The character, or someone close to the character, has been raped. And now it's time to settle the score. It might develop into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge or Axe Crazy vigilantism, but it might also take a far more sophisticated turn.
In a way, it is an inversion of Honor-Related Abuse, making sure that it is the attacker rather then the victim who is Defiled Forever. Rape and revenge accept the premise that rape constitutes permanent destruction, but adds the idea that it's not necessarily the victim who gets destroyed. She can avert being Defiled Forever by defiling her abuser back... or maybe it will turn into a black hole where everyone is damned.
Vengeance for violation is a subset of "Crime Pursued by Vengeance," one of the Thirty Six Dramatic Situations recognized by Georges Polti.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
As the main plot, Asagami Fujino takes violent revenge on the gang of hoodlums who've repeated raped her in the third movie of Kara no Kyoukai.
Suboshi tries to rape Miaka in Fushigi Yuugi because his Love Interest Yui was raped or so she thinks, and blames it on Miaka for not answering her calls for help and obsessing over Tamahome, whom Yui also liked. In actuality, the only reason Miaka didn't help Yui was because she couldn't hear Yui from outside of the book after changing out of her school uniform.
In Narutaru, after the infamous "test tube" incident at the hands of Aki Honda and her vicious Girl Posse, Lonely Rich Kid Hiroko Kaizuka gets her hands on one of the series Shadow Dragons and proceeds to take violent revenge upon the Girl Posse in what proves to be her Start of Darkness. The absolute worst death of the entire rampage is reserved for Aki Honda herself, who gets raped with the Shadow Dragon's clawed finger before being ripped in half.
Ghost Talkers Daydream: A cabbie named Shigeura picked up a female passenger after hours, and took her to Inbanuma, with the intent to rape her. But he couldn't go through with it, so he called his friend (and co-worker), Muraoka for advice about what to do with her. To his horror, Muraoka raped, beat, and eventually strangled her in the backseat of Shigeura's cab, despite his pleas to let the girl go. Which leads to Shigeura speeding off in a panick and committing suicide, later, at his home. When Misaki learns of this, she uses herself as bait to lure Muraoka back to Inbanuma, so their deceased spirits could exact karmic justice.
In The Authority, Apollo is subdued and then raped by a member of a government-sponsored superteam given the directive to neutralize The Authority. In a later confrontation, this same super is paralyzed from the waist down by Apollo and the last we see of him is a look of horror on his face as The Midnighter, Apollo's boyfriend, stands over him with an evil grin, holding a rusty, but operational jackhammer.
At the end of Chuck Austen's heinously bad Church of Humanity arc in Uncanny X-Men, we find that this entire arc was an elaborate revenge scheme headed up by the leader of the aforementioned church, who was previously a Catholic nun who'd been raped by a priest and wanted to destroy the Catholic Church in retaliation, annihilate mutantkind just because she hated them, and set herself up as a sort of messiah to prove her importance all in one fell swoop.
In the Batman comics, the vigilante Pagan got her start by extracting violent revenge on the men who raped her sister (who later committed suicide).
In Familiar47'sInvader Zim fan-series, this is part of his character Skullene's backstory: after failing to assassinate Tallest Red, she was sent to prison, where Admiral Rizz (one of the Tallest's lackeys) repeatedly raped her, for the fun of it. Eventually she had enough, broke free during one of Rizz's "visits", killed him, and then proceeded to kill everyone else who worked in the prison, because they all knew what Rizz was doing to her and did nothing to stop him.
The Brave One - after being brutalized by a gang of thugs (who also kill her boyfriend and steal her dog), the protagonist gradually turns vigilante.
In Kill Bill, one of the "sidequests" is to murder the guy who raped her while she was in a coma. The main storyline (and the backstory of one of the antagonists) also have heavy overtones of Rape And Revenge.
As does the movie and manga that it draws inspiration from, Lady Snowblood. The title character's mother was raped by four men who murdered her family, and she took revenge upon the first one before being caught by the police and thrown in prison. Upon the title character's birth, her mother charged her with the task of completing her vengeance by killing her other three tormentors.
This is also the trigger event of the Joshuu Sasori series, another influence on Kill Bill. Matsu is seduced by a detective, who persuades her to go undercover in a nightclub run by Yakuza he's targeting. Then he engineers a tip-off, resulting in Matsu being captured and gang-raped, purely so he can then catch them in the act of raping her. She tried to kill him and fails, leading to her imprisonment; her desire for revenge is what keeps her going.
The Exploitation FilmThriller: A Cruel Picture (aka They Call Her One-Eye) is about a young woman who is abducted, given heroin until she develops an addiction, and is forced to prostitute herself to some rather rough clients, getting her eye gouged out by her bastard of a pimp when she refuses one of them. She escapes her captors with the help of another prostitute, learns how to fire a gun, drive a car, and perform martial arts, allowing her to ultimately take revenge against her tormentors.
Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left is often compared to I Spit on Your Grave, as it is thematically similar. Although in this case, two girls are raped and murdered, and it's the parents of one of the girls who take vengeance. The Remake is slightly different.
Remarkably enough, Last House on the Left is an Americanized, contemporary version of Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring (1960), which has the story in a medieval setting.
Ms 45: "A shy and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York after dark and randomly kills men with a .45 caliber gun." - IMDB plot summary.
The Dirty Harry movie Sudden Impact has Harry investigating a series of murders by a woman out for revenge against her rapists.
In Gran Torino, the main character makes friends with a girl, who is later raped by gang members. He gets revenge on them by sending them to jail at the cost of his own life.
The fantasy movie Red Sonja has this as the basic premise... With the added fantasy element of a female deity manifesting to heal the character after the violation, thus making her ready to become a hero.
While not being the main plotline in the same way, this is also an important part of the backstory for the comicbook character that the movie is built on.
The title character of Hannie Caulder, who trained under a retired gunslinger to get revenge on three vicious outlaws who murdered her husband, one of whom raped her. After almost getting killed in taking down the first bandit due to hesitation, when she finds the second bandit, the one who raped her, she lays into him with utter rage, blasting him straight to hell.
Examples with male victims are Vulgar and Troma's Father's Day.
In Descent, the main character Maya is raped at the beginning of the movie. This act was done by someone who was initially a nice guy and potential love interest. Cue the inevitable downfall of everything that was right in her world. That is, UNTIL she invites her rapist back over to her place. He thinks he's coming for a good time, but she has other plans in mind: having him tied to a bed and raped by another man while she watches with utter hatred in her eyes.
In Braveheart, the husband of a woman raped by an English nobleman exercising Droit du Seigneur near the beginning of the film gets his chance at payback when the Scottish rebels take over the rapist's garrison. Not being, apparently, the overly subtle type, he unceremoniously smashes the guy's head in with a mace, and that's the last we hear about it.
It's not part of the main plot, but in Pulp Fiction, Marcellus Wallace promises full payback to Zed, the man who raped him:
"What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin' niggers, who'll go to work on homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass."
A female on female example of this is Five Across the Eyes, where a psychotic woman tortures five teenage girls through means that include sexually humiliating them, and violating them with objects like a screwdriver and a shotgun. They avenge themselves by stabbing her to death with a screwdriver and then setting her on fire.
This is a major theme in the 1987 Australian film Shame.
Sucker Punch: Baby Doll was raped by her step father before she seeks revenge on all the bad males who are implied to have raped at least some of the ladies in the asylum.
In Deliverance, Bobby is the first to agree to bury the dead rapist mainly for this reason.
In the 1984 film Savage Streets, Brenda, one of a group of high-school girls, goes vigilante after her mute sister Heather is raped by a vicious gang who also murder her best friend Francine.
In the finale of Cannibal Holocaust, after enduring all kinds of ugly treatment from the film crew, up to and including murder, the Yanomamo tribe finally have enough after the crew gang-rape one of their women. Their revenge on the crew is anything but pretty.
In Teeth, Dawn's Vagina Dentata really saves her a lot of time carrying out this trope. The ending also heavily implies she's taken up being a vigilante in search of more rapists to bite.
American Me: During a stint in Juvie, Santana is raped by another boy under threat of getting shivved. Afterwards, he immediately retaliates against his rapist and kills him with his own knife. This earns Santana notoriety, but also gets him convicted for murder and his sentence (initially for robbery) extended by years.
In Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Tess murders Alec, who deflowers her when she was young and later forces her to become his mistress to save her family from financial ruin. It's implied out of despair she becomes his mistress soon after the rape (because Victorian standards would stipulate she belongs to him) until she finds the courage to leave him. Then, Tess later becomes Alec's mistress a second time to save her family, then she fiercely murders him, not just to be with the husband who abandons her, but because Alec clearly wronged her.
In Dirty Weekend, the protagonist Bella is a shy little woman who have been stalked by a predator for a while and finally snaps. Her "revenge" is of the slippery slope kind, eventually including a man who merely politely flirted with her.
In the third book of the Twilight series Eclipse it's implied that this trope happened to Rosalie. It's not outright stated that she was raped, but at the very least she was severely beaten and later killed the guys who did it, which included her fiance.
The Illustrated Guide has this as Siobhan's backstory. She was kidnapped, raped, and turned into a vampire by a Turkish vampire building a harem for himself. After her transformation into a vampire was complete, she promptly killed him and the few harem women who tried to protect him.
In the first book of the Millennium Trilogy, one of the main plotlines is the female protagonist getting revenge on a man who had raped her. This remains one of the underlying themes in the whole trilogy, as it turns out that she had been abused during her childhood as well.
It should be noted, though, that the instance of her being raped by Bjurman is very different from ordinary examples of this trope, in that the rape and revenge acts more as an Establishing Character Moment for Lisbeth than a storyline in itself; it has no relation to the main plot, and serves little purpose beyond establishing her as a character that you really do not want to provoke, and showing how mentally resilient she is by her ability to completely move on from it once she's taken revenge. There is also a notable subversion of this trope in Harriet Vanger, who only acts in self-defense against her original rapist and flees from the second one rather than kill him, for which Lisbeth holds her in considerable contempt.
In the Book of Genesis, Dinah's brothers kill Shechem (and all the men in his village) after he "lay with her by force", or "subdued her", or "violated her." Their father was not impressed.
Yet another one: Absalom avenging the rape of his sister by his half-brother Amnon.
This was a recurring theme in the stories in Marion Zimmer Bradley's Sword and Sorceress anthologies. Bradley mentions in the introduction to one volume that she was starting to get tired of them, but still included some since they clearly spoke to her target audience.
Mercedes Lackey's Vows & Honor stories has Tarma becoming Swordsworn (a celibate warrior-priestess) to go after the bandits who murdered her entire clan, gang-raped her, and left her for dead. The first volume was published in Sword and Sorceress, and Lackey was afraid it would be rejected for following the theme, but she needn't have worried.
In David Eddings's Regina's Song, One girl of a pair of identical twins is raped and murdered, inspiring the other to hunt down and messily murder sexual predators in her search for the man responsible.
In Medalon, Jennifer Fallon's first book in the Demon Child trilogy, the female protagonist is repeatedly raped and forced to keep quiet about it for the sake of the man she cares about. Then of course, her rapist decides to threaten him instead. Really. Bad. Move. Two books later, she properly gets revenge for what he did to her. By that time she's a Physical God who became a Magnificent Bastard by taking down an entire religion, rearranging the political landscape of an entire continent, took another god to the cleaners, and still had time afterwards to set up an entirely new form of governance for her home country. Let's just say that the words Fate Worse than Death have seldom been more suitably applied by the time she's done with him.
In Rudyard Kipling's Epitaphs of the War: 1914-1918 this chilling epitaph is written:
RAPED AND REVENGED
One used and butchered me: another spied
Me broken — for which thing an hundred died.
So it was learned among the heathen hosts
How much a freeborn woman’s favour costs.
The climax of Is-a-Man by J.T. Edson has Annie Singing Bear taking revenge on four Mexicans who raped a member of her tribe. She kills three of them and the fourth, who shows cowardice rather than fighting her honourably, she castrates.
From the Saga of Hrolf Kraki: King Helgi of Denmark rapes Queen Oluf of Saxony. Many years later, Helgi falls in love with Yrsa — unbeknownst to him, his own daughter with Oluf. Queen Oluf willfully waits until Helgi has married and impregnated Yrsa before revealing the truth.
Happens several times in the Belisarius Series. Evil characters often rape women either on the spur of the moment or by making them brothel-slaves. Such people usually come to a bad end much to the readers satisfaction. Even the hitman Ajutasutra several times makes it clear what he thinks about pimps. In a rather "rigorous" manner...
In The Sevenwaters Trilogy the heroine is raped by bandits. Her six brothers are under an enchantment that allows them to wake up just one day out of the year. Unfortunately for the bandits this happens to be that one day...
In one of Bertram Fox's  BDSM stories, The Anniversary Treat, the vengeful lady contrives to have vaginal sex with her former rapist and make it purely painful and degrading for him. (Ligatures and a prostate vibrator are involved, inter alia.) And promises they'll do it lots more.
Lysa has sex with Petyr Baelish where he is not in a fit state to give consent and believes she is her sister Catelyn, on at least two occasions: once when Catelyn rejects him and he drinks until he passes out, and the other after his duel with Brandon Stark where he is injured and feverish. Lysa appears to think of it as having been consensual, but she's insane; Petyr appears to genuinely believe he had sex with Cat on at least one occasion. He later ends up killing Lysa, although his motivation is not made clear.
Oberyn Martell wanted nothing more than to kill Ser Gregor Clegane, the man who raped and murdered his sister Elia at the Sack of King's Landing. He eventually exacts his revenge years later, but at the cost of his own life.
A Place of Execution: An entire town conspire to arrange the trial and execution (for a faked murder) of the man who raped all their children.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit feature several cases, and have one episode entirely dedicated to a previous case - the previous victim is back, and now she's stalking her abuser.
In Veronica Mars, Veronica tries to avenge her own rape in season one and eventually sort of succeeds at the end of two. In season three she spends a good ten episodes trying to avenge Parker's rape.
Ziva of NCIS was once asked what she would do if she had been raped. Being Ziva, she calmly replied that she'd torture her rapist until he cried like a baby and then she'd castrate him.
One unsub in Criminal Minds snapped after seeing her rapists walk free and started committing murders.
"Revenge," one episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, done in both the original and the '80s reboot, had this as its setup. After a wife is raped, she identifies a man walking down the street as her rapist to her husband, who then goes out and kills him. Only moments later he realizes he ended up killing an innocent man.
The plot of season 5 of Dexter centers around Lumen enlisting Dexter to help off the people who raped and tortured her.
The very title of an episode of Hunter, which has McCall being raped and Hunter being shot (after he beats up the guy) by a foreign diplomat who is protected by immunity. An incensed Hunter follows the man back to his country, kills him and escapes.
The Judge, a 30-minute syndicated courtroom drama that aired in the late 1980s, had a case where the litigants — three college-aged students, a man and two women — were involved in a cycle of rape and revenge; all three claimed "he/she raped me over and over again." In the end, Judge Franklin (the show's main protagonist) was appalled and scolded them all ... and was so disgusted that he refused to end the proceeding with his standard "be good to each other" tagline. (The cases on The Judge were more or less loosely based on real cases.)
In one episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, a young woman and her boyfriend murder her entire family except her younger sister because her father repeatedly raped her for years while her mother and brothers let it happen. And he had started on her sister. Who was actually her daughter (fathered by her own father).
The Closer has a horrible subversion in the episode "Maternal Instincts". A teenage girl becomes pregnant after having consensual sex with her boyfriend, but because her father starts being mean to her and calling her a whore and saying that she's bringing shame on the whole family when he finds out, she tells him and her brother that it was rape. Her father wants them to go to the police, but the girl refuses (you know, since her boyfriend hasn't actually done anything wrong), which makes her brother so angry that kills the boyfriend and another boy who just happens to get in the way.
"The Time Meddler" has Edith get raped by Horny Vikings (offscreen). Her next actions are to lead the other villagers in fighting the Vikings in revenge for it.
"A Good Man Goes To War" has a kind of child-friendly version of this plot - Amy suffers not rape, but a very sexual act of violation when she is kidnapped, forced to give birth with no anaesthetic in front of a stranger to a child she didn't even know she was pregnant with, who is then kidnapped by switching it with an artificial human duplicate which is then killed in her arms (resulting in some Does This Remind You of Anything? imagery where Amy is in a nightgown, on her knees, sobbing uncontrollably and covered in white slime). Her friend the Doctor, her husband Rory and her daughter River all go absolutely ballistic avenging her, assembling a massive army and leading it into battle to get her back and kill the woman responsible.
The song "Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa" by De La Soul. Millie's father is raping/molesting her, but despite her pleas to her friends, no one believes her because her father is well-liked by the community. Millie gets her revenge by shooting him in cold blood...in the middle of a mall, while he's dressed up as Santa.
The song "Lord Have Mercy" by rapper Cage features this passage:
The preacher leaves the precinct, signed papers, then prayed soft
As he enters the church from the side front entrance taped off
He drops to his knees, reached to the ceiling for forgiveness
She pulls the trigger twice then screams "See if He forgives!"
"Under The Moon" by the Insane Clown Posse seems to deconstruct this trope, at least from the "man helping a woman get revenge" perspective. It tells the story of a seventeen-year-old outcast(played by Violent J) and his unnamed high school sweetheart, and how the girl brought out the best in him, but how their lives were shattered when somebody attempted to rape the girl. The girl pointed out her attacker to J, who in a rush of anger shot the man in the head with his father's gun. He is tried and found guilty of murder, but thinks that doing the time is worth it to "equal all [her] tears", and is comforted by the girl's last words to him: They would always be together because they're both under the moon. While in prison, however, he tries to contact the girl to no avail. He writes letters and doesn't get replies, and tries to call her only to find that she changed her number. He sits in prison, alone, afraid, and slowly going insane. As his sentence drags on, he grows more violent and savage, until he's finally chained to a wall and raving. In the last few lines of the song, he gives up on the girl and her declaration of love, then proceeds to laugh maniacally until the song ends.
I'm nothing but a maggot! I'm locked away and lost!
The world that doesn't want me, my dignity is tossed!
"Man Down" by Rihanna. Made especially evident in the video.
"No Man's Land" by Tanya Tucker tells the story of Molly Marlowe, a beautiful young rape victim who will have no man after what happened to her. She goes to school to become a nurse. The song closes with the rapist in prison, deathly ill and in pain, happy to see the nurse arrive—until he realizes exactly who she is.
The Dungeons & Dragons setting Scarred Lands takes this trope to cosmological levels when the goddess Tanil is raped by her own father, one of the titans. Who then proceeds to stalk his daughter-granddaughter Idra. This incident is one of the reasons why the gods decide to end the reign of the titans once and for all. Tanil gets to kill her dad, but the whole ordeal gives her a permanent depression and transforms her daughter from a Chaotic GoodEthical Slut to a Chaotic Neutral with heavy overtones of being cold and calculating. The fact that the Love Goddess has ceased to be Good is one of the many traits that define this post-apocalypse fantasy setting as a Crapsack World.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street initially wanted vengeance against Judge Turpin because after he transported him for life, the judge raped his wife, which drove her to poison herself. But as revealed at the very end of the play, and contrary to Mrs. Lovett's assertions on the matter, Lucy didn't die, but spent a good number of years going among mad people before becoming the Beggar Woman.
The player character in A Dance with Rogues can decide how she wants to react to being raped, from falling for her rapist all the way through all three stages of this trope.
In Mass Effect 2, Jack mentions she was once ambushed and gang-raped in a prison bathroom by a half-dozen prisoners and guards. She hunted them down and killed them all afterwards.
If you ask Sapphire to reveal her real name after joining the Thieves' Guild in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, she'll tell you about how as a young woman, a band of bandits murdered her family and abducted her, how they repeatedly beat and raped her, and how, after gaining the bandits' trust, she got her hands on a dagger one night and killed them all as they slept.
The City Elf origin in Dragon Age: Origins has the future Warden quite likely killing a corrupt nobleman and his friends after they carry out a mass kidnapping at a wedding and rape his/her cousin. In Dragon Age II, a Kirkwall guardsman is alleged to have raped an elf girl and is subsequently killed by her brothers, who then take refuge with the Qunari.
In Juniper's Knot, when the Fiend discovered the beaten and raped corpse of her friend, she brutalized every human in the town and then burned it to the ground.