Mariska Hargitay Speaks Out

Mariska Hargitay: ‘SVU’ helped change society’s views on rape

Mariska Hargitay says the best thing about having spent 18 years on “Law & Order” is that the show has helped more victims of rape and sexual assault come forward.

She told Page Six, “This show has shed new light. When people approach me in the street and tell me, ‘I came forward and reported my rape because of you and the show,’ that is the best part.”

Hargitay added, “It is the changing of societal views — stop blaming the victim. I noticed my attitudes as well as others have changed. I used to think, ‘Why is she drinking so much?’ or ‘Why did she go over there?’ . . . It is not about women protecting themselves, it is about men not being violent.”

Hargitay and the cast of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” celebrated the show’s 400th episode on Wednesday.

She added, “It is impossible in 18 years to pick a favorite episode. Guest appearances are pretty cool, like when Joe Biden was on the show.”The cast of “Law & Order: SVU” with creator Dick Wolf (center) at TV Guide’s 400th episode