Law & Order: Special Victims Unit


Series 11 - Episode 16 Witness



This episode is a brutal affair with descriptions of war crimes and sexual violence in the Congo that are testing even by SVU standards. But it’s also a strong story that knows how to wrong-foot us. A young woman claims to have been raped, but she’s so self-dramatising the detectives begin to wonder if she has made the whole thing up. Does she perhaps have Histrionic Personality Disorder? The witness who holds the key is a Congolese refugee movingly played by Saidah Arrika Ekulona.


Lainie McCallum claims to have been raped - although Stabler and Benson have little information to go on until she mentions the attack stopped when a woman pulled the man off her and punched him. The detectives track down the suspected assailant, but Lainie collapses during the subsequent trial and the only hope of securing a conviction is to persuade the eyewitness to speak out. However, she is reluctant to testify because she is an illegal immigrant who was the victim of war crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Cast & Crew

Det Elliot Stabler Christopher Meloni
Det Olivia Benson Mariska Hargitay
Capt Donald Cragen Dann Florek
Det John Munch Richard Belzer
Det Odafin `Fin' Tutuola Ice-T
Dr Melinda Warner Tamara Tunie
ADA Alexandra Cabot Stephanie March
Dr George Huang BD Wong
Lainie McCallum Diora Baird
Bryce Kelton Eric Lange
Nardalee Ulah Saidah Arrika Ekulona
Director David Platt
Executive Producer Anthony E Zuiker
Executive Producer Carol Mendelsohn
Executive Producer Ann Donahue
Executive Producer Jerry Bruckheimer
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