Law & Order SVU: 17 Years Later

One of TV’s longest running shows and my personal favorite. Why my personal favorite you might ask?
Well, one of the reasons is that it’s a show with cops, or detectives if you want a different term, and I’ve always had a thing for shows like that. When people ask me how long I have been watching SVU I always tell them the truth, that I have been watching since season 1, way back when it started in 1999. The thing is, I’m only 5 years older than the show is, I will be soon enough anyway, so how can this be possible? How can I say that I’ve been watching a show with 17 seasons, and counting, since it’s debut? I’m here to tell you that it is very much possible, if you keep sneaking outside your bedroom in the middle of the night and hiding behind couches or under tables when your parents were so focused on what was on their TV. I did get caught eventually, but at that point it was too late for me to be saved, SVU has taken over me in ways other shows (shows that I absolutely love, don’t get me wrong!) in the future failed to do.

That’s why I’m here, years later, trying to explain in the best way that I can why to me, Kate, Law & Order SVU is the best show of them all.

Let’s start by taking it from a fan’s point of view.

If you don’t count the diehard fan, which is what I am, we have the “normal”, you can say, fan.

That fan might not be as obsessed as the rest of us are, maybe they started watching the show from season 2 or maybe season 17, but they still love the show. They’re still fans. 
I can’t speak for everyone out there, different types of fans different stories, but I can speak for myself and my friends.
A lot of my friends started watching SVU after season 9, which is totally okay. The reason they started watching at that time and not, let’s say, a season earlier or later, was because something traumatic happened to one of us when we were all 14 years old and that one person who went through what she went through, loved SVU so much but nobody else did because they just didn’t understand her reasons. They simply thought that it was a good show about cops, and that was it. But because of what their friend went through, which they found out months later, they gave the show another chance and they now love it to pieces.

Continuing on, the most important part, a survivor’s point of view.
Remember the 14 year old I mentioned earlier? The one who went through a hard time? That 14 year old was me and what I went through, if you couldn’t already tell, was sexual assault. It was a man I didn’t know who grabbed me outside my school, put me in his car and took me to a park in the middle of nowhere. To make things even worse, he was my first… But I’m not here to tell my story, this is not the place to do it. The reason I’m here for is to try my best to explain why this show is so important to me and other survivors just like me.
Understanding. Safety. Trust.
Some of the many things I felt back then, and still feel every day, when I was watching the show every week. I felt like I was being taken seriously, I felt like I was being understood. I felt safe telling my story to Olivia Benson and the rest of the squad, because I knew I could trust them, they never gave me a reason not to. So I did. I eventually got through it all, slowly but surely, because of those people, and Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) especially. Woman to woman, you know. Plus, she has that face and voice that makes you not question if she’ll turn on you or not because you just know she’s there to help you and will do anything to make sure you’re okay.
Again, I won’t go into many details about my experience because, first of all I don’t want this to turn into a sob story and second, like I’ve already mentioned, this is not the place.
Years later, at the age of 19, history repeated itself, but I was older, stronger and this time I already had someone to back me up, even if she was just a character on TV, as some people say.
But if it wasn’t for Olivia Benson and Mariska Hargitay herself, of course, I wouldn’t be able to say, today years later, that I survived sexual assault twice! I would probably have let the guilt, the pain and the shame (and everything else that was going on besides this) consume me and slowly take me down to the point of no return. Ironically, that almost happened, but I’m here today, thanks to this wonderful woman whom I’m more than proud to call my hero, to tell you that you CAN come back from this. I did, others did too and so can you! Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Conclusion?

SVU is anything but your normal cop show.
It’s a show that saves lives, not only in each episode but in real life too. Sexual assault is only ONE of the many important and serious matters these actors & writers are shedding light onto. Domestic violence, murder, child neglect, suicide, pretty much anything you can think of, SVU has at least one episode on it. The way the writers write down these stories, taking under consideration that they’re writing about issues that real people are suffering from, shows how incredible they are at what they do, as well as how amazing they are as human beings. Same goes for the cast, whether they’re still on the show or not, old ones or new ones.

Law & Order SVU is, without a doubt, a show that saves lives every single week. How do I know that? I know that because I am one of the lives it has saved over the years.

You don’t have to be a survivor to watch, you don’t even have to like the actors. But, as a show, it can educate you on so many levels.

So, please, give it a chance if you haven’t already. You won’t regret it. I promise you.

xo Kate.

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