If you’re a fan of NBC’s Law & Order: Special Victims Unit you know exactly where I am going with this. This series has remained a fan favorite for 14 years, and is still going strong. You’re lying if you say you haven’t dedicated an entire day to watching at least one SVU marathon, or haven’t memorized the opening credits. To be honest, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays are the best days of the week thanks to SVU marathons. It’s not just the action, drama, interesting–yet often disturbing storylines; some of the credit must be given to the one and only Detective Olivia Benson. Excuse me, Sargent Benson as of this past season. Olivia Benson has every quality you would look for in a hero. She acts as a voice of awareness when it comes to sexual assault, as well as a support system for the victims of these heinous crimes. Here’s why Olivia Benson is the ultimate badass.
She has one of the toughest jobs ever
Being a detective isn’t easy, but sex crimes are a whole other story. Anyone working in this unit would struggle to keep an open mind, and not let what they see on the job affect their personal life. Somehow Olivia finds the strength to keep working hard and is dedicated to giving victims a chance to find justice, and most importantly peace of mind.
She can rock any hairstyle
We’ve seen her grow as a detective these past 14 years, but her hairstyles are the thing that changes most frequently. From shoulder length, to a full chop, to a bob, to rocking the bangs, she can literally pull off any look. Not only is she good at her job, she looks great doing it.
She is passionate about making a difference
The character of Olivia Benson is a strong supporter of women, as well as the actress that portrays her. Mariska Hargitay is passionate about putting a stop to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. Hargitay founded the Joyful Hearts Foundation that aims to help sexual assault survivors reclaim their lives. Her No More Campaign has brought attention to the increasing numbers of assaults all over the world. She has helped educate and shed light on these issues, in the fight to end the stigma attached to domestic violence, abuse, and sexual assault. Needless to say, Olivia Benson would be proud.
She doesn’t take crap from anyone
Benson is never afraid to fight back. She pushes the limits, and even when she takes it too far she doesn’t give up. She can put any creepy perp, psychopath, rapist, or pedophile in their place. She follows her gut, and stays true to who she is and what she believes.
She has everyone’s back
Like most fans, I was sad to see Elliot Stabler and Olivia part ways, but at least we have the memories to last us a lifetime. Benson is a great partner, and she always does what she can to help others. She is willing to put her own life at risk to save her partner, as we’ve seen her do for Elliot many times. Seriously, remember that time she pretended to be an escort to get Elliot off the hook?
She doesn’t hid how she feels
Although Benson is tough as nails, she isn’t afraid to be vulnerable as well. Working in such a serious environment takes a toll on a person. I love that she lets herself be angry or sad when she needs to be. Whether she gets in a fight with the district attorney, or gets emotional after a case, she doesn’t let others dictate her feelings. Not many female characters on TV are as strong as Olivia. I’ve watched her go undercover, sob uncontrollably, and pull a gun on a perp, and still continue to root for her no matter what.
Olivia Benson is a true role model for people everywhere. Not only have I enjoyed watching Detective Benson kick butt on Law and Order, she has inspired me to learn more about how to help make a difference in the lives of those affected by sexual assault. Benson may technically be a “fictional character” but that doesn’t mean she or the actress who plays her hasn’t made a real impact in the world. Olivia may have started off as just a character, but she has become a symbol of hope for others. The idea behind this television character has kick started a movement that helps people find the courage to come forward and tell their stories. Keep doing your thing Benson, and continue to be a hero to us all.