Law And Order: SVU star Mariska Haritay is looking as if she’s about to burst. The soon to be mother is an advocate for children. She is a board member of Safe Horizon which is a New York organization that for 27 years has provided support, prevented violence and promoted justice for victims of abuse.
“Child abuse is everybody’s responsibility,” said Gordon Campbell, Safe Horizon’s CEO.
He says that after 7-year-old Nixzmary Brown’s death in January, the number of calls reporting child abuse skyrocketed. As a response, Safe Horizon launched a public awareness campaign.
“For years Safe Horizon has been the best-kept secret in New York,” Campbell said. “But we want to educate the community about the signs of child abuse and what we can do to stop it.”
Safe Horizon board member Mariska Hargitay, who plays Detective Olivia Benson in the TV series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” became the face of the campaign. Her picture is all over magazines, newspapers, billboards and subways.
The message she conveys is direct: “Child abuse: Turn your outrage and grief into action.” People are directed to the organization’s Web site, www.safehorizon.org/stopabuse.
“We had 40,000 visitors last month at our Web site,” Campbell said, a clear indication that the campaign is filling a real information vacuum.