Mariska Hargitay, Award Winning actress and star of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," will be appearing at the White House today as a speaker at President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden's event honoring Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Hargitay is the founder and president of The Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization dedicated to healing, educating and empowering survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse and child abuse.
Hargitay will be appearing with Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Joe Torre, founder of the Safe at Home Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting victims of domestic violence and educating in order to end the cycle of abuse.
For the past 18 months, Hargitay and the staff and Board of Joyful Heart have made ending the rape kit backlog one of their main advocacy goals, working in partnership with law enforcement, government of officials, non profits, advocates and survivors to bring attention, funding and new legislation to reduce the backlog of untested rape kits across the country. These efforts have included her address at the Department of Justice national STOP Conference in February and her testimony before the Congressional House Judiciary Committee in May.