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TV cop Mariska Hargitay has been a crusader for victims of real-life sexual abuse, inspired by the horrific dramas of torture and torment played out on her show, Law & Order: SVU.

When she joined the show in 1999, she researched the role of Det. Olivia Benson by training to become a rape crisis counselor — and sources say she’s haunted by victims’ real-life stories.

Since then, the 55-year-old actress has met with dozens of women who have been through brutal cases of sexual assault, which drove her to launch the Joyful Heart Foundation for survivors in 2004.

“She’s called the mother of the #MeToo movement,” reveals an insider. “Talking to women about how they survived sexual assault has been a life-changer.

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