TIME Sexual Assault

Mariska Hargitay: ‘Society Continues to Misplace Blame on Survivors’

Courtesy of Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay is the founder and president of the Joyful Heart Foundation and stars in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Despite the progress we as a nation have made in the movement to end sexual violence, much work remains.

Society continues to misplace blame and shame on survivors—both women and men—on college campuses and everywhere else. That has to end. We must confront the myths and excuses that help perpetuate sexual assault. We must speak about these issues, boldly, thoughtfully and often, because criminals thrive when we are silent, when we are reluctant to engage, when we insist that these issues are too murky to sort out.

I may not see the end of this violence in my lifetime, but I am committed to doing everything I can to bring it about.

(You can read more opinions in TIME’s special report: Ending Campus Sexual Assault and get the full story in this week’s cover article by Eliza Gray: The Sexual Assault Crisis on American Campuses.)

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