NATIONWIDE — Actress Mariska Hargitay will deliver a speech during the third night of the Democratic National Convention.
Hargitay, who is well known for her portrayal of NYPD’s Detective-turned-Captain Olivia Benson on the show “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” will touch on the national backlog of rape kits, a cause near and dear to the actress’ heart.
The speech will also reportedly address her work with former Vice President Joe Biden and his leadership in shaping policies to protect women from violence. Biden famously spearheaded the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, which provided funding for the investigation of violent crimes against women, among other policy changes.
Hargitay and Biden have been longtime partners in the fight against violence towards women. In 2014, then-Vice President Biden joined the actress and her organization Joyful Heart – a foundation that provides support for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and abuse – in a public service announcement to end domestic violence.
The PSA aimed to help victims of domestic violence to recognize they are not alone, and encouraged others to help those in vulnerable situations.
“Domestic violence is never the victim’s fault,” Biden said in the video.
Biden and Hargitay’s activism was a factor in the creation of the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) in 2014, a program funded by the Justice Department that is “enhancing the criminal justice response to sexual assault and ensuring justice for victims,” according to their website.
Biden and Hargitay again partnered up in 2016 when the politician made a cameo appearance as himself on “Law & Order.” The episode saw Biden commend Olivia Benson and the rest of the “SVU” team for addressing the national rape kit backlog – the exact topic Hargitay will speak to at the DNC.