Watch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

Law & Order is one of America's favorite franchises. This police procedural has spawned numerous spin-offs, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Each version of Law & Order focuses on different detectives. The detectives' personal lives and reactions to cases are as compelling as the crimes themselves. SVU focuses on Detectives Stabler and Benson. Like the other Law & Order shows, SVU frequently bases episodes on real-life crimes that are in the news.

Detective Elliot Stabler was one of the most popular characters on the show. A married man with several children of his own, he occasionally took cases personally, displaying a violent temper. Detective Stabler struggles to deal professional with the criminals he encounters. He admits to fantasizing about hurting the people he arrests and is almost removed from the force when he reveals this. His experience raising his own children has made him good at relating to child victims he encounters while working cases. Despite his bad temper and occasional poor judgment, many viewers can relate to Detective Stabler and his disgust at the criminals he arrests and interviews.

Detective Olivia Benson is Detective Stabler's partner for most of the show. She balances his anger towards criminals with her own compassion for sexual victims. Detective Benson eventually reveals that her childhood was not happy due to an alcoholic mother and an absent father. Benson's tragic past led her to work for the Special Victims Unit. Many female viewers see Detective Benson as a positive role model.

Other detectives and support staff feature heavily in the series. Like other Law & Order shows, the detectives have close relationships with the NYPD's medical examiner and the New York District Attorney's office. Viewers love watching the characters grow over the course of the show, but the ultimate draw of Law & Order is seeing each week's criminal caught and brought to justice. SVU adds something extra to the formula by showcasing "especially heinous" crimes in every episode.

Wednesday 9:00 PM et/pt on NBC
18 Seasons, 399 Episodes
March 22, 1999
Watch Episodes
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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Full Episode Guide

  • An investigation strikes a chord for Benson when a suspect claims his genetics lead him to commit rape.

  • Fin goes back to his military roots when a fellow Army Ranger is sexually assaulted.

  • The team investigates the players of an elite youth hockey team following a violent locker room hazing.

  • In the series 400th episode, a teenaged boy uses a rifle to stop an assault on his mother, but soon learns the target was someone he knows.

  • The powerful family of a retail empire shows a united front when a bartender accuses one of their own of rape.

  • The team investigates the disappearance of a 6 year-old boy who was taken during a drug-fueled party thrown by his mother at their home. Benson scrutinizes her own role as a mother.

  • The SVU team investigates when a woman who was assaulted by a masked man claims the rapist is the same man who went to jail for stalking her. Meanwhile, Tucker considers retirement and a future with Benson.

  • A record label CEO and his protege are interrogated for their participation in the assault of a transgender student.

  • Benson is faced with a moral dilemma when a sergeant's son is accused of rape.

  • An athlete's double life could destroy her Olympic career and the case against the man who sexually assaulted her; Rollins sister is out on parole.

  • When a man lures a vulnerable married woman to bed, Barba believes the evidence amounts to rape.

  • After spending nearly two decades in prison, a convicted rapist is exonerated due to newly tested DNA evidence. But only a day later, Fin is called to the scene of a shocking crime and must find the now "free" man.

  • In the season premiere, a young boy is found wandering alone in Central Park. The search to find his parents leads to a shocking discovery.

  • In the 17th season finale, the investigation of Corrections Officer Gary Munson intensifies. His actions threaten the lives of ADA Barba and the SVU squad.

  • Multiple female inmates in and out of prison claim that a corrections officer sexually assaulted them.

  • The team investigates claims of rape by a contestant on a reality TV dating series.

  • A young model is raped by a famous fashion house photographer, who looks to his successful brother to get the charges dismissed. Richard Belzer returns as detective John Munch.

  • Detective Carisi goes undercover at a homeless shelter to investigate one of the sex offender residents.

  • When one of their own is involved in a cover-up, the SVU investigates a sex trafficking operation deeply-rooted in government offices, the police department, and the Catholic Church.

  • A sexual exploitation case involving Catholic schoolgirls results in unexpected charges against people in highly esteemed positions.

  • Two high-profile suspects are apprehended in the takedown of an online pedophile ring following a sting operation.

  • Chicago P.D. detectives Lindsay and Dawson team up with the SVU in an effort to find two killers who escaped prison.

  • A woman is sexually assaulted outside her building, where several neighbors witness the crime but fail to call for help.

  • A date rape case destroys the futures of two high school students.

  • Benson is in extreme danger when she tries to stop a violent home invasion.

  • A high school student plans a tryst with his female teacher but ends up in a far more dangerous situation.

  • Lt. Benson demands justice in the trial of child abductor Lewis Hodda, but when a plea deal is rejected, Barba must use decades-old evidence to prove Lewis is guilty.

  • The search for a missing teenager overwhelms Dodd, but DNA could lead to the teen's abductor.

  • The team investigates when a famous reality TV family's virtuous 13 year-old daughter finds out she's pregnant.

  • Rollins' fugitive sister is entangled in a rape case involving a world-renowned violinist. Virginia Madsen guest stars.

  • A transgender teen is assaulted by high school bullies with tragic results.The teens run away as onlookers record and post videos of the incident on social media.

  • In the first part of the 17th-season opener, the squad revisits a crime scene where bodies were buried by a serial killer. Rollins is determined to get a confession, but the killer offers up new information instead.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit News

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 16: 'Funny Valentine' Recap

An up-and-coming singer is beaten by her famous boyfriend, but she won't assist the prosecution. This episode is said to mirror the relationship of Rihanna and Chris Brown. See what the controversial episode is all about.

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 15: 'Deadly Ambition' Recap

Rollins' sister makes a return visit, and this time she's battered and pregnant. When the situation escalates, Rollins resorts to dire actions, leading Internal Affairs to open up an investigation.

'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' Season 14, Episode 14: 'Secrets Exhumed' Recap

Detective Olivia Benson reunites with an old colleague to reopen a 25-year-old cold case. But things don't go as planned. Will Olivia have to betray a friend in the name of justice?

'Law & Order: SVU' Season 14, Episode 13: 'Monster's Legacy' Recap

Mike Tyson and Ed Asner guest star as the detectives struggle to uncover a past history of sexual abuse. Reggie Rhodes is set to be executed, but can some recent revelations set him free in time?

Is Coco In More Trouble With Ice-T?

The rapper who stirred up trouble between Ice-T and Coco is reportedly shopping around photos of Coco that will prove much more damaging to her marriage than the last batch.

'Law & Order: SVU' Gets 14th Season Renewal

Give Dick Wolf's baby credit where it's due: not every show survives long after losing an iconic lead. Despite Christopher Meloni's season 13 departure, NBC has given a 14th "Law & Order: SVU" season the thumbs-up for Fall 2012. "I'll be back. I can't leave this show. I'm having too much fun," said star Mariska Hargitay.

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