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  • Mariska: ”When I started doing research for my role on SVU, I was floored by the statistics on the prevalence of sexual assault and domestic violence. I think my first reaction was, “Wait, this can’t be”— but of course it is. I knew right away that I wanted to do something about it, but the thing that really moved me to action was the letters that started coming to me from viewers. First there were a few, then more, then hundreds, and thousands since then. The women and men writing the letters didn’t ask for an autograph or a headshot. They disclosed their stories of abuse. I was holding in my hands the stories behind the statistics that I had learned. I wanted to respond in a more complete way, to do more to help survivors heal and reclaim their lives. So the Joyful Heart Foundation was my response”
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