Actress Mariska Hargitay Says "No More" to Domestic Violence
Approximately 1 in 20 women will experience domestic violence during pregnancy. Mariska Hargitay explains what she's doing to make this 0 in 20.
Did you know that between four and eight percent of all moms-to-be experience domestic violence during pregnancy? That’s approximately 1 in 20 pregnant women. And according to actress and celebrity mom Mariska Hargitay, that’s one too many.
Just in time for October’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Hargitay has stepped up to direct a series of public service announcements (PSAs) for the No More campaign, co-sponsored by Hargitay’s charitable group, the Joyful Heart Foundation. The goal of No More is simple: end domestic violence by ending the silence and shame that still surrounds the topic.
“Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors. That has to end,” Hargitay said in a No More press statement.
In the series of commercial-length PSAs set to start airing this month across all media platforms, more than 40 celebrities including familiar faces such as Courteney Cox and Hargitay’s Law & Order SVU co-star, Ice-T, let viewers know that it’s time to start talking about domestic violence and responding when victims of domestic violence reach out for help.
According to surveys conducted by the Avon Foundation for Women, another sponsor of No More, among women who experienced domestic violence and told someone about it, 58 percent said no one helped them.
“That silence leaves victims trapped by the shame, stigma and fear that these crimes carry. If we can encourage more people to start talking, we can end that cycle and bring these issues to light in a new way,” said Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women
Do you know a pregnant or new mom in need of help—or are you that mom? Share or keep in mind these basic steps to safety:
- Gather together an “emergency kit” of essentials—identification, keys, prenatal vitamins, medications, phone, and money—in case you need to leave home on short notice.
- Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233) to find out about shelters and programs for abused women in your area.
- Call 911 if there is an immediate threat of violence or assault, including threats (verbal or written/texted/emailed) to harm you or your unborn baby, pushing or hitting, throwing things at you, or forcing you to have sex.
Women in abusive relationships experience a wide range of emotions—shame, fear, guilt, anger, or hopelessness. According to Hargitay, it’s time we stop making excuses for domestic violence. This means reaching out for the support and assistance you and your unborn baby deserve—or letting a mom-to-be friend know that she deserves support and to feel safe.
As Amy Pohler says in her No More PSA, “No more, not my problem.”
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