SVU is an acronym for "Special Victims Unit," a term primarily associated with law enforcement agencies. It typically refers to a specialized division within a police department, tasked with investigating and having jurisdiction over crimes of a sexual nature or crimes involving vulnerable individuals such as children or the elderly.
The Special Victims Unit is dedicated to handling cases related to sexual assault, rape, child abuse, domestic violence, and any crime that involves victims who require special attention or protection due to their vulnerability. These units are often staffed with specially trained investigators and detectives who possess additional expertise in dealing with the psychological, emotional, and physical trauma endured by victims of such crimes.
SVUs aim to provide a compassionate and victim-centered approach to their investigations, focusing on supporting the survivors through the criminal justice process and ensuring that their rights are protected. These units work closely with other agencies and organizations, such as medical professionals, social workers, and victim advocates, to provide comprehensive support and resources for victims and their families.
The term SVU is also widely recognized due to its portrayal in popular culture, most notably as the title of a long-running American television series called "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," which follows the investigations and trials conducted by a fictional SVU division within the New York City Police Department.