Rape Dreams | Interpret the Meaning and Message

rape dreamsHow to Interpet Dreams about Rape

Some of the most powerful and traumatizing dreams involve rape. Females and males have rape dreams. The first possibilities for symbolism to consider revolve around non-sexual definitions of the word. Think of uses in everyday conversation when it means something other than physical rape, such as when one side dominates another in sports or video games. Rape can mean to exploit the natural resources of the planet. It’s an expression of helplessness and anger.

Rape means domination, exploitation, violation and humiliation. Dreams enact alternate definitions of the word rape, turning them into scenarios of sexual rape.

 

Symbolism of rape in a dream = coercion

Another way that dreams use rape is to express the feeling of being forced to do something you don’t want to do, or be someone you don’t want be. It’s a theme found frequently in the dreams of people who resist living up to cultural ideals and expectations of their gender. Some females resent having to wear make-up and heels and are discriminated against when they don’t. Some males don’t want to act tough and distant, or dominate, or spend hours in the gym buffing up. Cultural pressure to live up to gender ideals can be intense, and the consequences of defying it can be extreme. Even when a person tries to live up to gender ideals, it can still feel like being coerced or forced. It’s not necessarily “consensual.”

reddit dreams

Reddit Dreams, where I’m known as “RadOwl.”

A man I spoke with at Reddit Dreams asked why he has recurring dreams about being raped. It connects with being forced to hide his homosexuality. Instead, he tries to force himself to feel and act straight and be attracted to women. Rape sums up how he feels.

This use of the symbolism arises more often in dreams about being raped by a group of men. It’s a way of saying “men in general.” On the other hand, imagine the male whose father berates him to “be a man why don’t ya” and attacks him psychologically. This sort of situation is readily turned into dreams about being raped by a man and the dream character won’t necessarily look like the dreamer’s father, but something will symbolically connect them.

Gang rape in a dream can be an exaggerated way of expressing the idea of being ganged-up on. It can express the feeling of everything and everyone being out to get you or hurt you. It can express a dynamic about your inner life.

Dreams exaggerate to create symbolism and be memorable. Dreams amplify to express your feelings and bring forward what you might otherwise overlook or minimize. The dreaming mind does not care that rape is a delicate topic. It uses the most effective means to tell the story and accomplish the objectives that underlie it. Of course, it’s a different situation for people who have been raped, and a whole mess of personal associations come into play that their dreams can use to create symbolism, express emotions, and address dynamics.

 

Rape dream: a graphic representation of your inner life

Rape in a dream can have roots in your inner life. In a graphic way, it shows how you treat yourself. One part of yourself overpowers the others. Your ego is coercive, threatening, takes what it wants. If that’s how life is in your head, it’s likely to show outwardly. Some people are best described as rapists just based on their personality and character.

Rape in a dream can have sexual roots. People who have been raped are likely to dream about it. It seems cruel to bring up a traumatizing event like that, but it actually helps by creating a psychological cushion between the present moment in time and what happened in the past. Once the dream is over it’s in the past, and when something can be thought of as in the past it creates personal distance. The same sort of process happens with other traumas such as combat and abuse.

dream about rape

On the other hand, rape dreams can show that you’re still chained to the experience even though you have the potential to move on. For example, a woman dreams about finding her rapist working beneath a car. She coldly pulls out a gun and pumps rounds into him. The dream is an expression of her thoughts of revenge. She didn’t report the rape because her best friend’s brother did it, and it’s eating her up inside. Her thoughts of revenge rip open the scab and keep the wound fresh.

 

Rape in a dream: an exaggeration of how you feel

dream interpretation dictionary

Rape is one of the subject covered in my all-in-one reference source for dream interpretation.

Rape in dreams can be used to exaggerate a situation related to sexual tension or exploitation, such as when a person is used as a sexual plaything. Rape symbolizes exploitation, in this case.

A dream about rape might connect with a recent or ongoing situation that’s dangerous, or potentially so, sexually or otherwise. It’s the sort of comparison dreams are known to make because dangerous situations such as passing out at a party can lead to rape. In which case, dreaming about rape connects with putting yourself in danger.

A rape dream can come in response to feeling vulnerable, powerless or disrespected. For example, after being hit on at a gas station by a creepy guy, a woman dreams that night about being raped at that gas station by a similar guy. It’s an expression of feeling raped in the sense of having her dignity attacked, compounded by recognizing her vulnerability to men who are stronger than her.

Dreams can act as simulations, and a dream about rape can be a way of acting out an issue related to it. For example, you hear a graphic story about a friend who is raped then dream it happens to you. It’s a way of really understanding what that friend went through, or express fear of it happening to you. Or you have a rape fantasy and dream about rape. Something about the idea of domination and humiliation turns you on.

For example, a young man with a rape fantasy had two dreams that when looked at together present a choice. In one, he has normal sex with a girl he is attracted to, an imaginary character, and in the other he rapes a random girl. The dreams are showing him his choices. On the one hand, sex with someone he’s attracted to (normal sex) appeals to him but lacks the stimulation he feels at the thought of raping someone. The rape dream shows that the stimulation of rape comes at the expense any sort of intimacy. He can have one or the other but not both.

If you have found this post because you were raped, dream about it and want help, try dream rescripting, used for chronic nightmares and treatment of ptsd. Search online for general info, and use this link when you’re ready to get to work: Dream rescripting worksheet.

Also, read my thoughts about nightmares.

You deserve to have your life back. Your dreams are trying to help you do that, to heal.

I also suggest Peter LeVine’s book “Waking the Tiger.” Its insights and exercises can help you feel safe and in control of your body again.

Namaste.

 

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This post covers the meaning, interpretation and treatment of rape dreams.

RadOwl

I'm the author of "Dreams 1-2-3: Remember, Interpret, and Live Your Dreams," and "The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Sign and Meanings." At reddit.com I'm known as RadOwl. I began studying dreams in the early 1990s and delved into all major schools of thought, especially the writings of Carl Jung.

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26 Responses

  1. Varaidzo Sally Chitimira says:

    Yesterday I traveled quite tumultuously to an event and would have gone to a friend’s concert afterwards.

    Then my mom had a dream that I got raped at the concert then I came home and showered it off. What do you think this means

    • RadOwl says:

      The first possibility to consider is your mom worries about you and has that “mom sense” for when you could be putting yourself in jeopardy.

  2. Zara says:

    I have been having recurring dreams about two random men raping me. I don’t know what to do. Sometimes I have to walk home alone after school or in the dark and then left at home all alone. I always feel like these two men will just pop out of nowhere and rape me or force me to do something I don’t want. In one if my dreams they actually about killed me by hitting me with a crowbar. I am so scared and don’t know what to do.

    • RadOwl says:

      First, the dream is unlikely to be showing you a future happening, though dreams are known to foreshow possibilities. It’s always wise to remember a dream that impacts you and keep your eyes open. However, dreams are also known for rehearing threat simulations. You walk home alone and I bet the thought has crossed your mind, hey, what if someone jumps out and assaults me? So your dreams pick up on those thoughts and make it happen in a sense, so you will think through what to do in the unlikely event that the threat comes true.

      That means, think it through. Know what to do before it happens — if it happens. This applies also to possible threats such as a fire starts in your house or something like that.

      Something for you to consider is the dreams could be showing you how you feel about conforming to the expectations that males have of females. As a female you are expected to behave, dress and look certain ways to live up to the ideals set by society. There’s the expectation “that’s what men want so that’s what I have to do.” Maybe you feel deeply used and violated by those expectations. I’ve seen it previously in women’s rape dreams. Consider that possibility for the meaning of the dream.

      • Zara says:

        Thank you. . I never think about dressing nice though. . I honestly hate nice clothes. I always wear a T-Shirt with leggings or sweatpants or maybe jeans, but I’m not really known to dress nice. I know 6 people who like me but I never really know if it is how I dress or if it’s my humor or if they want me to dress nicer but that will never happen so people will have to deal with that. So your saying I shouldn’t change who I am, right?

        • RadOwl says:

          Appearance is part of the equation, but there are deeper issues to consider. I don’t know what you need to change about yourself, if anything. The real issue is, do you feel forced, compelled, or violated in some way? Rape in dreams is usually some sort of symbolism related to those ideas. Your job is to find out how the scenario of rape in your dream reflects what you feel and perceive.

  3. Terrifyingdream says:

    I had this dream last night, more like a nightmare, I couldn’t fall back asleep after, every time I closed my eyes the dream started again. I am in a room hiding under a bed asking if he was done yet, would he please just leave. I am put on the bed and raped. (In the dream I knew the person but it was no-one that I recognized). I see him walk down the steps and my boyfriend is laying on the couch. He then starts talking to some other unknown person stating he wishes he would have just walked in on me cheating on him. I ran down the steps to tell him I was raped and he doesn’t believe me.

    It hurt my chest in real life when I woke up, the feeling was very strange. Thoughts?

    • RadOwl says:

      Begin with the basic idea that you perceive that your boyfriend doesn’t believe you about something important and you feel violated because of it. I always look for a simple idea or premise in a dream and start the interpretation there. In your dream, you hide under the bed. Is there something about yourself you’re hiding? Does something in you feel vulnerable or violated? Notice that the rapist moves from the bedroom to where your boyfriend is. Now think of them as characters in a story and the action connects them together symbolically. My guess is, there’s something deep inside you that you need your boyfriend to see and recognize, but he won’t do it, and it makes you feel violated. Rape is a violation. Your boyfriend isn’t the ultimate source of the thing in you that makes you want to hide yourself — he’s not shown as the rapist in the dream — but in some way it appears that he doesn’t care enough to find out what’s really going on inside you and why you feel the way you do.

      I have to emphasize that this is how I see it from my viewpoint, judging only by how you describe the dream.

  4. Lerea says:

    I had a lucid dream yesterday where I ‘avoided’ attempted rape.

    The ‘dream’ starts with me walking with a group of girls I don’t even know. We stopped in front of a very small, secluded Japanese geisha house. The background of the dream was empty with only a light gray floor and a darkish gray wall that both don’t end. I looked inside the house to see a few people laying down on beige or bamboo mats(?). I turned behind me to my left to see a sign saying to wear little to no underwear when I go inside to lay down. I instantly didn’t like the idea come here. I turned to the group of girls to only find that they disappeared. An old, bald Japanese man peeked out from behind the entranceway. He asked me if I was going to go inside. I instantly said nevermind. He looked at me very angry as his pupils shrunk.”YOU CAN’T SAY NEVERMIND,” he said loudly. I stepped back a couple of feet when I saw his reaction. I said nevermind again without thinking which made him repeat his statement, but music started playing afterwards. It was suspenseful and chase-like. I knew I had to run, but I couldn’t turn around when I tried to. I felt like I lost control of the dream, so I decided to forced myself awake before anything could happen. Even when I woke up I heard the music for a few more seconds before I was fully awake.

    I think my dream was inspired by anime after thinking of ways interactions in life effect dreams. I felt like a anime girl in the situation but not as ingorant. The dream showed me the scary side I knew about but never ‘literally’ wanted from thoses anime.

    • RadOwl says:

      My suggestion is to think in terms of using your own power and insight. You sensed that the situation wasn’t right when you looked into the geisha house, and rather than be coerced, you asserted yourself. If the dream is a simulation based on the scenarios you’ve seen in anime, what did you learn about yourself through your actions and reactions? What I see is, you have strength to protect yourself and resist coercion.

  5. Jasmine says:

    I had a confusing dream of me halucinating because of the lack of sleep i had, seeing my boyfriend and bringing him to my house and we ended up having sex. The guy I had sex with ended up going to the bathroom and when he came back it wasn’t my boyfriend and I found out that I was drugged and basically raped by him.

    • RadOwl says:

      One way of looking at it is that lack of sleep is affecting your judgement and could potentially lead to a dangerous situation. Another way of looking at it is sometimes you feel like there’s another side to your boyfriend you don’t know. It could show that your perception of him changes depending on the circumstances. Do you find yourself looking at him sometimes and wondering who he really is and what he’s really about?

  6. Kiara Cox says:

    Hi i just woke up from a dream about being raped by three men i remember telling them to stop and i was tryna block my bedroom door but they were to stong to stop they grabbed a hold of me removed all my cloth and took turns raping me i remember fighting back and trying to break free i was also already pregnant in my dream as im also pregnant in real life i remember seeing my partner there and telling me its gonna be okay just relax what does this mean …

    • RadOwl says:

      I can’t tell you what it means, but I can offer a suggestion. Since you know you are pregnant in the dream and your partner is there, my guess is the rape symbolizes something related to the pregnancy. I’m male so I don’t know what it’s like to be pregnant, but I’ve been told that an issue for some pregnant women is the sense of loss of control of their body. If you view rape symbolically as loss of control of your body, and pregnancy as the result of sex, you have a basis for the symbolism of your dream. Again though, I can’t say for sure.

      In that light, look at your struggle to break free and your partner’s advice to relax, everything’s going to be OK. To me, that looks like it could show a struggle within you to be free of the pregnancy, and your partner’s advice is what you need to know to get through this difficult period.

      By the way, do you know that your baby shares your dreams? Don’t worry — the baby knows only peace and love so your dreams about struggle are not going to affect it negatively. But I tell you this to plant the idea that the changes you’re experiencing are worth it. Hang in there. You’re going to be all right.

  7. Emma - I'm completely terrified - says:

    okay this is probably a little crazy, my girlfriend and I keep having this reoccurring dream of me being raped by my ex-boyfriend and it’s kind of freaking me out I have probably had it for the last four five nights in a row. And I’m not entirely sure what to think of it.

    Basically what happens is she and I are on a date of some sort and out of nowhere we were somewhat ‘ kidnapped ‘ and were driven to this place after she is not out cold and I’m take into a separate room and shes thrown into a cellar of some sort. And I’m tied to this bed, I think I was blindfolded but not until after I saw the face of my ex-boyfriend and I watched him tear off my clothes, and then he forced himself onto me and i tried to scream but he forced his hand over my mouth so I looked away and immediately saw my girlfriend she was tied to a chair being forced to watch the entire thing.
    and then the entire thing flips to kind of happy i end up pregnant and my girlfriend and i keep it and name it angelica hope in orderto remind us of the hope throughout the dark times
    but the fact that it’s reoccurring is freaking me out I don’t know to think of it.

    • RadOwl says:

      Dreams tell stories using symbolism, so begin by understanding that rape in your dream is symbolism for something. For what? It’s defined by the story. In the end you end up pregnant and happy. You have a baby and name it (ANGEL-ica?). So view this dream-story in light of that fact.

      Now look at how the story opens. You’re on a date with your girlfriend and you’re kidnapped. Think of kidnapped in the sense of something is done involuntarily. That idea can be used by dreams widely. In your case, take the example of, you date a guy because you’re a girl and you think that’s what you’re supposed to do, but you know you’re really attracted to other females. You involuntarily dated males. That’s just an example.

      Now consider that the rape happens while your girlfriend watches. That can mean “she’s witness to something that harmed me or hurt me.” I’m picturing you telling her about what a jerk your ex was, assuming that’s the case. Just use it as an example. Imagine how telling her about something bad related to that relationship and what it did to you is like her being forced to watch something that hurt you. That’s what the dream could mean in that scene — something like that.

      But you gained something from the experience that’s positive and you can share it with your girlfriend. Somehow it’s related to keeping hope through the dark times. I can’t say for sure what it is, but hopefully my suggestions lead you onto the right path for understanding the dream.

      Recurring dreams are a great place to focus your interpretation efforts. They’re certainly meaningful. They can stem from recurring situations in your life, or they can be used as a repeating theme, like sequels to a movie. But in your case I think the reason could be that there’s an urgent message trying to get through to you from the dreams and that’s why they recur.

  8. Stella Lee says:

    I’m actually pretty young. I’m 13 currently and had this dream at 10 years old. I remember being in the bathroom at my Dad’s father’s house and he walked in, no pants or underwear and he was clearly aroused. I remember me being on the toilet seat and then he comes towards me and now this is all I remember since it happened over three years ago. Also, around the time I had the dream, I was visiting his house, but it wasn’t and irregular thing or new experience when I was going over there. I just recently told people about it because I’ve always felt like it was disgusting and my fault. I’ve had another dream about rape happening to me after this when I was 10, with my elementary school principal after I has been in trouble.

    • RadOwl says:

      Actions such as rape in a dream has to be viewed as symbolism, not as literal, so there’s no reason to be disgusted. The dream could show that your young mind is trying to understand adult themes. When I was ten I didn’t even know what “aroused” meant in the sexual sense. Since you were visiting your dad’s house at the time, perhaps the dream reflects a difficulty with handling him — men are different creatures than women. The dream with the principal could mean simply that you felt violated or punished.

  9. freaked out says:

    I took a nap at my university’s sleeping lounge today for 1 hour and a half. I regret it.

    I basically dreamed about being chased, by a woman around my age, black hair, white woman, thin but fast, wearing very little clothing in the WINTER, with just a t shirt and black leggings.
    I mean, I’m not any better, I was wearing nothing but a T-shirt. Anyway, I dreamed that she was chasing me for a hell of a long time, and we were coming from school so I missed my bus stop and stupidly tried to walk my way home… in nothing but a business shirt (long sleeved, buttoned up, long tails, for men, etc). It takes 1 full hour of bussing to go from my house to my university.
    It was night time, and we stopped for some food at a Chinese or Turkish place, I don’t remember, dingy and lowly lit place with one woman in it, and then when she FINALLY caught me as I was running across the street to the other side of the road, and then she raped me, with her fingers.

    Clearly, my subconscious isn’t very happy with who I befriend and where I take naps.

    If it helps, I have been friends with a girl this year that I feel uses me, she only asks for help with homework and editing essays and studying for exams. She is only stressed out when she’s with me and I have told her to her face that you are toxic girl, leave me alone
    Thankfully, we don’t hang out anymore
    I am a girl as well.
    If it helps, we are both African girls, so having a white woman rape me in my dream seems odd

    This is the second time I have dreamed about a white woman raping me, the first time being a shower stall, and after I resisted for a long time, I gave in. I hated it

    The funny thing is, I am a VERY passive person in real life (because I had a religious and conservative upbringning so I don’t make many choices in life for myself), and in dreams, I never take any action ever either.
    The only time I seemed to be an active particpant in my dreams ever were when I tried to run away from these two rape dreams. Now that I think about it, the woman fits the same description as the last rape dream. It’s the same woman raping me over and over again

    What does she want? If it helps, I’m a virgin who has never been in a relationship. God do I hate this. Thank you by the way.

    • RadOwl says:

      What a dream! It shows some powerful feelings are at the heart of it. Your association with the girl who used you for help with school is a big clue that the experience with her is part of the dream. She could represent the woman who rapes you — I see a secondary detail about being ill-prepared for the weather symbolizing being ill-prepared for school and how the experience with the girl could have impacted your preparation. It can be a visual metaphor for feeling exposed. But I think the symbolism could go deeper to express how you feel.

      Strong contrast in dreams is very telling of a strong personal dynamic at play in the dream. First, read this primer on use of comparison and contrast in dreams.

      You point out that the woman is white and you are black (or at least a shade of brown!). That contrast could be the dream’s way of saying that you see something in black n white, as either/or with no shades of grey. But we really have to look at the action of the dream. Rape could be a way of saying “I feel compromised personally.” I wonder if being a black girl in a white-dominated institution makes you feel compromised. You can’t really be yourself, or you feel an expectation to conform to that culture. Even in a “black” college you are still preparing to enter a workforce that’s mostly dominated by white culture.

      If the girl you helped in school is white, that fact could reinforce this idea. Look closely at why you helped her and if you felt obligated for some reason. Search your feelings. Do you feel compromised or taken advantage of? Do you feel like you have no choice?

      The fact that you dream recurrently about being raped by a woman shows that whatever situation is behind the dreams is ongoing. It’s not a one-time event.

      I hope my ideas help you understand the dream.

  10. Lola says:

    Please please please help me as soon as possible.
    I always thought I was raped because I had sexual thoughts as a young child (6 to 8) and violent sexual thoughts. I always hated human contact and dreaded when people touched me. Specially when they (or even myself) touch my belly. I still do. Recently, I started having a dream where my uncle would put me to bed, hike up my skirt and kiss my private parts and belly. It seems like a memory. I wonder: am I making this up? How do I know? I’m afraid I’m lying and just making things up but it seems so real. I dissociate a lot now that I’m a young woman as well.

    • RadOwl says:

      Lola, I was out of town and am just getting around to answering comments here, sorry if to make you wait. Dreams can help you uncover repressed memories, and they can invent scenarios to help you understand how you feel. Were you molested, or do you feel that way? I’m from the school that says you need to recover memories of molestation in a straightforward way. A dream can be the catalyst, the opener of the floodgate, but you have to take it from there. You already know the answer deep inside. No doubt there are reasons why you react so strongly to human contact. It’s possible that the source is something else than molestation and your dreams created the scenario with your uncle as a way of expressing how you feel. Before going to bed, ask your dreams to clarify. And make absolutely sure you’re ready to know the truth. Your dreaming mind might hold back if it thinks the info would cause you serious harm.

  11. ishita says:

    i afraid sometym from my dream its like be ghost or some timei feel in my surrounding last night my dream about some one raped me and the second day dream was some one molest me wht it mean i am soo tense

    • RadOwl says:

      First of all, it’s probably not a premonition. However, do consider the possibility that the dreams could be saying that you are vulnerable and should watch out for yourself better. I don’t know. It’s just a possibility.

      Otherwise, consider the symbolism of rape and molestation. It means “taken advantage of,” “overpowered,” “used,” “disrespected.” It means you feel unsafe. It could be a general feeling in you, or tied to a specific situation in your life. Ponder the dream. Ask yourself if you feel vulnerable. Ask if someone is taking advantage of you. The dreams are looking for you to respond. Acting in the face of fear is the definition of courage. Perhaps that’s the bottom line here. Can you respond to the dreams in a way that makes you feel safer?

As Dr. Frasier Crane says, I'm listening. Leave a comment.