‘Law and Order’ Star Testifies About Rape Kits, Sexual Violence to Congress

"A survivor's legislative district should not determine the outcome of their case or their right to information," she said

Mariska Hargitay, who plays the tough, dogged lead on "Law & Order: SVU," testified on behalf of real-life rape survivors Friday in front of a task force on sexual violence in the Capitol.

Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation has led a national campaign to pass legislation ending backlogs in processing rape kits.

She teared up while concluding her remarks, thanking the members of Congress from both parties she was speaking to for their attention on behalf of survivors across the country.

"The numbers don't lie. Testing all kids solves crimes and saves lives," she said. "A survivor's legislative district should not determine the outcome of their case or their right to information."

Advocates say thousands of kits containing DNA evidence sit untested in labs across the country, and only eight states today have laws requiring testing on current or backlogged kits, meaning that testing can be left up to the discretion of individuals.

"Although we have seen progress, there is much more work to be done," Hargitay said.

She is also in Washington for the premiere of an HBO documentary she produced on the subject called "I Am Evidence."

Learn more about the Joyful Heart Foundation's efforts at endthebacklog.com.

"Law & Order: SVU" star
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