Precisely, the line between the fictional role she plays and the role she has carved out in real life is approximately a hair’s breadth. The passion television viewers witness on the popular crime show — the rage, the disgust, that curled lip, the twitching eye — may be part of the actor’s toolbox, but it’s no act.
Philosophically, at least, Olivia and Mariska (pronounced Marish-ka) are one and the same. This much was clear when Hargitay visited Washington recently to launch her “No More” campaign related to her victims’ advocacy group, the Joyful Heart Foundation (joyfulheartfoundation.org).
“No More” means no more bystanders to crime, no more silence about domestic violence and sexual assault. The motto comes with an icon — a blue donut, more or less — that Hargitay hopes will become a unifying symbol as familiar as breast cancer’s pink ribbon.
Hargitay’s transformation from an actor into a powerful voice for victims began about 15 years ago when she began researching the role that would make her a household name.
In the process, she stumbled upon the appalling statistics about sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Especially offensive was the fact that hundreds of thousands of rape kits remained unprocessed.
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