Law & Order 10 Ways Olivia Benson From SVU Has Changed Since Season 1

Olivia Benson, portrayed by Mariska Hargitay, is the longest-running character on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Over 22 seasons, she has evolved from a rookie detective to a strong leader, known for solving special victims cases. Benson's character has grown and overcome various challenges, making her the heart of the show.

Has Comes to Terms With Elliot's Departure

Many fans of the show adored the partnership between Benson and Elliot Stabler. They were opposites to one another yet their teamwork made for good crime-solving. At one point in the show, Elliot's character was written off and left Benson without a partner.

Throughout the rest of the seasons, audiences see Benson's disdain towards his leave. Especially when he gives no real explanation. Along the way, Benson comes to terms with it and even on occasion still references yot his past demeanor as a detective and partner.

Becomes More Invested And Emotional

At the beginning of Benson's time as SVU, she held back some of her emotions in order to get the job done. As the show progressed, as well as her storyline, Benson becomes more involved emotionally with every case. It might be due to the years on the job or her personal experience.

Believes The Victims More

After years on the force and dealing with heinous special victim crimes, Benson has seen a variety of victims and witnesses. Int he beginning, Benson was a bit more reserved at times to put her full trust in the victim. She sometimes would wait until there was concrete evidence or a lead.

More Aggressive Interview Tactics

Benson might have learned a thing or two when partnered with Elliot. Over the curse of the show, Benson has taken the reigns when it comes to interviewing perps that get under her skin. She's not afraid of getting close and personal to elicit a response. She's even roughed up a few in the interview room.

Isn't Afraid Of The Higher Ups

There's no question that Benson has always stood her ground, but it has become even more prevalent as the show has gone on. This is especially true when it comes to perps who think they're above the law or IAB. IAB has for a long time been a rival to the squad but Benson no longer takes them as a threat.

She's A Mother

Benson has become a mom to a young boy named Noah in the last couple of seasons of the show. Noah was the baby of a victim from a previous storyline, who Benson feels a strong connection to and decides to adopt him. This was a major shift in her story when in "Inconceivable" Benson expressed her desire to have a family and be a parent.

She Was Close To Love

When the show first aired, Benson's love life wasn't put at the forefront. There were dates here and there and small inklings of love. In recent seasons, Benson's romantic interests have blossomed to a point being serious relationships. She has become more open to the idea of having a life partner.

Suffers From PTSD

The major shift and cataclysm to Benson's character storyline was the involvement of William Lewis. William Lewis was perp wanted for multiple assaults and murders who ends up becoming infatuated with Benson. He soon kidnaps her with an intent to harm her.

She Rises To the Ranks Of Captain

It would be odd if Benson hasn't leveled up in position over the 22 seasons on the show. Benson not only becomes a sergeant but later on rises to the ranks to become the Captain of SVU. She is notably one of their best, maybe even better than Cragen due to her ability to empathize with victims.

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