Memory Delta Wiki
This page details Olivia Benson in the primary universe; for the Olivia Benson in the mirror universe see Olivia Benson (mirror); for the Olivia Benson in the alternate reality created by Nero's temporal incursion see Olivia Benson (alternate reality); for the Olivia Benson in all other alternate universes see Olivia Benson (alternates).
For the alternate reality counterpart, see Olivia Benson (alternate).
For the alternate mirror universe counterpart, see Olivia Benson (AMU).
Olivia Benson
Character image.
Olivia Benson in 2394
Full name: Olivia Margaret Benson
Nickname(s): Liv
Species: Human
Gender: Female
Height: 5ft 7.75in (1.72m)
Weight: 145 lbs (65.8 kg)
Eye color: dark brown
Hair color: dark brown
Homeworld: Earth
Birthplace: Earth
Born: February 7th, 2338
Affiliation: Federation,
Starfleet Criminal Investigative Service,
Special Victims Unit
Mother: Serena Benson
Father: Joseph Hollister
Sibling(s): Simon Marsden
(paternal half-brother)
Marital Status: Single
Children: Noah Porter-Benson
(adoptive son)
Other relatives: Ty Marsden
Olivia Marsden
Occupation: Starfleet officer
SCIS officer
Serial number: SP-745-67-90-42
Assignment: Investigations Specialist,
USS Intrepid-A
Commanding officer, Special Victims Unit
Rank: Commander
(as Starfleet officer),
(as SCIS officer)
Insignia: Badge image. Rank insignia image.
Character image.
Olivia Benson in 2388

Olivia "Liv" Margaret Benson (born February 7, 2338) is a female Human who serves as a security officer in the Starfleet Criminal Investigative Service in the 24th century. Olivia is the commanding officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Prior to taking over SVU, Olivia worked as a SVU detective and was partnered with Elliot Stabler for over 7 years, then she was partnered with Typhuss James Halliwell after he returned from the Delta Quadrant in 2377.

After Elliot's resignation, Olivia partnered primarily with Nick Amaro before she became a Sergeant and took over the SVU unit from Captain Donald Cragen.

When she was a detective, her badge number was #4015. When she was a sergeant, her badge number was #01139 and as a lieutenant, she no longer has a badge number.

In 2392, Olivia was promoted to Captain by Deputy Chief William Dodds.


Olivia was born in 2338. She was the product of the rape of Serena Benson in the spring of 2338 by a food salesman named Joseph Hollister, who later committed suicide. At the time of the rape, Serena had been working in the cafeteria of Columbia University. Benson's mother, Serena, was an alcoholic who emotionally and physically abused Benson. Serena died from injuries sustained in a fall when she was drunk in 2367, which left Benson deeply saddened.

Benson has a half-brother, Simon Marsden. She didn't find out about her brother until they were both adults after she illegally ran her DNA through a kinship analysis. Simon was later accused of a series of break-ins and one rape, for which he was later cleared.

In 2388, Benson becomes the court-appointed custodial guardian of Noah Porter, an orphaned baby. The appointment is for a trial period of one year, with the option to apply for legal adoption at the end of that period; although the year is rocky due to Noah's health issues and the demands of her job, Benson formally adopts Noah a year later.


Early life

Olivia Benson was born on January 13th, 2338 on Earth to Serena Benson. She was the product of the 2338 rape of Serena Benson by a food salesman named Joseph Hollister. At the time of the rape, Serena had been working in the cafeteria of Columbia University.

Benson found out about the man who raped her mother and others. He knew about his daughter and kept track of her. He once tried to call her but got Serena instead. Benson was a graduate of Siena College.

Benson and Serena seemed to care about each other a great deal. Serena was worried about Benson working in the Special Victims Unit. Benson said her mother was a drunk. Benson became involved with a child who was neglected by her parents the way Benson felt neglected by her mother. Benson said she was in love with an older man and that she "couldn't have loved him more." Benson once told Casey Novak about an incident when she was 16. An older student of her mother asked her to marry him and when she told Serena that she was leaving, her mother who had been drinking flew into a rage and went after her with a broken bottle. Benson kicked her mother into a wall and ran to Simone Bryce for help. After arguing with ADA Sonya Paxton about alcoholism and seeing her drunk in court, she was moved to leave flowers at her mother's grave.

Olivia Benson has a half-brother, Simon Marsden. She didn't find out about her brother until they were both adults after she illegally ran her DNA through a kinship analysis. Serena died from injuries sustained in a fall when she was drunk in 2367 across from a bar, which left Olivia deeply saddened.

Starfleet career and SCIS career

Olivia is also a Starfleet officer and a SCIS officer.

Olivia 2360

Olivia Benson in 2360

In 2360, Olivia became Typhuss James Halliwell's partner while in the Starfleet Criminal Investigative Service. Olivia is a Detective in the Special Victims Unit.

In 2361, Olivia and Typhuss were chasing an Andorian pirate named Sha'Kev, after Sha'Kev killed a Starfleet Ensign named Masaro. Later Sha'Kev escaped to New York city with Olivia and Typhuss following him. Later Olivia and Typhuss captured Sha'Kev. Sha'Kev was placed in a Federation prison.

In 2362, Olivia and Typhuss were ordered to track down former Starfleet Lieutenant Milo Surgant and former Cardassian Glinn Betras. Olivia and Typhuss later found Milo Surgant and Betras at a spaceport on Andoria. Milo Surgant and Betras were able to escape the two SCIS officers when Orion pirate Siroc transported them to his Orion raider.

Olivia 2366

Olivia Benson in 2366

In 2366, Olivia and Typhuss were ordered to track down former Starfleet Lieutenant Milo Surgant and former Cardassian Glinn Betras again. This time they were able to arrest former Starfleet Lieutenant Milo Surgant and former Cardassian Glinn Betras. Orion pirate Siroc was unable to transport Milo Surgant and Betras to his raider because the USS Enterprise-D disabled their transporters.

Olivia Benson, 2377

Olivia Benson in 2377

In 2377, after Typhuss returned to Earth, he became Olivia's partner again in SVU. (Star Trek: Helena episode: "The Return Home")

In 2384, Olivia joined the USS Intrepid's crew as a Starfleet Criminal Investigative Service Investigations Specialist. Captain Cragen officially retired from the Special Victims Unit in 2388. He left to go on a cruise around the world with his current girlfriend, leaving Olivia in charge of the Special Victims Unit. As of January 2388 Olivia is the SCIS officer in charge of the SVU unit.

In 2389, Typhuss thought about resigning from SVU. Typhuss chose not to retire from SVU after his aunt Reba was attacked. (Star Trek: Kingston episode: "Resignation")

Later that year, after Reba was shot by an unknown shooter on Bajor, Olivia helped with the case along with Captain John Tyson and Admiral Kira. (Star Trek: Kingston episodes: "Pregnant", "Revenge")

Later that year, Olivia helped Admiral Kira and Dana Scully stop Piper Halliwell from killing Cole Turner, it was found out that Piper was under the control of a alien device. (Star Trek: Kingston episode: "Piper's Rampage")

Later that year, Olivia told Admiral Kira and Captain Tyson that Cole Turner was released from the New Zealand Penal Settlement on good behavior. Typhuss was mad about that after Olivia told him and Captain Tyson. (Star Trek: Kingston episode: "Released")

Olivia along with SVU works on a case to help Kate Murphy who is in a abusive relationship with Jack Williams, he beats her up every day. Jack says he is sorry every time and that he won't do it again. (Star Trek: Intrepid episode: "Lethal Consequences")

Later that year, Cole Turner was released from the New Zealand Penal Settlement on good behavior. Typhuss was mad about that after Olivia told him and Captain Tyson. (Star Trek: Kingston episode: "Released")

Later that year Cole wanted revenge on Typhuss because he ruined him and Cole want to ruin Starfleet by using a device to take control of the Enterprise's weapons and attack Bajor. He also told Typhuss he would kill his wife and kids. Cole tortured Typhuss with a Goa'uld torture stick then Cole went to rape Kira Nerys in Typhuss's bedroom. Captain John Martin and the SVU squad were able to free Typhuss. Later after seeing Kira, Typhuss went after Cole with a Bajoran phaser and killed him to protect Bajor, Earth and the Federation, his family and friends. (Star Trek: Intrepid episode: "Cole's Rampage")

Stargate Program

After stealing information on the Stargate Program in 2385, Olivia joins the program on orders from Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill and is in command of SG-5, an SG team.

Skills and abilities

Benson speaks some Spanish and French and is able to read the Miranda rights in three others.

Alternate reality

Olivia Benson AR

Olivia Benson from an alternate reality

In an alternate reality, Olivia Benson was a Detective in the Special Victims Unit and by 2371 Olivia and Typhuss became lovers. The Olivia from this reality seems to be much more emotional than her counterpart in our reality. Olivia and Typhuss kept their relationship secret from the other Detectives in the Special Victims Unit. The only two people who know about the relationship were Alexandra Cabot and Melinda Warner, two of Olivia's best friends.


Olivia Benson 2

Olivia Benson in 2388

Olivia has had atrocious luck when it has come to the area of dating and interpersonal relationships. She had a one night stand with Brian Cassidy, her co-worker. She ended it the next day because he wanted something more. One boyfriend, Andy Eckerson, seemed to have a death-wish. Another man she dated, reporter Nick Ganzner, was seeing her to get information about a serial rapist she was looking for. A third, ADA Jeffrey York, later turned out to be gay, and was murdered by his colleague, Andy Abbott. York had HIV at the time of his death, and she had to be tested for HIV and fortunately, the test came back negative . More recently, Olivia dated a newspaper editor, Kurt Moss, but this fell apart when a tabloid writer at Moss' paper outed Lincoln Havers, a high-profile professional quarterback who happened to be a suspect in a murder that Benson was investigating. Naturally, Havers' attorney accused SCIS of leaking Havers's sexuality to the press, and SCIS in turn tried to scapegoat Benson for it. It was ultimately proven that Havers's agent was the real leak. Benson decided to break up with Moss, who had asked her to move in with him. She also had a brief relationship with her former case worker, Dean Porter. She tricked him with a brief date and kiss for a case. The case ended in him lying to her and breaking her heart. His last words were: "Our feelings don't matter." He then left her in an empty interrogating room with tears in her eyes. Detective Benson begins to develop feelings for new Executive Assistant District Attorney David Haden, and also doesn't mind that he is a father. She and him kiss each other good-night. They stayed in a relationship until they broke up due to a conflict of interest.

Benson and Cassidy

Olivia Benson and Brian Cassidy

Olivia was in a relationship with old co-worker Brian Cassidy. They mutually ended their relationship and the break-up is amicable for Benson and Cassidy.

Relationship with Typhuss James Halliwell

"I'm your partner for better or worse."
— Olivia Benson to Typhuss James Halliwell, 2389

Benson's current partner is Typhuss James Halliwell. They have never been romantically involved. However in an alternate reality they were romantically involved by 2371. Their relationship is not without friction, as the two sometimes argue over the cases they work on; Benson is quicker to side with the victims while Halliwell is slower to assume that victims are telling the truth. There is also some sexual tension between them. Olivia has been asked by various criminals if she is attracted to, or has ever slept with Typhuss. The answer is always in the negative. Typhuss's wife, Kira, was worried that Typhuss prefered to spend most of his time with Olivia rather than with his family. They were deemed, "too close" when forced to undergo evaluations by Dr. Rebecca Hendrix. She recommended they stay together because together they were the best detectives in the unit. Olivia considers herself to be "best friends" with her partner Typhuss James Halliwell.

Olivia 2387

Olivia Benson in 2387

A heated conflict occured between the two when Olivia accused Typhuss of attacking Brigadier General Samantha Carter. Olivia later apologized to Typhuss after evidence was found, the attacker was a Changeling and their friendship was restored.

Relationship with Elliot Stabler

Benson's partner on the job is Elliot Stabler from 2371 to 2377 (it is considered against department policy for partners to enter into a romantic relationship in the SCIS). Their relationship is not without friction, as the two sometimes argue over the cases they work on; Benson is quicker to side with the victims while Stabler is slower to assume that victims are telling the truth.

Stabler's wife, Kathy said she worried that Elliot preferred to be with Olivia rather than with herself and the kids. Combined with his long hours on the job and away from home, Stabler's work at SVU placed considerable strain on their marriage, eventually culminating in their separation; they later reconciled before the divorce became final.

Olivia has been asked if she is attracted to, or has ever slept with Elliot. The answer is always in the negative. Benson tries to get dirty SCIS officer, Detective Quinn to turn on her male partner but ends up revealing her own feelings about her former partner: "You love him, don't you? You're forty years old, wondering if you'll ever have a family - or if riding around with him will be enough for the rest of your life. Did you really think he'd leave his wife and kids for you? You spent the last five years hoping he'd suddenly turn and realize you're the woman he can't live without."

The relationship between Olivia and Elliot was more like a brother/sister relationship.

Relationship with Alex Cabot

The first constant ADA for SVU was Alexandra Cabot. The two seem to be close, as evidenced by going out as friends to an ice rink and for drinks. They seem to argue a lot over cases and warrants, getting in each other's faces to prove their point.

After Cabot's supposed death, Olivia is shown to be distraught over losing her. She doesn't take well immediately to the next ADA (Casey Novak) either. However, Cabot was actually brought into Witness Protection Program. She demanded to see Olivia and Elliot before she left to assure them she was alive.

When she returns as ADA for SVU after her stint in WPP, she and Olivia do have a rocky relationship later;' Olivia threatens to put in a request for a new ADA after Alex chooses to drop a case because of the investigation surrounding her.

Relationship with Casey Novak

Casey and Olivia did not hit it off immediately. In fact, their relationship was initially quite adversarial. However the two women had become considerably closer.

Olivia confided in the latter about her teenage fling with her mother's college student. Casey admits that she was engaged to a schizoprehnic, Charlie, who beat her, went off his meds, and continued to do so for quite some time. She finally kicked him onto the street. Casey reveals that Charlie was found dead with nothing but her business card on him. She blames herself for kicking him out.

Personality and sexual assault

Benson is deeply sympathetic with victims of sex crimes and as a result, she is often quick to believe victims' stories. Her partner Typhuss James Halliwell was often more skeptical of victims' accounts, which often brought the two partners into conflict. Benson's ability to sympathize with victims is a tremendous asset, but there are times when it comes back to haunt her.

Benson Undercover

Detective Olivia Benson goes undercover in a prison

She went undercover in a women's prison to find a rapist, Lowell Harris and was almost raped herself until Detectives Odafin Tutuola and Typhuss James Halliwell, also undercover there as guards of the facility, managed to save her just moments before the man (a fellow guard) could violate her. Afterwards, Benson developed a severe case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but has been receiving counseling for the assault and has been seen dealing with it more constructively.

While speaking to a victim of a separate rape, the victim asked her if she was better having dealt with her rapist, and Benson told her that she was better, but that she wouldn't ever forget what happened.

LOSVUS14E24 13

William Lewis using a Ruger P90 to threaten Benson

Benson is kidnapped by serial rapist/murderer William Lewis.

LOSVUS15E01 04

William Lewis threatening Olivia with a Glock 17 pistol

Lewis makes her watch while he rapes and tortures the mother of his attorney and kills a SCIS officer who attempted to stop him. He then beats and tortures her, burning her with cigarettes and wire hangers, and holds her hostage for four days.

LOSVUS15E01 16

Olivia holds William Lewis at gunpoint

Just as he is about to rape her, she breaks free, handcuffs him, and holds him at gunpoint. When he taunts her, she loses control and beats him within an inch of his life with an iron rod. She is rescued by her fellow detectives moments later, and Cragen puts her on mandatory leave so she can recover.

She returns to work, which takes place two months later, but is still haunted by the experience. She begins seeing a therapist to cope with the trauma. It is later revealed that Lewis survived and is in prison awaiting trial.

Lewis fires his new attorney and chooses to represent himself. He calls Benson as a witness and accuses her of assaulting him because he rejected her sexual advances. She vehemently denies it, and lies under oath that he had broken free of his restraints and lunged at her. Lewis is found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting a SCIS officer, but the jury voices doubts about Benson's story and acquits him of attempted rape. Later Benson is weeping on the courthouse stairs and, four months later, Lewis being wheeled away on a stretcher.

Lewis uses the distraction caused by his (self-induced) cardiac incident to escape from prison. He then rapes a teenaged girl, kidnaps her younger sister and threatens to kill her unless Benson tells the truth about her testimony. Benson holds a press conference and admits that she lied on the witness stand.

LOSVUS15E20 02

William Lewis using a Smith & Wesson Model 64 to play Russian Roulette

When Lewis does not release the girl, Benson tracks him down and surrenders to him. With his hostage watching, Lewis at first attempts to rape Benson, but changes his mind when she refuses to show him fear; instead, he forces her to play Russian roulette with him. As a SCIS squad closes in, Lewis taunts her one last time before committing suicide right in front of her.

She is brought before a grand jury to explain her admission and Lewis' death. Her career is threatened until Declan Murphy tells the grand jury that he instructed Benson to lie in her press conference, thus clearing her of Lewis' death and possible perjury charges. Murphy then makes Benson his second-in-command.

She later identifies with a woman named Sarah Walsh who, like her, was sexually assaulted twice and helps both her and herself in dealing with these incidents.

While a dedicated officer, Benson is more likely to go to bat for women she deals with during cases than men, and has shown skepticism during cases where women are the offenders and men are the victim, or allows her sympathy of the victim to cloud her judgement and make her commit actions without thinking. This was exemplified when she interrogated a man until he confessed to a crime which he was later found to be innocent of and sending him to prison for life, which could have been avoided if she was thinking clearly enough to check on the evidence.


Olivia is often referred to as "Liv" by her squadmates instead of Olivia. Typhuss is the only one that calls her Olivia. Olivia used the undercover alias Rachel Martin to visit reporter Jackson Zane when he was imprisoned for writing an article about Michael Delpit's theft of several dozen vials of a virus. She also called herself Rachel while she was having dinner with Mike Jergens. She was trying to observe him enough to prove that he was a rapist.

Olivia used the alias Persephone James while investigating an environmental activist group undercover in Oregon for Starfleet Intelligence.

She used the alias Katrina Ray Lewis when she went undercover to help bust a corrections officer suspected of raping and killing inmates. Olivia poses in a bar as a woman named Donna. She once used the name Beth. She posed as a woman named Claudia needing young girls for escorting men.


Benson apartment

Olivia in apartment 4E

Olivia lives in apartment 4D, Olivia later moved to apartment 4E.

Officer-involved shootings

  • Roger Silver
  • Eric Plummer
  • Gordon Rickett (non-fatal)
  • Sergeant Tom Cole
  • Robert Paul Byers


  • Jeff York
  • Nick Ganzner
  • Andy Eckerson
  • Kurt Moss
  • Brian Cassidy
  • David Haden
  • Ed Tucker
  • Burton Lowe


  • Benson became a detective with SVU in May, 2364.
  • Benson's blood type is A positive.