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Vice President Joe Biden to talk about rape kits on upcoming episode of ‘Law & Order: SVU’

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27.
Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27.
(Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / TNS)

Just two days after his emotional speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden is taking on a very different speaking role, this time on NBC’s “Law & Order: SVU.”

According to a press release from the White House issued Thursday night, the vice president planned to travel with wife Dr. Jill Biden to New York on Friday in order to film the appearance.

The episode itself looks to address the country’s ongoing issue in criminal justice with rape kits being backlogged and going untested. Biden’s role will include him speaking at a press conference on the matter and commending Det. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) for her efforts.

The subject matter is particularly close to Hargitay and Biden’s hearts, as both parties have been involved with increased efforts to help victims of sexual assault find justice.

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Hargitay founded the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004 to provide support for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. Joyful Heart also maintains a program called ENDTHEBACKLOG dedicated to researching the extent of untested rape kits in America and raising awareness on the issue.

In September 2015, Hargitay and Biden, along with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, attended a press conference announcing nearly $80 million in federal funding and grants to assist law enforcement agencies in their efforts to test backlogged kits and to investigate and prosecute resulting cases.

His time spent on the set of “Law & Order: SVU” won’t be the vice president’s first time talking on television.

Besides making the typical television rounds on talk shows, both morning and late-night, the vice president’s most memorable TV appearance is likely his time spent on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” playing himself and being generally charming in the face of the adoration of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler).

Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in an episode of "Parks and Recreation."
Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope in an episode of “Parks and Recreation.”
(David Giesbrecht/NBC )

“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” returns to NBC for its 18th season on Sept. 21 at 9 p.m.

libby.hill@latimes.com

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