‘Law and Order: SVU’ takes on the Coast Guard, with some Air Force undertones


The latest episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, “Military Justice,” takes on corruption within the chain of command and sexual assault in the military. Not to mention, toward the end of the episode, viewers see the prosecution reference a pamphlet asking the “victim to submit” rather than fight back.

Clip from Law & Order: SVU, Season 15, Episode 8, "Military Justice."

Clip from Law & Order: SVU, Season 15, Episode 8, “Military Justice.” (via http://www.nbc.com).

Sound familiar? In late June, a sexual assault prevention brochure at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., was yanked after a lawmaker objected to advice that victims submit to an attack rather than resist.

“If you are attacked, it may be advisable to submit than to resist,” the brochure said. “You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon.”

In last night’s episode, an officer in the Coast Guard, Amelia Albers (played by Shiri Appleby), is allegedly gang raped and refuses to cooperate with the SVU detectives for fear of damage to her reputation.

The detectives speak with three officers who claim Amelia was wasted at the bar and hitting on everyone, so they left her there alone.

However, the evidence soon says otherwise.

When the three officers — plus Amelia’s commanding officer — find themselves in court, out comes the “submit rather than resist” pamphlet.

In reality, the Air Force withdrew the brochure from circulation after Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., had complained about the brochure’s sex assault prevention material.

“No service member wearing the uniform of the United States military should ever be told ‘it may be advisable to submit than to resist’ in the case of a sexual assault,” Slaughter said in a statement.

The hard-hitting series stems from NBC’s “Law & Order” and chronicles the elite squad of New York City detectives who investigate sexually based crimes.

View more from last night’s episode here.


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