Joyful Heart in the News
Law & Order: SVU' Tackles Male-on-Male Sexual Abuse in 'Personal Fouls'
The second episode of 'Law & Order: SVU' Season 13 is one for the TV history books. Not only does it feature guest stars Dan Lauria, Mechad Brooks, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh, but it'll also tackle the taboo issue of male-on-male sexual violence.
In 'Personal Fouls,' a basketball coach known as a trusted mentor and figure in the community comes under suspicion of molesting a number of his players.
"This script was very exciting and I think the cast felt honored and excited to be able to talk about this issue because obviously sexual violence is something people are scared to talk about," series star Mariska Hargitay said at a recent press event on the 'SVU' set.
Hargitay's The Joyful Heart Foundation, Wolf Films, NBC, 1in6 and A Call to Men are partnering in an effort to raise awareness about male-on-male sexual abuse.
"It takes so much courage to come forward and male-on-male sexual violence is even more swept under the carpet," she said. "The statistics are frightening."
According to statistics from 1in6, an organization that seeks to help male sexual abuse survivors, 19 million men in the United States are victims of sexual abuse.
"It's exciting to do a show about it because obviously when things are on TV somehow they're made OK to talk about and that's been exciting."
The partnerships between the organizations hope to spread awareness about the subject. Hargitay said one of the objectives is to "let male survivors know they're not alone and there are so many people that want to help them."
"It's not a shameful secret that you should keep to yourself, that the blame belongs with the perpetrator, not the survivor," she said.