TL;DR: I can't decide whether or not to include the implication that a character was raped. On the one hand it is a tricky subject, on the other hand it could be a solid way to define a couple character points. - Hi there, I’m new… I need some advice that I’m not sure how to get anywhere else.As a little background: I’m writing a fan-comic for a slightly dated cartoon, I know it sounds lame, bear with me. The show is a justice-always-wins sci-fi comedy, but the theme is crime and punishment, and the show is about adults in the plolice/paramilitary. The comic itself is already at a solid R rating. I could link you to the comic, but I’m not sure if that’s allowed here? So far I have had writing help from both my brother and my friend, but their help has been all plot-based. I have a delicate question about character that I couldn’t figure out myself with just research. One of the two main characters of the comic is a criminal who regularly thwarted and humiliated a rival gang. She ends up captured and tortured by them as a “break the haughty” trope. I don’t know whether or not to imply they also raped her. It seems likely, as their plan was humiliation, revenge, and nothing more, but I’m not sure about it. Forgive me for maybe not making sense as I describe this, I’m actually not much of a writer, I’m an artist, that’s why I’ve needed so much help in the past, but I will try to be as clear as possible. On the one hand: I don't plan to address it outright, I will just imply that it happened. Does this make it pointless? I don't treat it like it wasn't a big deal; she will feel like a ruined person regardless and will need counseling, but do I have to address it on its own? This is fan work for a kid's show. The show implies and almost includes things like torture, war and brutal violence, but as a kid's show it manages to keep it humorous. This is not humorous. The comic already has a solid "R" rating, but does it simply not belong? I don't want it to seem like I'm punishing her for simply being a woman. The other main character experienced a traumatic event as well and is male, and rape can happen to men, but almost 100% of rape is perpetuated against women and I can't ignore that. People may not see the connection to the man's traumatic event. I also don't want to traumatize her just so she can be on equal emotional ground with the other main character; that seems cheap. I don't want to "trigger" any of my readers. I understand that rape is extremely common and extremely complicated and a sick disguising crime. I have never been close to rape, I'm not a counselor and nobody in my family has experienced sexual violence as far as I know. I am an avid feminist and research rape as a terrifying statistic, but I don't want to overstep my bounds. Plus -> It seems as though I'm implying it was her fault for carrying her head too high. Nothing justifies rape, but in the context of the story it might seem like she got herself into it? She does fall in love and have sex. I only plan on her trauma being manifest in the sense that she feels like a loser with nothing to give. She doesn't feel ruined sexually and she's not scared of sex;it was an isolated incident and was not perpetuated by someone who she knew personally. Is it inappropriate not to address it in regards to her romantic/sex life? On the other hand: I'm not sure just being tortured will be enough to put her in the state she will be in. That sounds like I'm saying that she needs to be raped to be broken and therefore change for the better, that's not what I mean, but she is tough and has experienced severe pain in the past. Rape might be a way to solidify the fact that she is traumatized to the audience. Rape is seriously traumatizing, the type of torture she endures alone might not be as terrible psychologically for her as it might be for another person. It would be something that would make her usually uncaring brother go and kill them. It’s more complicated than revenge, he doesn’t tell anyone and he’s not her savior - she will be angry and confused when she hears that they are dead, it’s not a relief for her, but the audience will know that he actually cares to some degree, which they don’t know currently. It might be a very convincing reason to stay out of crime from this point on. The whole incident was a result of power play between gangs, and before she was captured she was having a lot of fun with it. She was good at being a criminal. Maybe it would be a reminder of the depravity of that life. (Not that rape can't happen to anyone, but in regards to the torture and the events that brought her there. Does that mke sense?) Part of the point of the comic is to not gloss over things like this. I feel like I might be missing an opportunity for definition if I don't include it. An extra thought: When she is found, she was close to death. I wonder if it couldn't have simply been attempted rape, and that they do not actually succeed because she's an alien, and an ability she has could make her body a bit of an uninhabitable place, but it drains power from her which might be why she is close to death later. That sounds cheesy, but it's an idea. I have never written a rape survivor before. I have never written a traumatized character before, this is all very new to me, and I've gone back and forth about whether or not to include it for a long time now, so I'm finally deciding just to ask for advice. She is the heroine, and this doesn’t define her. She gains a strong sense of self, falls in love, finds a place for herself, she saves the day and at the end she is relatively well-adjusted and gets a new lease on life, but just because it’s not a major plot point doesn’t mean it won’t affect her. Really any advice or thoughts are appreciated. I'm sorry if this is inappropriate for the forum - I looked in the FAQ and rules and couldn't find anything about discussing sexual violence. Thanks for your time.