NBC Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive show news, updates, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View
NBC Insider Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Mariska Hargitay and Her Husband Will Be Awarded a Major Honor for This Special Cause

The SVU leading lady and Hermann are going in the Hall of Fame!

By Jessica White
Mariska Hargitay and her husband Peter Hermann

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Thursdays on NBC and next day on Peacock.

It may be no secret that Mariska Hargitay is a talented actress as Captain Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, but fans may be delightfully surprised to learn that the Law & Order leading lady is also an accomplished philanthropist. Hargitay has a lot of love to give, which is why she and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, will receive a special honor for their hard work this May. 

SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young is hosting its 21st Annual Benefit Gala on May 22, and Hargitay and Hermann are on the awards lineup. According to the organization's website, it "provides support, advocacy, and life-changing experiences for young people who stutter, ages 3-18." 

The couple will be inducted into the SAY Hall of Fame.

"We are so excited to bring the SAY Gala to The Edison Ballroom, and to be able to celebrate our incredible Honorees this year alongside the inspiring kids of SAY!" SAY's Executive Director Noah Cornman shared in a statement. "The evening will be a beautiful, star-studded celebration of the powerful voices of young people who stutter."

Sounds like it will be an exciting night and the SVU stars will be in attendance! "Mariska & Peter have been long-time champions of SAY and the young people we serve, advocating for and supporting the community in all ways, always," Cornman shared. 

Hargitay is also the proud founder of The Joyful Heart Foundation, an organization devoted to domestic violence and child abuse survivors. The spark to launch Joyful Heart was inspired by the fan mail Hargitay received during her Law & Order: SVU tenure

After watching Benson successfully place perps behind bars, survivors began to raise their voices about their own experiences. Hargitay opened up to Access about the heart wrenching conversations she frequently has with SVU fans.

“When I started SVU, very quickly, I started to receive a different kind of fan letter. Instead of, you know, ‘I love your show, you’re a great actress,’ it was women and men disclosing stories of abuse," Hargitay revealed. "People started sharing and saying, ‘Your show changed my life,’ and ‘I’ve never told anyone [about my abuse].' That is the sentence I heard most: ‘I’ve never told anyone.’”

Olivia Benson with long, golden highlighted hair

Hargitay is very outspoken about survivors speaking out about sexual violence, believing it to be the avenue to healing. 

 “There’s nothing about this to keep secret. This is something we should all be talking about. “I knew very early that this wasn’t a regular TV show," Hargitay explained. "I understood very quickly the power of healing this television show had.”

Bensler Get Steamy and Almost Kiss | NBC’s Law & Order: SVU

Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit on NBC Thursdays at 9/8c and the next day on Peacock.