Mariska Hargitay Speaks Out Against Domestic Violence
Sponsored Post: In a moving blog on the Huffington Post, actress Mariska Hargitay tells the tragic story of Amy Homan-McGee, a 33-year-old mother of two who was murdered by her abusive husband in 2001. It's just one of the heartbreaking stories featured in the documentary the Law and Order: SVU star worked on titled Telling Amy's Story.
Hargitay recounts Amy's tale, describing how, after years of abuse at the hands of her husband, she summoned up the courage to leave him. With her 4-year-old and 7-month-old sons waiting for her in the car, Amy went into her house for the final time to retrieve some of her belongings. That's when her husband Vincent fatally shot her in the head. Hargitay implores us all to make a difference, saying:
Become the person in your community -- perhaps the first, hopefully the first among many -- who knows the signs of domestic and intimate partner violence, who knows how to respond to a victim with compassion and wisdom, and who knows how participate in creating a society where perpetrators will not be allowed to abuse with impunity and without consequence.
A recent survey by Liz Claiborne Inc., conducted in conjunction with their "It's Time to Talk Day" program, found 41 percent of dating high school freshmen and seniors have experienced some sort of violence and abusive dating behaviors. This is in addition to the already startling statistic that one in three women will experience physical or sexual abuse in her lifetime.
To combat this harsh reality, Hargitay created the Joyful Heart Foundation. Through her foundation, she has helped more than 5000 survivors find healing, education and empowerment through our retreat and wellness programs
To learn more about intimate partner violence, please go to LoveIsNotAbuse.com. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224, or go to TheHotline.org.
As Hargitay says, "you have the power to save lives."