LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson -- NBC Photo: Justin Stephens

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT -- Pictured: Mariska Hargitay as Det. Olivia Benson -- NBC Photo: Justin Stephens

Mariska Hargitay has been playing Olivia Benson on Law & Order: SVU for the past 10 years, but if you think it’s becoming old hat for the actress, well, not a chance of that happening.

 Hargitay takes her job seriously and has even started the Joyful Heart Foundation, which is committed to enpowering victims of sexual assault, child abuse and domestic violence.

The actress is also mindful of the responsibility that she has to insure that each episode of the series is accurate and sensitive to the subject – and more importantly deliver an entertaining story that educates viewers.

Click  on to the media bar for Mariska Hargitay’s explanation on how Law & Order: SVU has carried over into her personal life.

 Law & Order: SVU airs Wednesday nights, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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