Lieutenant Olivia "Liv" Benson (born December 13, 1967) is the commanding officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. In 2015, Olivia was promoted to Lieutenant, but is transferred to the Community Affairs Division and Mike Dodds takes over as acting commanding officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. In 2010, Olivia was appointed to be the legal guardian of Calvin Arliss, But her legal guardian rights were then terminated by Calvin's Mother. In 2014 at the conclusion of the Season 15 finale, Benson becomes the court-appointed custodial guardian of Noah Porter, an orphaned baby. Benson is deeply sympathetic with victims of sex crimes and as a result, she is often quick to believe victims' stories. In "Undercover" She went undercover in a women's prison to find a rapist and was almost raped herself until Detective Odafin Tutuola, also undercover there as a guard of the facility, managed to save her just moments before the man (a fellow guard) could violate her. Afterwards, Benson developed a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but has been receiving counseling for the assault and has been seen dealing with it more constructively. Lewis makes her watch while he rapes and tortures the mother of his attorney and kills a police officer who attempted to pull him over.
She returns to work in the following episode, "Imprisoned Lives", which takes place two months later, but is still haunted by the experience.
In "Beast's Obsession", Lewis uses the distraction caused by his (self-induced) cardiac incident to escape from prison.
In "Post-Mortem Blues", she is brought before a grand jury to explain her admission and Lewis' death. She later identifies with a woman named Sarah Walsh who, like her, was sexually assaulted twice and helps both her and herself in dealing with these incidents. While a dedicated officer, Benson is more likely to go to bat for women she deals with during cases than men, and has shown skepticism during cases where women are the offenders and men are the victim, or allows her sympathy of the victim to cloud her judgement and make her commit actions without thinking.
As of Season 16, Olivia is the last remaining original character from the first season of Law and Order: SVU.
She currently stars on the TNT drama television series, "Rizzoli & Isles" portraying the role of police detective Jane Rizzoli.


Is a Republican; she and her husband, Jason delivered a speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Prior to taking over SVU, Benson worked as a SVU detective and was partnered with Elliot Stabler for over twelve years. She was the product of the rape of Serena Benson in 1967 by a food salesman named Joseph Hollister, who later committed suicide.
She didn't find out about her brother until they were both adults after she illegally ran her DNA through a kinship analysis. After her legal guardian rights were terminated, she is shown to still have kept in contact with Calvin, since he came over to New York on Halloween to see Olivia.
The appointment is for a trial period of one year, with the option to apply for legal adoption at the end of that period; Although the year is rocky due to Noah's health issues and the demands of her job, Benson formally adopts Noah a year later at the end of Season 16. Her former partner Elliot Stabler was often more skeptical of victims' accounts, which often brought the two partners into conflict. He then beats and tortures her, burning her with cigarettes and wire hangers, and holds her hostage for four days. He calls Benson as a witness and accuses her of assaulting him because he rejected her sexual advances. He then rapes a teenaged girl, kidnaps her younger sister and threatens to kill her unless Benson tells the truth about her testimony. Her career is threatened until Declan Murphy tells the grand jury that he instructed Benson to lie in her press conference, thus clearing her of Lewis' death and possible perjury charges. This was exemplified when she interrogated a man until he confessed to a crime which he was later found to be innocent of and sending him to prison for life, which could have been avoided if she was thinking clearly enough to check on the evidence. In another deleted scene, Benson had met her father, a psychiatrist by the name of Robert Spencer. They have three daughters: Finley Faith (born October 14, 2003), Avery Grace (born June 22, 2005), and Emery Hope (born December 18, 2008).
After Elliot's resignation, Benson partnered primarily with Nick Amaro before she became a sergeant and took over the SVU unit from Captain Donald Cragen.


Simon was later accused of a series of break-ins and one rape, for which he was later cleared. Benson's ability to sympathize with victims is a tremendous asset, but there are times when it comes back to haunt her.
Just as he is about to rape her, she breaks free, handcuffs him, and holds him at gunpoint. She vehemently denies it, and lies under oath that he had broken free of his restraints and lunged at her.
When he taunts her, she loses control and beats him within an inch of his life with an iron rod. Lewis is found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting a police officer, but the jury voices doubts about Benson's story and acquits him of attempted rape.
Serena died from injuries sustained in a fall when she was drunk, which left Benson deeply saddened. The episode closes with Benson weeping on the courthouse stairs and, four months later, Lewis being wheeled away on a stretcher. With his hostage watching, Lewis at first attempts to rape Benson, but changes his mind when she refuses to show him fear; instead, he forces her to play Russian roulette with him. Benson became involved with a child who was neglected by her parents the way Benson felt neglected by her mother. As a police squad closes in, Lewis taunts her one last time before committing suicide right in front of her. An older student of her mother asked her to marry him and when she told Serena that she was leaving, her mother who had been drinking flew into a rage and went after her with a broken bottle. After arguing with ADA Sonya Paxton about alcoholism and seeing her drunk in court, she was moved to leave flowers at her mother's grave.



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