Want To Know What It's Like To Write Rape On Television?

When Private Practice introduced a violent rape plot line, a heated debate ensued. But Law & Order: Special Victims Unit does that weekly. Please welcome Daniel Truly, who's happy to talk — in the comments! —about how they do it.

To kick it off, here's some questions that have already come up in previous threads:

  • To paraphrase commenter NGagnon, from the perspective of a victims' advocate: Since only 6% of rapists ever spend a day in jail, [and] SVU seems to have a much higher clearance rate," does this "set up false expectations for victims" in real life? And since 73 percent of sexual assaults are perpetrated by non-strangers, does that "set up the assumption that sexual assaults are accompanied by visible violence"? How do you deal with that on the show?
  • And on a lighter note, is it your job to come up with the legal-friendly alternate names for say, Facebook?

Commenters, take it away! Daniel is here to care, share and expand your knowledge.

Update: And that's all for today! Thanks for all the thoughtful participation, and especially to Dan for hanging out. Get to all of his answers fast here.