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A subtrope of Rape as Backstory reliant on the Inverse Fertility Law. Namely, a character is conceived through rape. When done well, it gives the Big Bad a pretty decent Freudian Excuse or The Hero a nice motivation. When done poorly, it often results in Wangst. Common in Fanfic, particularly among Mary Sue characters.

This trope is very much Truth in Television. A single occurrence of vaginal rape is (according to published scientific studies) almost 50% more likely to result in pregnancy than a single instance of consensual vaginal sex, at least in women between 16 and 40. This is mostly because many female rape victims aren't on the Pill, and rape rarely gives a victim--male or female--the opportunity to use or request barrier contraceptives, nor are rapists generally that considerate. There can also be overlap if the child is the result of a Bed Trick, also known as rape by fraud.

In fiction, children conceived by rape are sometimes considered to be "tainted", especially in Horror movies where they usually grow up to be either deformed Bastard Bastard killers or straight up monsters.

No Real Life Examples, Please

Examples of Child by Rape include:


Anime and Manga

  • In the backstory of Ooku: the Inner Chambers, we learn that Shogun Iemitsu idly raped a passing commoner girl one night to prove he could too lie with a woman. His actual preference for young males until his death by Red-Faced Pox a decade later left the resulting daughter as the only hope to maintain his bloodline, keep the house of Tokugawa in power, and more to the point avoid the warfare that would come with a Succession Crisis atop the plague. Iemitsu's death was hidden, and the daughter was imprisoned in Edo castle until she came of age and a male heir was sired upon her. Her attempt to escape led in turn to another example of this trope, as she was raped and gave birth to her own daughter, who died in infancy.
  • Sakuya Ookuchi aka the protagonist from Sensual Phrase. His mother was raped by an American man, the father of his rival Ralph.
  • In Sakura Gari, there's Masataka, the main character. His birth mother was raped by a bandit, her husband blamed her for it, and she came to despise him so much that she pretty much sold him to the Tagami family when he was a tiny kid. Masataka is very aware of all of this, and he has a breakdown when he explains it to Souma.
  • Hinted to be the case of Sana Kurata in the Kodomo no Omocha manga. Her mother Keiko was impregnated by her lover, a much older man, when she was a teenager.
  • In Blood Plus Diva's children since their mother, the Big Bad, rapes and then murders their "father" Riku, Kai and Saya's little brother.
  • Vampire Hunter D is the result of a cruel game Dracula played with a mortal woman: he would rape her, impregnate her, and kill the resulting child, promising she could keep the next one. After multiple cycles of this, Dracula kept that promise, and D was born.
  • In the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed and Al's friend Rosé is raped by military officers, becomes pregnant, and has a baby. And then Dante got to her...
  • Implied in regards to Yoshino and Kariya in a Bleach Filler arc. She's the only Bount who can actually reproduce, according to him... and then he uses her to create new Dolls without her consent and kills her immediately afterwards.
  • In Elfen Lied, the ultimate plan of the Big Bad Chief Kakuzawa is unveiled when he introduces Lucy to her own half-brother, a Male Diclonius, Primary like herself, the result of his rape of Lucy's mother, taken captive after Lucy herself was. He wishes them to mate. Lucy's reaction is not at all surprising.
  • Heavily implied to be Illsaide's origin in Vampire Game, unless the Lord of the Sea's daughter developed some serious Stockholm Syndrome in Jened's dungeon.
  • Hinako in Bitter Virgin has two from her step father. The first one was a still born, the second was given into adoption and taken away from her before she could see him.
  • GoLion has Prince Sincline, the son of Emperor Daibaazal and a late (and very beautiful) Altean woman who was either The Mistress or one of his many concubines.
  • In Gosick there's Victorique, whose father the Marquis forced her mother Cordelia to be his mistress specifically to have her give him a kid for his own nefarious purposes. Bad, BAD idea: [Cordelia still loved Victorique dearly and, when given the chance, became her Mama Bear.

Comic Book

  • Raven from Teen Titans was conceived when the demon Trigon tricked her mother into having sex with him in human form, thus is a child of rape by fraud.
  • Laurie/Wallflower from the New Mutants was conceived when her father used his pheromone powers (which Laurie would inherit) to seduce her mother.
    • Purple Man fell for a girl and used his powers to seduce and marry her. Purple Girl was their daughter.
  • In The Sandman, Rose Walker's mother was conceived when Desire raped her comatose mother, Unity Kincaid. This wasn't because of any sexual interest in Unity, but simply because Desire needed to have a child with her for a Xanatos Gambit it was trying to pull against its brother Dream. Unity remained in her coma throughout the duration of the pregnancy and birth, and for a long time afterward thought she had dreamed the entire thing.
  • In Green Arrow the villain Shado raped Oliver Queen after she shot him with an arrow and while he was delirious with fever from a medication, and reveals later that she had a son, Robert, as the result of the rape. Robert seems to be perfectly normal and not know the circumstances of his birth, but the Unfortunate Implications of the story come out when several later stories (especially those written by Judd Winick) treat the rape like Ollie consensually cheated on his longtime girlfriend and later (ex)wife Black Canary, which has lots of problems.
  • Damian Wayne was conceived when Talia al Ghul drugged Batman and raped him explicitly to conceive an heir for his greatest enemy, Ra's al Ghul. She didn't tell him about the baby's existence for ten years, after which she dumped the kid on Batman's lap. No wonder he and Damian have issues.
  • Subverted in Watchmen. After the photo shoot for the 1940s Minutemen, The Comedian attempts to rape Silk Spectre before being interrupted by Hooded Justice. They later have a consensual relationship resulting in a daughter, Laurie (aka Silk Spectre II).
  • Something similar to the Green Arrow example happens to Jack Knight when he is drugged and repeatedly raped by his enemy, The Mist, with her intention being to raise the resulting child to hate and ultimately kill Jack. Fortunately, by the last issue, it ends MUCH happier for both father and son.
  • Tom Strong was raped by Ingrid Weiss and fathered a son, Albrecht, whom she raised to be a Nazi like herself. Tom only learned all of this when Ingrid showed up with their fully indoctrinated Nazi son.
  • The title character of Nikolai Dante was conceived when Katarina was raped by Dmitri Romanov, and she almost killed him soon after birth. This rape is about the only thing that ever managed to really harm Katarina.


Fanfic


Film

  • Freddy Krueger's mother was a nun, raped by a hundred inmates of an insane asylum. This gave him the nickname "bastard son of 100 maniacs".
  • The deformed killer in Humongous is a result of this.
  • A girl is raped by Bigfoot in Night of the Demon (1980) and later gives birth to its offspring.
  • Plot point in Phenomena.
  • The mutants in the sequel to the remake of The Hills Have Eyes catch women for this very purpose.
  • Main character was conceived by this way in The Beast Within.
  • The hero in Grave Of The Vampire is an example.
  • In Dagon, everyone is a child of Dagon, whether the mother wants it or not.
  • In The Prey, the final girl is captured by the killer and the film ends with her giving birth to his child.
  • The title character of the Rika series is half-American, half-Japanese; her mother was raped by soldiers on leave from the Korean War.
  • Two of the cast of House of the Wolfman slowly realize that every invited member in the house are related to each other, as their mothers were "attacked" by the same assailant in the past, with them as the result. Except for Chapel twins, who were adopted.


Literature

  • In Dragonlance, Tanis Half-Elven's elven mother was raped by a human and gave birth to Tanis. Tanis was raised by his mother's people. Both the fact that he was the product of rape and that he is half human does not help him feel welcome.
    • For bonus points, he's told that his mother clung to life in the hopes that her unborn baby was sired by her dead husband, and upon giving birth and discovering otherwise...
  • In Deep Love after Reina is raped she gets pregnant and has a child whom she names Ayu.
  • In Le Morte Darthur, Sir Tor is the child of the rape of a cowherd's wife by a knight.
    • Arthur could be considered this as well, since he was conceived under false pretenses, his father (Uther) magically disguised as his mother's real husband (Gorlois), who was being killed by Uther's men at the time. Ygraine does marry Uther, and according to all sources that comment they were very happy, but she sure wasn't pleased when she worked out what had just happened.
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing, whose lame leg is a clue to figuring out who raped his mother.
  • In The King's Peace by Jo Walton, the protagonist falls victim to the first part of a Rape, Pillage and Burn raid, resulting in a son with an important Destiny. (It is explicitly acknowledged that the god responsible for this destiny is not very nice, and enjoys messing with people.)
  • Author V. C. Andrews tends to use this trope a lot, and often as backstory.
  • In the Night Huntress series, Cat's mother Justina was raped by a vampire, resulting in Cat's conception. Avenging her mother's rape and atoning for her own existence is Cat's primary motivation for killing all vampires in the first book. Later we learn that Cat's father mind raped Justina only after the physical seduction had been completed, violating her mind and causing her to believe she'd been physically raped as well. Your mileage may vary on whether that's better or worse.
  • In the Harry Potter series, Voldemort is conceived this way. Voldemort's mother, Merope, forced a guy she was infatuated with to marry her using a Love Potion. He has sex with her willingly enough, but the will itself is manufactured - and therein lies the problem. He left her and their unborn child when he was freed from the potion's effects, and it's implied that Voldemort's refusal to accept that his mother was a rapist contributes to his eventual villainy.
  • In Christopher Moore's Fool, Pocket was assumed to be the child of a nearby town's resident crazy lady, who claimed he was a prince before dropping him off at a convent and drowning herself. A witch later grants Pocket the ability to see what really happened: Nine months before he was born King Lear essentially forced his own brother to rape Pocket's mother.
  • A couple times in the Sword of Truth series. First we learn of Richard, whose father turns out to have been the Big Bad. The next book has Du Chaillu, who was kept as a slave and raped repeatedly, and has become pregnant. Richard convinces her not to abort the child.
  • This is Saavik's backstory in the novelization of Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan; she's one of several children produced by Romulans raping captured Vulcans. She mentions that she doesn't even know whether the rapist was her mother or her father.
    • This is also a backstory of Soleta, a character prominent in Star Trek novels. Her story is particularly tragic: her mother desperately wanted a child with her husband, but all of her pregnancies ended prematurely. Then she was raped by a rogue Romulan, became pregnant, and decided to have the child (as a gift of fate). And indeed, Soleta was the only child she managed to give birth to.
  • Clovis Holstein in the Warrior Trilogy of BattleTech novels learned early on in his life that he was the Child by Rape of Duke Aldo Le Strade. When Le Strade's actions lead directly to the near-annihilation of his entire town, Clovis demands of his allies that no one but he kills Le Strade.
  • In Stationery Voyagers, both Glario and Katrina can claim it was rape. Yehtzig snipers launched Eros gas canisters through the living room window at both of them when one went to visit another. But they aren't both shooting up bad guys because Katrina got pregnant. They're shooting up bad guys so they won't get killed with RPG launchers if they try to get married.
  • Starling from Farseer trilogy was raped by an Outislander invader, but aborted the child, which unfortunately left her infertile.
  • Tillu from Megan Lindholm's The Reindeer People was captured and abused by four men, after which she gave birth to Kerlew.
  • Fern from The Stone Dance of the Chameleon.
  • High Lord Elena in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Her father is the main character.
  • Need by Carrie Jones has a character outright using this phrase, though whether it's "really" rape is a matter of a brief debate. The woman consented...because she was under heavy threats to herself and her family. And then the disaster that this was supposed to avoid happened anyway. The child is Zara herself.
  • At least some of the half-human half-Fae characters in The Dresden Files are the children of rape. One of them was the product of a human woman raped by a troll. In one short story, we're introduced to a Grendelkin, who can only reproduce this way, with the offspring clawing its way out of the poor "mother".
  • Elena Bothari-Jessik from the Vorkosigan Saga only learned she was the product of a rape when she finally met her mother... who promptly shot her father.
  • The title character of Stephen King's Carrie may have been the result of marital rape, as revealed by her religious fanatic mother Margaret directly before her attempt to Off the Offspring. Her mother and father, being extremely religious, strongly disliked and were repulsed by sex; Margaret thought that she had "a cancer of the womanly parts" until a doctor told her she was pregnant.
  • Bruce Robertson, the brutal misanthropic policeman in the Irvine Welsh novel Filth (1998), is revealed to have been conceived after his mother is raped by "The Beast".
  • Quite common in the Malazan Book of the Fallen as rape can double as a form of greeting in some cases. One child, after being told he was a child of rape, at first misunderstood this to mean that was his father's name.
    • Perhaps the most disturbing of such cases are the Children of the Dead Seed. The mothers were willing, the fathers were already dead...
  • Ramsay Bolton from A Song of Ice and Fire, who grows up to become a definite Bastard Bastard.
  • In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie was conceived when her mother was raped by her schoolteacher. The mother arguably counted as an example herself, her father apparently being the plantation owner who used to own Nanny.
  • Ushahin Dreamspinner from The Sundering is the result of the rape of an Ellyl woman by a human man. He is eventually rejected by both peoples and beaten to within an inch of his life, after which he is adopted by the leader of the wolf-like Were.
  • Tsotha-lanti from Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Scarlet Citadel" is said to have been conceived when a dancing girl of Shadizar slept too near the pre-human ruins of Dagoth Hill and woke in the grip of a demon.
  • Several Catherine Anderson novels feature this trope, with even one of the heroines being the result of her mother's rape. Thankfully, the dark means of conception are never held against the children themselves.
  • Celie of The Color Purple is raped repeatedly by her stepfather and gives birth to two of his children, which the man then gives up for adoption. She has nothing but love for those children, though, and is eventually reunited with them.


Live-Action Television

  • Little House On the Prairie: The 1981 episode "Sylvia," where Albert's girlfriend (the 14-year-old title character) is impregnated by a masked rapist. (This is contrary to the vicious gossip Mrs. Olesen spreads about the girl, claiming that Albert had gotten her pregnant.) Later, as Caroline is counseling Albert on his declaration of love for Sylvia, she asks him what she might be thinking about becoming a mother and what she'll think about the child she is now forced to bear. The episode ends tragically, with Sylvia losing the baby in her final confrontation with the rapist; she suffers a critical injury after falling from a rickety ladder while trying to escape, causing her to miscarry, and she dies shortly afterward.
  • Detective Olivia Benson in Law and Order Special Victims Unit spent years thinking she was a child of rape, making rape cases a particularly sore point for her. Then she discovered that her (then-deceased) mother had lied about it to keep her from ever looking for her (also deceased) father.
  • Three examples from Eastenders: the character of Donna Ludlow, who turned out to be the daughter of Kathy Beale conceived when Kathy was raped at the age of 14; Little Mo Mitchell, who was raped in the Queen Vic, fell pregnant and decided to keep the child; and Zoe Slater is the result of Kat being raped by her uncle as a teenager.
  • Scorpius from Farscape.
  • Liam "Kincaid" (more accurately: Liam Beckett) from Earth: Final Conflict. The Kimera Ha'Gel, Last of His Kind, essentially goes on a spree to try and procreate. His "mates" are not able to withstand the experience. Ha'gel ends up overpowering Sandoval and Beckett to produce Liam, the hero of seasons 2-4. Liam becomes increasingly "alienated" from his Kimera side and doesn't seem to acknowledge Ha'Gel any more than he absolutely has to (to the point of considering Sandoval, the show's Magnificent Bastard to be his "real" father), and gets to tell Ha'gel off later.
  • A Lifetime Movie of the Week called Sin And Redemption where the main character was raped and became pregnant. Her Holier Than Thou father kicks her out of the house and she moves in with her sister. The woman later marries a man she meets at her job. Turns out he's an abusive Jerkass. Worse still, her oldest child's kidneys have failed and needs a transplant. Hubby won't get tested. Why? he was his wife's rapist and the father of the sick child.
  • A woman in the X Files episode Aubrey was raped by a serial killer, bore his child and put it up for adoption. Her grandchild ended up continuing her grandfather's work; to the letter.
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Birthright", the team suspect a serial's killer's son is carrying on his legacy...only to discover there's also a second son, whose mother was raped by the killer. This avoided the second part of this trope in that the child by rape while not a stellar human being (he's a bit of a bum) isn't evil because he's known for most of his life that his father was a bad man and loved his mother for caring for him despite it. The child by marriage however...
  • One example in Strong Medicine. A matching donor could not be found for a patient, until the patient's mother informs the clinic staff that the patient's father could be a match. The father was in prison for raping the mother.
  • On All My Children, Erica's daughter, Kendall, was conceived when one of Erica's father's Hollywood friends, a movie actor, raped her on her fourteenth birthday. Kendall was played by a very young Sarah Michelle Gellar and this role was especially notable for launching her career.
  • Chad Harris on Passions. Originally he knew his parents were from the town Harmony and eventually came to believe he was the son of wealthy white businessman Julian Crane and his black lounge singer-turned doctor Eve after he fathered a child with Eve's daughter Whitney. Later he turned out to have not committed incest with Whitney and that he was actually the son of Eve's deranged adopted sister Liz who was raped by Julian's father Alistair. Then we find out he really did have gay incest with Vincent, who turns out to be the actual son of Julian and Eve (thus Chad's half-nephew/cousin and Whitney's half brother. Vincent is also a cross-dressing intersex serial killer (no seriously this is all true) who has violently raped or tricked various of his relatives into sex including his uncle Chad, his sister Fancy and the topper is he becomes pregnant with his father Julian's baby. Yeah.
  • Dr. Christian Troy on Nip/Tuck. His mother was raped as a teenager and he was given up for adoption. His adoptive father is a pedophile who repeatedly molests Christian. Later Christian is sexually assaulted by a bisexual serial rapist. When he meets his mother after many years, she refuses to see him again because he so closely physically resembles his biological father - her rapist.
  • Home and Away has a few examples, most notably Charlie's daughter Ruby (who was raised as Charlie's sister until she was 16), Ailsa's daughter Shauna (conceived when Ailsa was in prison and was raped by a guard), and Tasha's daughter Ella (from when she was drugged and raped by a member of the cult she'd joined).
  • In Neighbours, Declan Napier and Julie Robinson-Martin were both the result of rape. Izzy invoked this when she told Karl that the child he'd believed was his was really Gus's. He found out she was lying less than a day later.
  • One episode of Maury featured a woman who was convinced that her son was the product of a rape, since she'd been raped by a friend around the same time she'd had sex with her husband. As such she neglected the child in favor of her other children, and her husband, who was disturbed by how she was acting and had decided he'd love his son even if he wasn't the biological father, so he dragged her in to get a DNA test to settle the matter once and for all. It turns out the boy was her husband's son.


Mythology


Tabletop Games

  • In Dungeons and Dragons, most half-orcs were implied to be the result of male orcs raping human women after raiding or conquering a human population.
    • After half-orcs were left out of the original PHB for 4E because of the Unfortunate Implications of this origin, this trope was averted in the PHB 2, which re-introduced the half-orcs to the game and presented a number of non-rape origins for half-orcs in line with the primal power source introduced in the book.
    • Some half-elves get born this way as well, particularly in settings where humans and elves have gone to war against each other or are otherwise on hostile terms.
    • In GURPS Fantasy Folk, it's noted that when it comes to half-orcs, "Contrary to human propaganda, the unfortunate mother is as likely to be Orcish as human."
  • Also in the 2nd edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, the Monstrous Manual implies that minotaurs breed by raping human females.
  • The Warcraft Expanded Universe implies that some half-orcs in this universe were conceived this way as well, and that the rapist could be of either gender/race.


Video Games

  • In Suikoden II, Luca Blight's sister, Jillia, was the product of his mother being raped in front of him. This consequently sent Luca on his spiral into ax craziness.
  • Ayane from Dead or Alive, whose biological father, Raidou (the Big Bad of the first game), raped the lover of his brother Shiden.
  • In Dragon Age Origins, an Elven mage turned the humans in the area into werewolves after a group of them gang-raped his daughter, after which she committed suicide when she discovered she was pregnant. (Oh, and they also murdered the mage's son.)
    • Alistair is stated to be such by his half-sister. The truth is a bit more complex and only covered in the tie-in novels: Alistair is the offspring of an affair between King Maric and an elven Grey Warden mage named Fiona. Since neither elves, mages, or Wardens are well-liked in Ferelden, and Alistair might be a threat to his half-brother Cailan's rule, covering up the truth of his heritage became very important.
  • F.E.A.R. 2, as Alma becomes pregnant by raping Backet while he's strapped into a machine. And then there's Alma's other sons, as she was impregnated while in a medically-induced coma, only waking up when she was in labor.
  • Garona Halforcen was retconned into this (along with being a half-orc-half-draenei) in the Warcraft universe. There was always some implication of this with her being half-orc in the first place, as mentioned higher up on the page, but it was only made explicit later.
  • Rayne (the title character of the Blood Rayne games) spends the first game taking down bad guys for the Brimstone Society while waiting for information about the powerful vampire Kagan. She wants to punish him for the heinous crime he committed against her. His crime? CAUSING HER TO EXIST.
  • Possibly Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII; it's implied that Hojo raped Lucrecia. Disproved later: Lucrecia's relationship with Hojo was consensual, but she later feels incredibly guilty by how Sephiroth was used into experiments by the two of them from before he was born.
  • In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Lotus has twin daughters by rape. Finding this out serves to make the haughty Lotus a lot more sympathetic, but more importantly, it also serves to explain why Lotus is involved in this Nonary Game. Her daughters were a part of the last one.
  • In the Soul Series, Ivy is the result of this. Her father, Cervantes, raped a barmaid in order to insure that the evil blade has another host should he die, not knowing that it might find another host in Siegfried at first, resulting in Ivy having her cursed blood and adoptive parents.
  • Many fans of Mystery Case Files believe that Victor is this, being the result of his father's rape of the imprisoned nurse Rose. However, this has not been confirmed in any of the games to date.
  • In Arcanum of Steamworks and Magick Obscura, half-ogres (and, to a lesser degree nowadays, half-orcs) have the stigma of rape attached to their origins. The pregenerated half-orge Player Character implies he may be a result of this... But, consensual or not, the ogre was his mother. It later comes to light that a Gnomish Government Conspiracy had been 'mass-producing' half-ogres by mass abduction and rape of human women by ogres in specialised breeding facilities over several years, with the last victim apparently being Tarant's last queen.
  • In the backstory of Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Arvis' father Lord Viktor raped his wife's favorite handmaid while drunk and impregnated her. The child born from this was Arvis' half-brother and Morality Pet, Azelle.


Webcomics

  • Subverted in Order of the Stick, with Therkla, a half-orc (which are commonly a result of this). When another character points out that her parentage implies "a very ugly backstory", we cut to a flashback of her childhood and discover that instead of rape, her parents were Sickeningly Sweethearts (and her mother was the orc).
  • In Mob Ties, Mika conceived while in a coma after being raped by Big Bad Bengal. Her father tries to keep it a secret due to the fact that any reminder of the incident sends her into a horrible shock.
  • Alexi's son in Parallel Dementia. For once, though the mother actually cares for her child and doesn't harbor any bad feelings towards the child.
  • Becca McKay in Shadowgirls appears to believe that she was the product of a rape committed during her mother's amnesia, since her father has never come forward.
  • In the Ciem Webcomic Series, Candi's family history is filled with instances of this. Honeybee Samuel was a consummate rapist, and every descendant of his down to Dwayne Lloyd followed suit. Shalia is the result of Dwayne raping Marissa.
    • Ploribus/Darius is the result of Stan being half-cloned as a baby and the half-clone being inserted into one of Insila's eggs. The Phaelites have ethics debates for a reason.


Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, Unithien and her half-brother Ildor were both conceived this way when two powerful men raped their mother Varalia.
  • Fireflare is notable for being a well-adjusted child of rape. And now her wife has one on the way.
  • Inverted by Ask That Guy With The Glasses. A woman force-fed him viagra and made him have sex with her. After this he ran away because he was so scared of her batshittery. This comes out when the child grew up and asked why he left, resulting in him angrily telling the child he'll see them in hell.


Western Animation


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