Law & Order: SVU Episode Shines Spotlight on Transgender Assault

Law & Order SVU Transgender

Law & Order: SVU on Wednesday served up a timely tale with a tragic twist.

The hour began with a brutal assault on a transgender girl named Avery, but unlike most SVU cases, the assailant was never really a mystery; a 15-year-old named Darius admitted to accidentally pushing Avery off a park bridge after she identified him in a lineup.

Law & Order SVU TransgenderIn spite of the incident, during which she was called everything from a “slut” to a “he-she,” Avery forgave Darius midway through the episode, leaving most viewers to wonder what could possibly happen next to fill out the rest of the hour. Then it happened: Avery suddenly died in the hospital, shifting the charge from assault to murder.

Avery’s parents did everything in their power to have Darius tried as a minor, believing that Avery’s death should carry a message of love and forgiveness in its wake, but the new District Attorney wanted to make an example out of him. He argued that, because Darius chose to confront Avery and pick on her, it was also his choice to push her.

In the end, despite everyone’s best efforts, Avery was sentenced to three years in a juvenile detention center, then another four at Green Haven — you know, that delightful place where Yates and Rudnick were reunited just last week.

At least the hour provided a teaching moment for some; Rollins, whose newly revealed pregnancy went unfortunately unaddressed, gave Carisi a lesson in the difference between gender identity and sexuality. Class dismissed.

What’s your take on this week’s episode? Are you disappointed that Avery’s parents’ wishes were ignored, or do you agree that a precedent needed to be set? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.