Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seasons: 1 |2 |3 | 4 |5 | 6 | 7 |8 |9 |10 | 11 | 12 | 13 |14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 |19 |20|21 |22| 23| Main
In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–present) is a long-running crime drama, part of the popular Law & Order franchise created by Dick Wolf. The show focuses on the Special Victims Unit, a special squad dealing with sex crimes and crimes against children.

Opening[edit]

Narrator: In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.

About Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[edit]

"“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger:” The Fallacy of Rape Narratives as Paths to Women’s Empowerment in Contemporary Television" (2020)[edit]

Alessia S., "“What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger:” The Fallacy of Rape Narratives as Paths to Women’s Empowerment in Contemporary Television" (2020).

  • The longest-running live-action prime time television show of all time deals exclusively with topics that have historically been ignored as being a ubiquitous part of America’s culture: sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, and child abuse. Law & Order’s (Wolf, 1990–2010) sex-crimes-focused spin-off does not shy away from such topics but shines a light on them while keeping the victims of these crimes and the always-sympathetic Captain Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) at the forefront of every narrative. Hargitay was so inspired by the series that she became an activist, founding the Joyful Heart Foundation for survivors of sexual violence and working to end the backlog of rape kits throughout the US. She views SVU as “a longtime force for positive change” (Barcella),and many others who work or have worked on the series in the last two decades agree with her. Episodes do not simply dramatize sexual violence; they are “laden with real-life lessons about consent, domestic violence, and the psychological impacts of sexual assault,” which is why the creative team behind SVU“ see their show partly as a vehicle for education” (Minich, 5). Procedural detective dramas have historically been “the primary masculine television genre, with a predominantly male audience” (Cuklanz, 19); SVU’s audience, however, is “made up mostly of women” (Minich, 5) because it depicts a world in which the United States judicial system takes sexual violence seriously. Critics have argued that the way the show portrays how the justice system treats survivors is “the heart of the show’s appeal” (Minich, 5).
    • p.18
  • SVU has consistently made an effort “to keep pace with the times” (Minich, 5), and has always incorporated the latest theory on sexual assault—from changing their language to refer to “victims” as “survivors,” to having the detectives participate in trauma-informed interviews with survivors in their latest season, which acknowledges that people’s memories are affected by trauma. Trauma-informed interviews allow survivors to focus on the memories that their senses provide—for example, what they heard, smelled, etc.—to give a description of what happened to them, rather than try to remember specific details which is often difficult for someone to do after experiencing trauma. These interviews affect not only the answers the survivors give the detectives on the show, but also how their trauma is portrayed on-screen.
    • pp.19-20
  • SVU has always believed survivors. The show has debunked rape myths—such as sex workers cannot be assaulted, someone cannot be raped by their partner, consent is not reversible, and countless others—for over twenty years by having their detectives and prosecutors always believe the survivors who come to them. Such commitment to survivors makes it no wonder why the show is so popular with them. Additionally, the series helps viewers learn the signs and attributes of sexual violence, proving Cuklanz’s point that because rape is discussed so infrequently in American society, “film, serial prime time television, and television talk shows have been more useful in making rape reform ideas available to a mainstream audience”.
    • p.21

Seasons[edit]

Principal cast[edit]

External links[edit]