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New York Giants Join My Sisters’ Place, Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation to Say “NO MORE” to Domestic Violence
NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 22, 2015 – During this Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants will join with long-time partner My Sisters’ Place (MSP) and the Joyful Heart Foundation, founded by actress, producer, director and advocate Mariska Hargitay, to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Activities will include a social media and fan engagement campaign to say “NO MORE” to domestic violence and sexual assault, the release of a new public service announcement (PSA) directed by Hargitay featuring Giants players and management, and a coin toss by Hargitay herself.
NO MORE is a public awareness campaign that began in 2013 designed to engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault. The NO MORE PSAs, produced by Joyful Heart and Viacom, created by Y&R, and directed by Hargitay, highlight the myths and excuses that create misplaced blame on survivors and allow perpetrators to escape accountability. The goal of the PSA campaign - which has reached an audience of 3 billion - is to help normalize the conversation and break the social stigma surrounding domestic violence and sexual assault. The new Giants PSA features team owner John Mara and head coach Tom Coughlin, with players Prince Amukamara, Mark Herzlich, Devon Kennard, Eli Manning, and Andre Williams.
“Our role as men who are role models in society is to honor our women and protect the women in our lives,” said Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich. “It’s us putting our foot down and not accepting people making jokes, people talking badly about women. A lot of people think being a real man is how tough you are, how physical you are and they see us as real men playing football, but really a real man is one who makes a safe home for his family, provides for them and protects them. That is what this ‘NO MORE’ campaign is all about.”
When Hargitay began playing Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 17 years ago, the content of the scripts, as well as the research she did to prepare for the role, opened her eyes to the epidemics of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Notably, 1 in 3 women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or boyfriend at some point during their lives, and up to 15 million children witness violence in their homes each year. Mariska founded the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to help survivors heal and reclaim their lives.
“Bystanders must stand up and speak out to help end violence, and men play a particularly critical, urgent, and indispensable role. I am so encouraged by the commitment from the Giants and the steps these players have taken to say NO MORE,” said Mariska Hargitay, founder of the Joyful Heart Foundation. “Being a leading partner in NO MORE from the beginning has been a great privilege. Society continues to misplace shame and blame on survivors—both women and men. That has to end.”
For 18 seasons, MSP and the Giants have partnered together in the mission of ending family violence. MSP has been included in team trainings since the beginning of the partnership, and the Giants have been integral to many of MSP’s initiatives, working side by side to raise awareness, and through the Giant’s Foundation, have significantly supported many of its critical programs.
“Today is an exceptional day – joining forces with our long-term partners the NY Giants and the Joyful Heart Foundation to shine a light on all those impacted by intimate partner violence. This moment represents how far we have come and our commitment to stay focused on the work ahead. Together we are a powerful force, providing hope, achieving justice and changing lives,” said Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq. MSP CEO.
As fans arrive on Sunday, they will be encouraged to speak out about domestic violence on social media, as well as provided local resources from MSP for further information and support. During the game, a message from Hargitay and Mark Herzlich will be broadcast on the jumbotron that encourages fans to post photos of the myths and excuses surrounding domestic violence that they say #NOMORE to, and fan photos will be highlighted throughout the stadium. Those who aren’t attending the game can share their own sign by downloading it here: GiantsSayNOMOREblank.
Fans are encouraged to join in the conversation on social media by following @MSPNY and @TheJHF, and by using the hashtag #NOMORE.
About My Sisters’ Place: Since 1976, My Sisters’ Place (MSP) has worked to end violence in intimate relationships and combat the effects of domestic violence and human trafficking on women, men, and children throughout Westchester County. MSP has evolved from a grassroots task force and drop-in center into a cutting edge leader and resource in the field of domestic violence advocacy, shelter and legal services and education and prevention. See more at: mspny.org.
About the Joyful Heart Foundation: Founded by Mariska Hargitay in 2004 to help survivors heal and reclaim joy in their lives, the Joyful Heart Foundation is a national organization with hubs of service in Los Angeles, New York and Honolulu. Its mission is to heal, educate and empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse, and to shed light into the darkness that surrounds these issues. For more information, please visit: joyfulheartfoundation.org.
About NO MORE: NO MORE is a unifying symbol and movement to raise public awareness and engage bystanders around ending domestic violence and sexual assault. Launched in March 2013 by a coalition of leading advocacy groups, service providers and major corporations, NO MORE is supported by hundreds of national and local groups and by thousands of people who are using its signature blue symbol to increase visibility for these hidden issues. Learn more about NO MORE at nomore.org.