Mariska Hargitay discusses how playing Olivia Benson changed her life

Hargitay joins "The View" to discuss how her role on "Law and Order: SVU" inspired her to educate herself on sexual violence and start the Joyful Heart Foundation.
7:18 | 04/16/18

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Transcript for Mariska Hargitay discusses how playing Olivia Benson changed her life
Nice to have you back here again you beautiful girl I am so happy to be here are gonna let me I'm not. Yeah. How hot Summers the sea was arrested. Especially arrested he would expedite caseload like nets now yeah she put me away ha yeah. You're just on the cover of People Magazine with your lovely family your husband Peter yeah. I have this and that you have three children I do want is a biological two are adopted grandson and everybody's happy in doing well I hope crazy happy joyful. Beautiful that is and just last yeah I. This is probably the very same is Jayne Mansfield who has beautiful kind of bombshell actress and just really something that you in this expects Hartmann in the baby pump. It looked like your mom that's your mother that's me I'm not sure goes yeah I'm I'm I'm. I'm all our faith but you know what I think is getting a little she was. The average amount did pass away when you were only three years old yes. Pretty sad story really when isn't about it that you lose. Mothers against did not have anything to do with. You adopting children numbing did you wanna increase the fat what was that anything man still unlock I grew up with. I I have I'm more siblings there's there's a whole slew of us but I I grew up with my two Brothers and three was. Sort of a magic number for us and I had a fantastic. Stepmother. And I just loved it and learn very young that families are made so many different ways and I guess from the time I was. This big idea that I wanted to dot. Because I felt like. I just felt like I. Might know what to do you not know much. So etiquette in the Hispanic dad and I just think bellies or mail the for ways and it's been so beautiful and I feel like for me so many times in I have many friends who have adopted at a it always seems it was across the board. That you think you can it can think supposed to have meant it was meant to be and I just believe that so deeply. And my daughter I think sometimes we just as we stare at each other she's so self possessed him to and she's my teacher they both part of my daughters like. Not on. These Kodak so incredibly uncommon but she's just they teach me it's beautiful present Matt you know an analyst at I know Stephanie villagers a baby. She would just. Keep eye contact and I feel like Hamas must teach it was it went. Okay. A couple of thousand the last time you were here we were talking that your cameo in the Taylor Swift video for bad blood and yes I'm. Yeah I'm evening and get their act. Fran I in 19840. No milk fat she loves my car got stuck about. What ever known and it did affect not a woman would turn out to be of the ten Bolivia yeah. I know we have a lot of to talk about today that some other time have me on the show because I'll tell you this is a true story. The day. That I wrapped that video that night I was impressed with. And put in jail cut out here. A ticket after her reply yeah. Pregnant teller yeah today. Traffic violation up your world. She loved that car yeah I. I little it was an energy now. It doesn't you roll up on SU got impassioned about the cause of sexual assault and domestic violence and real life. What are you hear from fans. I have been so blasts and when I started shooting the show. Started getting a different kind of fan now most and now says you know I'd love your show to get an autograph photo. And early into the show Susan started airing wryly I. Started getting letters from survivors common disclosing their abuse and many for the first time and telling me I've never. Told this to anyone but sharing. Their stories Tom. Assaults and and running the full gamut and got me out it in these letters which I was so. Privileged to received but. That also shocked because I didn't know how to respond. And I wasn't an expert I was simply an actor on a TV show that head like just learned the statistics that was so prevalent. That one out of three women will be assaulted by a husband or boyfriend. At some point in her like one out of four women will be assaulted by their eighteenth birthday one out of six men. We'll be assaulted by their eighteenth birthday and I. Just learn these statistics and couldn't believe that then when I started receiving these letters and other Beers I realized. I had to respond and so it took a couple years for me to figure out and so I started to put. Sort of shaped button to my you're responsible pet educated myself and it 2004. I started the joyful heart foundation say how. Provided. Yeah but they played. In 2009. I learned about the backlog. Of untested rape kits often and this was something that absolutely. I blew my mind I thought my head was connects flows because what I learned. From Human Rights Watch was that when a woman has the courage to disclose and goes through a four to six hour. Obviously. Often re traumatize same evidence collection examination. Poking and prodding and the treated you know it in a most vulnerable moment in the mouse you know insensitive of ways many times. You would assume in this country. That the DNA that is collected from bat would go straight to the Latin. And in 2009. Human Rights Watch reveals. That there were hundreds of thousands. Of these kits being stored. Police storage facilities. And who knows where not being looked at him not being let that thousands had well I found out about it 2009. That there are I believe around 121000. In Los Angeles.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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