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Rape Leads to Insanity

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Scar: You have no idea what the soldiers have done to the people of Liore.
Edward: Like what? What they do to [her]?
Scar: A group of them carried her to their base. Whatever they did to her there was traumatic enough that she couldn't speak when she returned.

Rape can be a profoundly horrifying experience; affecting the victim, potential victim, and witnesses. Effects on mental health can trigger or exacerbate disorders like depression and/or Sanity Slippage. The event can be traumatic enough that the person never recovers. This is typically used as a Sub-Trope of Rape as Drama or Rape as Backstory, to justify a character's attitudes/behaviours. Fridge Horror and Does This Remind You of Anything? can come into play here if a situation features a character getting approached/handled in a rough manner in a way that sets them off or makes them feel like they have been violated when they may not have been. Some characters will deliberately act violent to someone as a way to deliberately trigger them in a mind-game situation.

This reaction can be Truth in Television, but not one of the Omnipresent Tropes. No two people react to a traumatic experience in exactly the same way, even when exposed to the same trauma, and there is no "right way" to cope. Professional counseling is advised regardless of how well they react to the initial trauma, because the right therapist can prevent lingering issues from festering and developing into a mental health issue.

This trope can also result from Gaslighting the victim — that is, making them question their own recollection of the assault. If enough people question whether or not they consented, or even if there was a rape at all, this can kickstart the issues mentioned above.

See also Being Tortured Makes You Evil, Shell-Shocked Veteran (for "Combat Leads to Insanity"), the entirety of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes index, and Hates Being Touched (one of several common behavioural adaptations to sexual abuse).

Note: Because of the sensitive subject, don't opine on how accurate the fictional portrayal is. Also, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Age of Bronze: Cassandra and her brother Helenus are molested as children by a pedophile in the temple of Apollo, who sneers that no one would believe them if they spoke of what happened. Which Cassandra took to heart, believing that they really had been raped by a god who cursed them with never being believed for refusing his advances, and as a result the Cassandra Truth takes on a very ugly twist.
  • Doom Patrol's Crazy Jane developed her multiple personalities after being raped by her father as a child. She did live normally for a while, but another sexual assault broke her mind for good.

    Fan Fiction 
  • The CSI fanfic "Face the Music" by Elm22. Granted, part of Grissom's mental affliction was the torture that went with the rape, but the rape still played a big part in the problems he struggled with.
  • Light in the Death Note fanfic "Broken".
  • Maka and admittedly Soul in the Soul Eater fanfiction "Scars and Stitches".
  • Gamzee in Hivefled, sort of. There are definitely other factors involved (such as the non-sexual torture that accompanied it, building up an immunity to sopor slime, and highbloods tending to be a little 'off' anyway), but the rape really isn't helping things.
  • Averted in Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act III. Aside from having to be healed after taking a paralyzing hit to the spine, Tsukune walks away from getting raped by a ghoul-infected Kokoa none the worse for the wear.
  • This played with in Gensokyo 20XX, with Ran and Yukari at different points. According to Word of God, this would be a tad downplayed, as Yukari's experiences did have an effect on psyche, as some of her then mental illness did point to that. This was later elaborated on in the Gensokyo Diaries, when she placed in an asylum so she could learn how to readjust and get counseling for her trauma or, as she calls it, "mental difficulties". On the note of the Ran, this subverted initially in that she was almost raped but apparently played straight after she was raped which leave her cataleptic. Later on, played straight, it becomes apparent she is suffering from a form of RTS
  • Some fan written sequels for the Hetalia: Axis Powers fancomic called the "Financial Crisis Gang-Rape" will explore this, either with the victim (America) turning into an extreme Stepford Smiler, or just becoming flat out Ax-Crazy and taking bloody, violent revenge on his assailants.
  • The first part of the Ipseity series has Bucky sexually abused by his captors, which leads to him developing DID, along with a few other mental disorders among the other personalities.
  • This happens with Ryuuko in Concerning a Drifter, as her experiences traumatized her, leaving her with PTSD, Repressed Memories, Trauma-Induced Amnesia, and depression. Unfortunately, in part due to trauma being so great, she, at one point, attempts to kill herself, which leads to her being put in a mental home, where she stays. Later, Satsuki, reflecting on her own experiences, wonders as to how she didn't end up in a mental home.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • An American Haunting claims that the Bell Witch ghost was caused by John Bell molesting his daughter Betsy.
  • Centurion: Being raped was one of the many things that turned Etain into the sadistic Roman-hating Blood Knight she is. The others — watching her mother and sisters being raped and murdered, and having her tongue cut out.
  • Cherry Falls: Although she was always 'weird', Loralee is suggested to have gone from being a relatively nice, sweet girl to an abusive monster who repeatedly beat and terrorized her son while chaining him up in his bedroom after being gang-raped. He says that it was even worse because Loralee had a genuine crush on Marken, who is heavily implied to be Leonard's father and the one who impregnated her.
  • Subverted in The General's Daughter. It turns out that it wasn't her brutal gang rape during military school that lead to the late Elisabeth Campbell's Sanity Slippage. The betrayal of her General father, who refused to investigate the crime further because he thought they wouldn't be able to apprehend the suspects and because he allowed himself to be bought out by his own superiors, was the event that broke her mind and sent her into a downward spiral.
  • Ghost Ship: Katie's body is found hanged in her quarters. If her killers had time to drag her back to her quarters and string her up, what else did they have time to do? Why else would they go to the trouble of taking her all the way back to her room if they were openly slitting everyone else's throats in the middle of the hallway? Chances are, being hanged was just the end of what they did to her...
    • Original script / First Draft confirms this. To make it worse, everything happened in front of her father. No wonder she looks like she’s been through hell and utterly distraught and broken when we see her ghost appear before Epps. Generally, people's ghosts hang around the place they died because they have unfinished business or never received closure.
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring: Griet is nearly raped by Van Ruijven and when he leaves her she is shown clenching on to her clothes he tore open looking lost and terrified beyond belief. Afterwards, she's noticeably more quiet than usual.
  • Hooded Angels: After being gang-raped by Confederate militia during the Civil War, Ellie becomes a Psycho Lesbian Psycho Knife Nut who is easily the most bloodthirsty member of the gang, and who takes a special pleasure in killing men slowly with her blades.
  • I Spit on Your Grave: After Jennifer is brutally gang raped, it causes her to lose it and get revenge on her attackers by horrifically torturing them to death.
  • Kiss the Girls features as its main villain a Serial Rapist known as "Casanova", who kidnaps numerous women to form a captive harem so he can break their minds down through endless torture and rape.
  • Last Night in Soho: Sandie was raped by multiple men over a long period of time after being sex trafficked by her pimp Jack. She then murdered him (after he tried to either rape and/or kill her), and then continued prostituting herself and murdering her clients.
  • Ms. 45: After being raped twice in one day, Thana goes off the deep end and starts killing any man she considers sexually aggressive towards her, and finally just any man.
  • In A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, it's revealed Freddy Krueger is a Child by Rape (his mother was raped repeatedly by inmates after being accidentally locked in a tower. When they found her, she was barely alive, and she committed suicide as a result of Freddy later getting out of prison and the reminder of the rape).
  • On the Count of Three: Deconstructed. Kevin was already suffering from mental illness as a kid due to being in foster care. He entered therapy and was raped by Brenner, who is heavily implied to use his practice helping underprivileged kids simply as a front for abusing them. However, as a result, Kevin is much more violent and unstable due to untreated PTSD.
  • In La piel que habito, Norma's (near) rape left her in a traumatic state where she wouldn't even recognize her father anymore and which ultimately made her commit suicide.
  • In the movie Precious and the book Push it was based on, the titular Precious is sexually abused by her father and is implied to have had the same thing happen to her by her mother, who also piles emotional and physical abuse on her. Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily life by escaping into daydreams. In her mind, she has created an alternate world where she is loved and appreciated.
  • Promising Young Woman: After being gang-raped in college, Nina committed suicide. Her best friend Cassie also suffers serious Sanity Slippage as a result of Nina's own assault and death.
  • Red Eye: Lisa was hinted to have been raped in the past and attacked with a knife. Jackson accosts her in an airplane bathroom, presumably to trigger her. These occurrences made her firm in the belief that she would never be attacked that way again and stabs him in the neck with a pen she had stolen.
  • Sudden Impact: The sister of the Anti Heroine becomes catatonic after the two of them are gang-raped.
  • A variant in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Judge Turpin drugged Barker's wife and raped her. Afterwards, she Attempted Suicide, which likely gave her physical brain-damage and led to her becoming a crazy derelict. The insanity is still causally connected to the rape, but with an extra step in between.
  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me: Her past rape was heavily implied in Twin Peaks, but the movie confirms that Laura was raped for years by her father Leland, while — sort of — posessed by BOB. While she suffers from severe Sanity Slippage, it's also confirmed that this was BOB's intention to drive her to madness through this. Played with, though, in that Laura ultimately maintains her inner goodness and refuses to let BOB or the Black Lodge get to her in her death.
  • In the classic silent film The Wind (1928), Lillian Gish's character, who is already being driven around the bend by the neverending titular wind, finally cracks completely when the bad guy rapes her.
  • The Witch Who Came from the Sea: Molly's screwed-up sexuality and descent into murderous insanity are the results of unresolved sexual trauma inflicted by her incestuously abusive father.
  • The World of Kanako:
    • The narrator finally snaps after being raped by the prostitution ring, and becomes violent himself.
    • This is left ambiguous with Kanako. While one of the child molesters claims that Akikazu had sex with his daughter years ago, after which she became the evil person she is, and he seems to be very capable of doing it, we never see if this is really true or not.

  • In the Three Days Grace music video "Never Too Late", a woman is almost driven to suicide (she works through her issues, though), and we learn that she became that way as a result of possible physical and sexual abuse at the hands of a man in a striped sweater.
  • The Eminem song "Insane" is about how Slim Shady became a Serial Killer, Serial Rapist and self mutilator as a result of being constantly raped by his stepfather and babysitter as a child. Horrifyingly, the second verse of the song is done from the perspective of a couple of bystanders chatting about how Shady's behaviour is gangsta and cool.


    Video Games 
  • It's strongly implied in Fire Emblem Fates, and especially in the Japanese version, that Niles was sexually abused during his days as a Street Urchin. The immensely sucky life he lived in his early years leads him to have... serious issues.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: Eddie Low was molested by his father and grows up to be a deranged serial killer into very evil and very twisted sexual acts.
  • The Whistleblower DLC for Outlast has Eddie Gluskin, also known as the Groom. Having been sexually abused by his uncle and father as a child, he became obsessed with sexuality and marriage, and was already a serial killer before coming to the asylum. The experiments conducted on him there only made him worse. When you finally meet him, he has already mutilated and killed dozens of other (male) inmates, turning them into his 'brides' — and he attempts to do the same to you. He fluctuates from using creepily loving terms ("Darling!") to crazily misogynistic ones ("Filthy sluts. You're like all the others.") to outright death threats ("You don't deserve my children. You don't even deserve to live."). Gluskin is quite an unusual example as he isn't obsessed with one individual in particular; anyone he sees as being a candidate for becoming his 'bride' can fall prey to his desire, usually fatally. Although it is possible that since Waylon has survived the longest and would have been his last victim, Gluskin was "attached" to him the most, especially since he held his hand before he died.
  • Angela Orosco from Silent Hill 2 was abused by her father and brother which resulted in her becoming a timid recluse with suicidal tendencies.
  • Soul Nomad & the World Eaters: Tricia's father Hawthorne is a serial child groomer and -killer who raises, abuses and then discards his 'daughters' when they turn seventeen. During the first playthrough, Shauna ends up dealing with the situation before it becomes an issue. Playing a New Game Plus through the Demon Path, the party hires Shauna early on and only encounters Tricia much later. While Shauna still kills Hawthorne, Tricia is completely mentally broken, with all the nasty implications intact, and eventually commits suicide.

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • There's a Running Gag of Peter being raped by such things like worms (in a cutaway), pie smoke/aroma, a breeding bull, a bug, etc. It's implied this, combined with the other crap he endures, is what led to his Extreme Omnisexual occasional Ax-Crazy persona who has committed almost every crime under the sun. He also uses Self-Harm on himself quite frequently. He's shown to be very traumatized after the rapes as well.
    • Meg spends her free time trying to get a boyfriend (this even includes her falling for the family dog Brian when he was nice to her) and in episodes like "Stew-Roids" and "Dial Meg For Murder" she appears to exhibit attraction toward Connie, a girl who constantly bullies her. Some episodes depict her being both emotionally fragile and disturbed, derived from a desperation for love and attention, and she self-harms herself as well. "Dial Meg For Murder" implied she'd been on both ends of multiple Prison Rape situations in a women's correctional institution. As a result she came back home as a coldhearted convict who terrorized everyone who ever made fun of her, including her dad, even though she had already been disturbed before the rape it definitely didn't do any favors for her mental health.
  • Moral Orel: the episode "Alone" reveals that Orel's teacher, Agnes Sculptham, was the last victim of Cecil Creepler, the town ice cream man who was in reality a Serial Rapist. As a radio report announces Creepler's death in prison, as well as documenting how Sculptham "heroically" dyed her hair black to "lure" him into her apartment, Agnes seems to go back and forth between horror and (disturbingly enough) longing for her rapist, showing how badly the experience has broken her mentally. Also, it's strongly implied that not only did Agnes get pregnant from the encounter, but she gave herself an abortion.
    • From the same episode, it's shown that Nurse Bendy being taken advantage of sexually by the older men in town has taken a toll on her psyche (with another episode hinting that she was impregnated by a much older man (Joe's father) when she was thirteen years old). Her apartment is decorated like a little girl's, and as soon as she steps into it, she literally plays house with a "hubby" bear and a "sonny" bear in order for her to feel some semblance of having a normal life. This makes the scene where she has a panic attack after her "hubby" bear falls onto her behind both Nightmare Fuel and a Tear Jerker.
  • The South Park episode "Insheeption" downplays this, as the "insanity" in question merely takes the form of hoarding (a habit that the show treats as a Compressed Vice). Mr. Mackey the guidance counselor turns out to have developed his hoarding problem after a childhood field trip to a forest preserve, where the Woodsy Owl mascot ("Give a hoot, don't pollute!") sexually assaulted him and the terrified kid promised not to litter. After Mackey repressed the memory, the trauma took the form of a compulsion to not throw anything away.