September 23, 2013
Mariska Hargitay Uses 'Law & Order' Platform To Push Domestic Violence Campaign

Mariska Hargitay plays a tough detective on Law & Order whose cases often deal with domestic violence and sexual assault.

Now Hargitay is doing something similar in real life.

The actress is leading a number of others in Hollywood for a campaign against domestic violence and sexual assault called No More. The campaign includes public service announcements directed by Hargitay herself.

Hargitay said she hopes the effort will take a national stature the way other celebrity-backed awareness campaigns have.

"This is an epidemic that is afflicting our society and I believe that it is an epidemic we can change," Hargitay said. "For the first time in history, the domestic violence and the sexual assault movements, the two communities, are coming together with this symbol. It's to this movement what the pink ribbon was to breast cancer, what the red ribbon did for HIV/AIDS; it got people together, under one umbrella, talking about it."

Joining Mariska Hargitay in the campaign are Courteney Cox, Amy Poehler, Debra Messing, Tate Donovan and fellow Law & Order star Ice-T.

The public service announcements were funded by the Joyful Heart Foundation, featuring a circular blue symbol that Hargitay said she hopes will become synonymous with the fight against domestic violence.

"The shame and stigma belongs with the perpetrator," she said. "Let's not stand by; let's not accept it anymore. No more."

Mariska Hargitay has some power behind her movement. The television star has built up a reputation for her advocacy in domestic violence issues, and this year was placed near the top of the list of highest-paid television actresses. Hargitay finished No. 2 on the list behind Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, earning $11 million from June 2012 to June 2013.