What's SVU's Mariska Hargitay doing with Joe Biden?
Mariska Hargitay has friends in high places.
Hargitay shared a photo to her Instagram on Thursday showing her onstage with Vice President Joe Biden. Biden was being honored by the Joyful Heart Foundation, a charity founded by Hargitay, for his work to end domestic violence against women.
"My heart is full of joy and gratitude for @thejhf’s invaluable ally, my friend, and my hero in this work, @VP Biden, whom we honored at the 2016 #JoyfulRevolution Gala last night," Hargitay captioned the photo, showing her presenting Biden with the first-ever Finnegan Award, which is named after his father.
"My father was a graceful, decent, honorable man who taught me that the worst of all sins was the abuse of power — whether it was abuse of economic power, or political power, or physical power. And he raised us all to believe that the cardinal sin of all was for a man to raise his hand to a woman or child, or another man who was subservient to him," Biden said as he accepted the award. "And so to receive this award tonight is one of the greatest honors I’ve had."
He continued, "When I wrote the Violence Against Women Act over 20 years ago, domestic violence was considered a private matter. There was no hotline or special-victims units, and the legal system and public opinion routinely revictimized the victim. I became convinced that if we pulled back the mask on this epidemic that occurred in the country, we can begin to not only change the laws, but we could change lives."
Hargitay, whose role on SVU tackles issues surrounding violence against women on a regular basis, has long been an advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual abuse.