Hero And Cause Essay

316 Words2 Pages
Mariska Hargitay was born on January 23, 1964, in Santa Monica, California. When she was only three years old, her mother was killed in a tragic car accident. Later, her father died from an illness at the age of eighty. Mariska created the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to help heal victims of abuse. While playing the role as Detective Benson, Mariska became extremely inspired to assist these victims. As Mariska states in A Message from the Founder, “…my eyes were opened to the silenced epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse in this country. It was not just in the scripts for the show, but in the many emails I received from viewers their stories of abuse, many for the first time. I felt a great responsibility to these brave men and women and wanted them to know that they had been heard and that they could have hope.” Mariska then studied more about the subject and trained to become a crisis counselor. She used her visibility as an actress to become an advocate (Joyful Heart Foundation). Abuse has been a factor of many deaths in the United States, which makes it a major problem for society. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women between the ages of fifteen and forty-four in the United States, more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined (Clark prosecutor). I have witnessed several cases of domestic violence throughout my family. When I was younger, my brother’s father moved into our home. Many nights, I heard the loud sounds of violence going on in my mother’s room. I have seen my mother being beaten, spit on, pushed, bruised, and much more. Statistics show that over three million children witness violence in their home each year (Child Witness). In 2007, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual
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