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.Related: How Men Really Feel about Pregnancy and Fatherhood
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 9-1-1 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.
As Amy Pohler says in her No More PSA, "No more, not my problem."
- By Jacqueline Tourville