In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous.
It’s been on the air since 1999, nearly 400 unique episodes have been produced to date, and chances are good that at least a couple of your favorite actors have guest-starred on it at some point. Of course, I’m talking about Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, more commonly known as Law & Order: SVU, just SVU or, on occasion, “that show with Mariska Hargitay.” Indeed, Hargitay’s Olivia Benson has been a central part of the show since the turn of the millennium, and her work on SVU prompted her to become an advocate for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse by setting up the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004.
Hargitay’s philanthropic efforts are very real, but her character Olivia Benson is ultimately that – a fictional creation. However, there are real Bensons at work across the country, chasing down perpetrators and helping survivors find justice. Lifetime’s sister network LMN profiles one such woman, LAPD Sex Crimes Detective Ninette Toosbuy, in the pilot episode of The Real SVU, airing this Thursday.
“If there’s one thing that I want a victim to understand, it’s that I will do anything and everything within my powers to bring them the justice that they are seeking.”
– Ninette Toosbuy
LMN’s cameras follow Toosbuy as she races against the clock to stop a serial rapist from striking again, and investigates an assault that requires her to break her suspect in the interrogation room due to a lack of compelling evidence.
Watch a preview of The Real SVU below, and be sure to tune in to LMN on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 11 p.m.