'Law & Order: SVU': Mariska Hargitay Reveals Why the Series 'Resonates'

It’s hard to imagine life without Law & Order: SVU. After 21 successful seasons and a new season only weeks away, it’s clear that the series means a lot to the people who work on it, and those who have the privilege to watch it.

When many people think about SVU, they immediately jump to Mariska Hargitay, who has been on the show since the very beginning. From Detective Elliot Stabler’s (Christopher Meloni) partner to the Captain of the squad, Benson and the entire series have changed the dialogue when it comes to survivors, abuse, and the justice system.

Mariska Hargitay reveals why ‘Law & Order: SVU’ ‘resonates’

Hargitay spoke with Parade.com in 2019, and she explained why the series “resonates.” Her reasoning makes a lot of sense that the show is a “path to healing” and “survivorship” for those affected by abuse, trauma, and violence. It also encourages conversations that create a “greater awareness,” which obviously resonates in those that watch and discuss the show.

SVU resonates because it’s a path to healing and a path to survivorship,” Hargitay explained. “Each week, Olivia Benson and the team depict an environment of compassion, sympathy and justice, providing hope to those who experience shame and isolation caused by sexual violence. The conversations that the show inspires have brought a greater awareness and understanding of the issues. And every disclosure is a chance to show that a victim is to be believed.”

Hargitay says the show has been a ‘huge part of the cultural education on sexual violence’

Hargitay spoke with the Associated Press at the Tribeca TV Festival in 2018, revealing why she “was so drawn to the material” because no one else was actually talking about the issues being dealt with on the series. She says the show has been talking about topics that have been “traditionally swept under the carpet,” and they are now front and center thanks to SVU. It makes the series truly meaningful in more ways than one.

“When we started the show, nobody was talking about these issues that’s why I was so drawn to the material,” she explained. “It’s an incredibly progressive show, a progressive idea. And really starting a conversation and taking sexual assault, domestic violence, and these issues that were traditionally swept under the carpet, and people were afraid to talk about. And now we’ve been talking about it for 20 years, and conversation is in full swing. And that’s very exciting. I think the show has really been a huge part of the cultural education on sexual violence. I think we have taken on the issues of consent and the neurobiology of trauma, and created a survivor-centric show that was utterly unique.”

Law & Order: SVU will be back with season 22 on Thursday, November 12, at 9 p.m. E.S.T. One thing is certain: The series will continue to spark conversations surrounding the material, shining a light on issues that need to be discussed. SVU “resonates” with viewers, and it will continue to do so.

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