TV tonight: Law & Order: SVU investigates a campus gang rape

Law & Order: SVU detectives pursue justice for a gang rate victim

Photo: NBC/Law & Order: SVU

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2013 —Since it is known for ripping topics straight from the headlines, it should come as no surprise that tonight’s episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” focuses on gang rape.

The recent rape trial of two high school football stars in Steubenville, Ohio and the suicide of a teenage rape victim in Canada are just two high profile examples of how society tends to respond to reports of sexual assaults.

More often than not, sexual assault cases focus on discrediting the victim rather than investigating the actions of the assailant. The most disturbing part of this unwritten policy is the conspiracy of silence that undermines the pursuit of justice in rape cases.

Tonight’s episode of “Law & Order” is about a gang rape that takes place in a college frat house. The show is fiction but the obstacles the detectives are faced with in their pursuit of justice are very real.

No parent will send their daughter to a college where rape is a possibility. Because of this, colleges have facilitated the creation of a system more focused on covering up sexual assaults than pursuing justice for the victims.

According to a recent survey conducted by a branch of the CDC, almost one in five women in America will be the victim of a sexual assault at some point in their lives. According to U. S. Department of Justice, only 26% of rapes are even reported.

Until the response to sexual assaults shifts from persecuting the victim to prosecuting the assailant, these statistics won’t improve. Tonight the capable detectives on “Law & Order” will succeed in their weekly pursuit of justice. The good guys can always defeat the bad guys in fiction.

But for victims of sexual assault in the real world, the system is so rigged against them that suffering in silence is all too often the least destructive response.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EDT:

8 p.m.

ABC: The Middle: (Repeat) Frankie tries to get Mike to spend time with a new neighbor who shares his interests; Sue demands a cheer-off between the Wrestlerettes and the cheerleaders.

CBS: Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorities (New) The castaways take part in a food auction; and the so-called three amigos concoct a lie in a desperate attempt to take control of the game.

FOX: American Idol: (New) The Top 4 finalists (Candice Glover, Kree Harrison, Amber Holcomb and Angie Miller) compete. All four finalists are female for the first time in the show’s history.

NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) Follow the latest in the investigation of the Boston Marathon bombing, and the recovery of those who survived it.  Lester Holt reports.

CW: Arrow: (New) Deadshot (guest star Michael Rowe) returns to Starling City after taking down a U.S. Ambassador and six others overseas. By keeping tabs on A.R.G.U.S.’s manhunt for the assassin, Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) learn that a sting operation is underway to capture Deadshot – alive.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Modern Family: (Repeat) Claire and Phil’s Valentine’s Day romp ends with Claire in the hospital; Jay and Gloria’s attempts at romance are interrupted by the kids; after hosting a wild party, Cam and Mitch are left with hangovers and a new housemate.

9 p.m.

ABC: Modern Family: (Repeat) Things get awkward when Phil shows up at Claire’s college reunion; Jay is fixated on winning a big bowling tournament; a wig malfunction during an elaborate photo shoot with Joe leads to unfortunate results.

CBS: Criminal Minds: (Repeat) Reid deals with a personal loss; the team heads to San Francisco to investigate victims found in the Mission District.

NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (New) When a college freshman is gang raped at a frat party, the SVU team investigates the college’s history of sexual assault. Skyler Day guest stars.

CW: Supernatural: (New) Concerned about the physical toll the second trial took on Sam, Dean benches his brother from hunting until he heals up. So, when geektastic hacker Charlie (guest star Felicia Day) stumbles upon a case and finds the boys, Dean decides it’s time to teach Charlie how to be a hunter-in-training.

PBS: Nova: (New) Part 3 of 4. The creatures of the Mesozoic Era are recalled. Many were large. Fossil evidence, for instance, shows long-necked plesiosaurs snacked on shelled cephalopods that were the size of truck tires. There was also the Kronosaurus.

9:30 p.m.

ABC: How to Live With Your Parents: (New) In an attempt to deal with her parents’ divorce, Natalie creates an imaginary bully; Elaine makes Max visit an elderly relative.

10 p.m.

ABC: Nashville: (Repeat) Rayna reconsiders things after hearing Teddy’s side of the story; Juliette finds an unexpected sense of belonging with Sean’s family; Gunnar confesses his feelings; Deacon and Avery are each offered opportunities.

CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (Repeat) Five bodies are found in what appears to be a meteor site in the desert. The investigation leads Finlay to revisit her past when she recognizes one of the victims.

NBC: Chicago Fire: (Repeat) Dawson goes behind Antonio’s back and puts herself in danger in an effort to help him with an investigation. Elsewhere, Casey and his mom struggle with their new relationship; Severide visits someone from his past as a favor to Lt. Whaley; and Herrmann and Otis learn the hard truth about their silent partner in the bar.

Basic cable:

New episodes of:

The Rachel Zoe Project at 9 p.m. on Bravo

Haunted Collector at 9 p.m. on Syfy

Hoarding: Buried Alive at 9 p.m. on TLC

Toy Hunter at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Duck Dynasty at 10 p.m. on A&E

Restaurant Stakeout at 10 p.m. on Food Channel

The Americans at 10 p.m. on FX

House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV

Real World: Portland at 10 p.m. on MTV

Deep South Paranormal at 10 p.m. on Syfy

Psych at 10p.m. on USA

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Batman Begins on ABCFAM

The Devil’s Own on AMC

The Dead Pool on ENC

The Distinguished Gentleman on FLIX

Unstoppable on FX

Under the Same Moon on SUND

The Entertainer on TCM

The King’s Speech on TMC

The Perfect Storm on IFC

9 p.m.

Under Siege on ION

For Colored Girls on BET

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on FMC

Million Dollar Baby on MOMAX

Later tonight:

The Lucky One at 9:30 p.m. on HBO

Sudden Impact at 9:40 p.m. on ENC

The Sitter at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX

Term of Trial at 10 p.m. on TCM

High Crimes at 10:31 p.m. on AMC

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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