Rape kit backlog highlighted on NO MORE Day

On March 13, 2013, Joyful Heart joined partners in Washington D.C. for the public launch of NO MORE, the nation’s first unifying awareness symbol to end domestic violence and sexual assault. It was an electrifying and historic day, bringing crucial discussion and unprecedented light to our issues. 

NO MORE Day generated millions of impressions about the movement and the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault and engaged millions more on social media. High level officials joined us to support to the launch, while Mariska Hargitay delivered a speech at the National Press Club that was covered by top journalists.

NO MORE Day of Action came on the heels of the President’s reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, 400 days after the bill’s expiration and subsequent debate in Congress. For members of the field who work with these issues, the timing of the day underscored the necessity to come together as a united front to say NO MORE to bystanding, silence and violence against women and children. 

The day began in Rockville, Maryland, as our founder Mariska stood with Vice President Joe Biden and Attorney General Eric Holder during their introduction of $2.3 million in new grants dedicated to reducing domestic violence-related homicides. Mariska was joined by Joyful Heart’s CEO and President Maile Zambuto, as well as members of Joyful Heart’s Policy & Advocacy and social media teams to represent the diverse roles Joyful Heart played in the launch of the NO MORE campaign.

While Vice President Biden spoke, mark. Brand Ambassador Ashley Greene addressed members of Congress and announced the results of a new Avon Foundation-funded survey on teen dating violence. With both advocates from the field and senators and representatives in attendance, she discussed the importance of expanding sexual assault and dating violence awareness and prevention programs on college campuses.

Mariska, Maile and the Joyful Heart team then headed to the National Press Club, where Mariska delivered the a riveting speech discussing Joyful Heart’s work to end the rape kit backlog and shed light into the darkness surrounding sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. She highlighted the shocking prevalence of these issues, as well as the NO MORE’s power to begin a crucial conversation. She called on the nation’s most preeminent journalists to “press” these issues into the public light and the media’s crucial role in engaging the public to say NO MORE:

See more at joyfulheartfoundation.org/events/no-more-day-action.

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