Rape is horrible. In Real Life
, rape victims often suffer a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder called Rape Trauma Syndrome, which has a broad range of symptoms and takes a heavy toll on those who suffer it, emotionally, mentally, and physically. And once sexually assaulted, a person is more likely to be assaulted again because of the changes in their behavior. In some of its worst cases, victims find themselves unable to function in society at all, becoming shut-ins or prone to flashbacks and anxiety attacks.
But not in fiction! In fiction, a victim of rape is likely to become more Bad Ass
than they could ever achieve if they hadn't been raped in the first place. Sometimes, the rape serves as a means of achieving Bad Ass
status because, after all, only the weak can't protect themselves from sexual assault. In these cases, it's usually multiple rapes (because one just wouldn't be enough to learn anything from), and the "training" phase usually ends when they kill or otherwise avenge themselves against their rapist.
Don't expect the Bad Ass Rape Victim
to have more than superficial flaws or difficulty regarding the experience; those difficulties that stem from having been sexually abused will never inconvenience anyone but their Love Interest
for very long (unless it finally drives them insane
) and mostly serve as a means to further a dramatic moment
or ensure that the character is both a sympathetic victim and a strong hero.
In its least thoughtful forms, there's the implicit message that the rape was really the best thing that ever happened to them: after all, the rape is the reason they're such a Bad Ass
now, so obviously it worked out for the best, right?
A subtrope of Rape as Backstory
, related to Rape as Drama
- Janissa of Conan, who was raped repeatedly by demons until she could learn to defend herself.
- Guts of Berserk, who was sold as a prostitute by Gambino for Donovan's use; he later gets revenge on one and kills the other in self-defense.
- Sakura Matou of Fate/stay night spends most of her life being a sex toy because it'll improve her magic circuits.
- Nakago of Fushigi Yuugi, whose powers manifested as a result of his mother's rape and was repeatedly raped by the Emperor of Kutou, uses this as his motivation to become a god.
- Likewise, Soi, who was a child prostitute.
- Red Sonja was approached by Scathach because she was raped, and thus became a Bad Ass swordswoman.
- Genkaku of Deadman Wonderland, who wouldn't be a Super Monk if he hadn't been raped as a teenager.
- Ryuuko of Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, who after being raped repeatedly ends up the poster girl for Axe Crazy at fifteen, and kills her rapists.
- Ten'i of Ikki Tousen kills her sexually-abusive father and is acquitted, only to be raped again later by school bullies.
- Sadako of The Ring, who only began to use her telepathic abilities as a weapon after being sexually assaulted.
- Melinda in Speak who fights back against her rapist Andy after he attempts to rape her a second time. In the movie she blinds him.