tested, rape kit evidence is probably the most powerful crime-solving tool that we have. The bottom line is that a rape kit can bring justice. And justice, for so many survivors, can bring healing.

I’m thrilled that Hargitay is using her celebrity to achieve such an important goal. This work is invaluable, and I hope that her documentary receives the attention it deserves.

Via The Cut / Photo: Getty images

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  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com/ Clever Girl Reviews

    I applaud her. I hope she gets some traction on this!

  • elle

    I am kind of obsessed with Mariska Hargitay, and this just adds to it. She’s also president/founder of the Joyful Heart foundation. She’s a celeb who seems to want to do as much good as possible.

    • Caitlin Wasik

      She also wears one of the necklaces Joyful Heart sells to raise money in every episode of SVU (the ones that say “fearlessness”).

  • Carla Sposito

    Loves it. What a remarkable woman. His fight for victims of sexual and domestic abuse is commendable. Yes this is a beautiful celebrity. In every way.

  • Sha J.

    Last night I tried to kill myself when no one else was there
    I knew it wouldn’t matter , because there’s no one there to care
    I hope that when I try tonite I’ll at least do it the right way
    I just can’t go on anymore, i have no reason now to stay
    No more broken bones, no more objecks in me that’s strange
    No more broken promises that tomorrow he will change
    No more black eyes, no more bloody hands and lips
    No more people pretending to care, or giving me survival tips
    I wish I could have talked to YOU Mariska, I knew you’d understand
    I knew you would have taken control, you would have done everything you can
    To keep safe, to keep me healed, to show me real honest love
    But tonight, when I do it right, I’ll come back as a white dove
    So I leave this world all tainted, from the many I’ve had inside
    But I also leave hear broken, so it’s a good thing that I’ve died