"Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" has been on the air for over a decade. In that time, Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) has had many trials and tribulations. The character has many dimensions, and her life experiences are things some fans have dealt with, as well. During the past 12 seasons, she has had her share of heartbreak and triumph. These are a few of the life-changing moments Benson experienced, and what happened to her as a result.
Season 9, Episode 15 'Undercover"'
In this episode, Benson is almost raped. While responding to a call of a young rape victim, the detectives get more than they bargained for. Benson goes undercover in a prison to expose an officer that is supposedly raping the female inmates. When Benson gets taken down to the basement, she is shown the man's genitals. She is seconds from being raped when Detective Tutuola comes down and saves her. This incident definitely did some damage to her mind. She began having flashbacks and dealing with things in her own way. She became one of the victims she is always trying to save.
Season 12 , Episode 7 'Trophy'
After investigating a murder, many victims turn up. Benson is introduced to a woman much like herself. When she approaches Vivian, she believes that she may even be her sister. Benson goes out of her way to reach out to her, and it blows up in her face. She relapses back into drugs, and drops Calvin (her son) off at the police station. When he walks in with a note addressed to Benson, she finds out she has become his legal guardian. After a few episodes, Vivian returns and yanks Calvin from Olivia, and sends him to his grandparents' house to live. The broken heart she experienced was portrayed perfectly. We watched as a mother lost her child. Benson has always had a motherly instinct, and it was gut-wrenching to see something like this happen to her.
Season 2, Episode 8 'Taken'
Benson has been dealing with personal demons, and issues with her mother, since the show began. In this particular episode, she loses her mother. She bounces back extremely quickly, and that sends up red flags for the other detectives. As the show moves on, she has to come to terms with the fact that she never knew her father, and that she was the product of him raping her mother. She seems to struggle with the demons her mother left behind for her. She is a huge support for rape victims, but she often takes things personally or too far.
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