How Olivia Benson from Law and Order: SVU Has Helped My Recovery


There’s a quote I held onto from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, said by Mariska Hargitay’s character Olivia Benson, that has helped me overcome many battles past and present. After going through a horrific traumatic event herself and then returning to work, she said to a victim: “You know, what I’ve seen is that people who have gone through unfair, horrific experiences is that they have this will. And when they get support; a chance, they cannot only survive, they can thrive.”

Throughout my life, I’ve had things happen to me and my family that I wish never did. I’ve often gotten stuck in the would’ve, could’ve, should’ves. I’ve even attempted suicide, but by the grace of God didn’t die. Since I’ve been working on my recovery, I’ve realized the main goal I want out of my life is to not just survive but to thrive; that quote helped remind me of that. The truth is, life isn’t fair and I’ve gone through very challenging circumstances, but I’ve realized I have the power now to change my circumstances and take control, which leaves me feeling more empowered each day. It’s not been easy and I’ve needed a lot of support through the last several years.

It’s not Law and Order: SVU itself that I like as much as Mariska Hargitay’s character, Olivia Benson. I’ve admired her strength, courage and resilience, and she has also reminded me that I too can get through difficult situations and circumstances. Yes, I know it’s just a show, but she has also empowered victims, been an ongoing advocate and has shown her own resilience on the outside of the show as well.

This life isn’t easy, but if anything I’ve learned that I’ve more control than I think I do. I don’t just want to survive in this life; I desperately want to thrive in it and along the way help as many people as I can, any way I can.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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Image via Law and Order: Special Victims Unit Facebook.


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