Law and Order SVU brings attention to rape kit backlog

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Didn’t think I could love Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (especially Mariska Hargitay *swoon*) more until I found out that the actress and executive producer Neal Baer blogged about their episode this week that addressed the backlog of rape kit testing.

The serious problem of rape kits sitting untested or being destroyed is one that leaves too many sexual assault survivors without justice, so it’s great to see a high-profile show bring attention to the issue — not to mention they direct folks to a campaign dedicated to end rape kit backlog.

Did anyone see the episode?? (Yep, I missed it.)

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9 Comments

  1. Posted October 1, 2010 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    These shows consistently glamorize and sensationalize rape and violence against women. It seems like most episodes have the investigators looking over some bloody scene with a dead woman in a sexually compromising position, and most episodes start with a woman-as-sexual-victim scenario. And the scenarios dreamed up are always the most lurid ones imaginable, with a Russian businessman with a sex dungeon full of twelve year olds who are forced to make webcam videos etc. This show is like the pulp fiction of yore. So, yeah, I could love it more.

    • Posted October 1, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      I agree 100% with this comment and would add that this show also consistently links any kind of non-normative sex with criminal deviancy. It’s logic week in, week out runs along the lines of: Polyamorous? You’re probably also a murderer and rapist. No thanks.

    • Posted October 3, 2010 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      “And the scenarios dreamed up are always the most lurid ones imaginable, with a Russian businessman with a sex dungeon full of twelve year olds who are forced to make webcam videos etc”

      As someone who watches the show, they often show realistic situations. In fact, like the other series in the franchise, will have episodes about current events (although the disclaimer in the beginning says otherwise).

      Yes, they can have more unrealistic scenarios, but I think this show is great for bringing forth the issue of victim-blaming and now, the issue of rape kit backlog.

  2. Posted October 1, 2010 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Is it ok to objectify Mariska Hargitay like that? I’m just not clear how that comment is any different then those decried by some on this site. Anyways I agree!

    • Posted October 1, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      While I don’t like the show, for the reasons I’ve mentioned above, I don’t understand what you’re getting at here. I don’t see any way in which the OP’s comments could be read as objectifying. Vanessa simply stated that she was swooning over Mariska Hargitay. Having a crush on someone is not objectification and I’ve never seen anyone post here who felt that it was.

      • Posted October 5, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Are you serious? How long have you been reading this site?

        Based on what you say, then Harry Reid publically saying he finds Gillibrand hot is the same thing. He’s just saying he has a crush on her right?

        Seriously I don’t get your comment at all. There’s a million exact scenarios where a man made a comment like this and the site jumped on them. Examples of this are extremely easy to find.

  3. Posted October 1, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t watch the show, but anything that calls attention to this issue is good, IMHO. It’s a complete travesty of justice that after going through the horror of rape and then the intrusiveness of the rape kit procedure, these kits aren’t even put to use!?! I wonder, are there any other types of crimes where evidence gathered just sits on a shelf instead of being examined and utilized? Thanks for sharing the link to the campaign site too.

  4. Posted October 2, 2010 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    This episode is to be rebroadcast on Saturday the 9th, and then again on Tuesday the 12th on USA.

  5. Posted October 4, 2010 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I love the show (mostly because of the Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni pairing) and saw the episode when it aired. While sometimes the plot lines take strange and often bizarre turns, it helps to remember that SVU is going on 12 seasons, and the more ridiculous episodes could be a result of the writers trying to keep audiences interested. And while many episodes initially start with a case of a woman who has been raped, there are others that focus on the rape of both heterosexual, gay, and young men/children.

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