Joe Biden Honored by Mariska Hargitay’s Joyful Heart Foundation for Efforts to End Domestic Violence

Mariska Hargitay and Vice President Joe Biden attend The Joyful Revolution Gala hosted by Mariska Hargitay's Joyful Heart Foundation at David Geffen Hall on May 10, 2016 Credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Worthy of recognition! Vice President Joe Biden was honored at the Joyful Heart Foundation’s annual star-studded Joyful Revolution Gala on Tuesday, May 10, in New York City.

The VP received the inaugural Finnegan Award — which was named after his grandfather — for his commitment to ending domestic violence. Mariska Hargitay, who is the president and founder of the organization, presented Biden with the honor.

“My father was a graceful, decent, honorable man who taught me that the worst of all sins was the abuse of power — whether it was abuse of economic power, or political power, or physical power. And he raised us all to believe that the cardinal sin of all was for a man to raise his hand to a woman or child, or another man who was subservient to him,” the 73-year-old vice president said during his acceptance speech. “And so to receive this award tonight is one of the greatest honors I’ve had.”

“When I wrote the Violence Against Women Act over 20 years ago, domestic violence was considered a private matter,” he continued. “There was no hotline or special-victims units, and the legal system and public opinion routinely revictimized the victim. I became convinced that if we pulled back the mask on this epidemic that occurred in the country, we can begin to not only change the laws, but we could change lives.”

Biden’s work in fighting domestic violence includes backing a $41 million budget proposal aimed at reducing rape-kit testing backlogs, appointing the first-ever White House adviser on violence against women and launching the 1 Is 2 Many initiative to reduce dating violence and sexual assault among teens and young adults.

Law and Order: SVU star Hargitay, 52, shared an Instagram photo of herself with Biden on Wednesday, May 11, and praised the vice president some more: “My heart is full of joy and gratitude for @thejhf’s invaluable ally, my friend, and my hero in this work, @VP Biden, whom we honored at the 2016 #JoyfulRevolution Gala last night.”

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