Hargitay urges end to abuse against women

Feb. 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Television star Mariska Hargitay spoke at a San Francisco conference alongside U.S. Justice Department officials about ending violence against women.

Hargitay is best known for her work on the drama "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." She is also the president and founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation, which offers support to sexually abused women.

She joined Deputy Associate Attorney General Karol V. Mason and Catherine Pierce, acting director for the Office on Violence Against Women, at the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors Conference in San Francisco Tuesday.

The four-day conference began Sunday and brings together STOP grant administrators representing the offices of the governor, attorney general or criminal justice agency from every state government and territory in the nation.

Also in attendance were domestic violence and sexual assault coalition representatives from every state.

"I have seen survivors find their way back to lives of possibility, hope and joy, and I am so proud to be part of a movement that will change the way we talk about and behave around these epidemics," Hargitay said. "Through your work, you strengthen the possibility of healing for a survivor because you are acknowledging, responding to, and giving your all to do something about the violence and injustice they have suffered. That is why I am so moved by your collective commitment: because it has the power to heal."

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