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There’s a reason SVU is one of the longest running shows on television

When Elliott Stabler or Nick Amaro aren’t bashing heads in to either guarantee a confession or exact revenge, Olivia Benson–real name Mariska Hargitay–spends every Wednesday night on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit advocating for the rights of victims of sexual abuse, domestic abuse, and everything in between. She’s done so for the better part of the past two decades. Sometimes on Tuesdays, sometimes on Thursdays, sometimes she’s wrong, sometimes she’s right, but the message and her goals are always clear.

Said messages profoundly impacted with one young lady, who admitted to her mother that she’d been sexually abused by her mom’s former employer after watching an episode of L&O: SVU. The girl’s mother previously worked as a housekeeper for 53-year old Robert Shapiro, but quit when he sent her an inappropriate picture of her daughter, who was 11 years old at the time. Shapiro himself had a pending case of molestation involving his 17-year old neighbor, but the charges were dropped.

Somehow, after the incident concerning the inappropriate photograph, the fact that Shapiro had also physically abused the mother’s young daughter never came up. Well, after watching Olivia and company go to work, that all changed. She uttered three words to her mother during a recent episode–“Rob did it”–and much to the mother’s horror, a follow-up interview from the actual Special Victims Unit found the young girl alleging that Shapiro took her to a secluded basement bathroom where he committed lewd sexual acts.


Shapiro, a businessman and sports coach, was arrested earlier this week, charges are pending.