Ever have a nightmare about something you’re afraid of? Maybe you’ve experienced sleep paralysis, or night terrors. For me, it was being sexually assaulted by a stranger.
This is not a common topic, but it does occur in every culture and for every person. You may have never given this issue much thought or it could be something that haunts you daily. If any of the above applies to you, then this post might help you get answers to your questions.
Why Did I Dream About Being Sexually Assaulted
There are many reasons why you may have dreamed about being sexually assaulted. It’s likely that your dream was based on some real event or experience in your life, and it can be helpful to examine what happened before you went to sleep.
For example, if you were feeling anxious about something that happened during the day—perhaps a fight with a friend or boss, or an argument with your partner—your subconscious may have used this as the basis for your dream. You might want to look at how you’re feeling in general, and how these feelings might be reflected in your dreams.
Another possibility is that you were watching something that could have been triggering when you went to bed. For example, if there was a scene of sexual assault in a movie you saw earlier in the evening, it’s possible that this played into your dream later on.
While it’s not common to have dreams about being sexually assaulted, it is possible.
Sexual assault occurs when someone forces another person to engage in a sexual activity against their will. It can occur with or without physical contact.
Sometimes people have dreams about sexual assault because they feel like something has happened to them in real life, but they don’t remember it. This can happen if you’ve been drinking alcohol or taking drugs that are known to cause blackouts, or if you have a mental health condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can cause you to forget important parts of your life.
What Does A Dream About Being Sexually Assaulted Mean
Lack of Empathy
Someone who rapes another person is thinking only of their own needs and desires in the moment. They do not have empathy for the person they raped, in that they do not see the rape victim as a separate person with needs and desires of their own that matter.
https://cfa7afeac24cfebf1f3d2d70af88a91b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlIf you dream of being raped, this could symbolize that you feel like someone in your life is treating you with a total lack of empathy, even if they are not touching you physically.
Someone who rapes another person believes they are entitled to use force to get what they want. Your dream of rape could symbolize a situation where someone is not following the usual processes to do something and is instead trying to bully their way through.
Dreaming of rape could alternately symbolize a situation where you are the one tempted to use force to get what you want. This may come as the result of frustration that you do not seem to be able to get your needs met by normal and reasonable means.
Boundaries in life can be as simple as the word “No.” In rape, however, your “No” is typically not enough to get the rapist to stop.
A rape dream could therefore symbolize a situation where someone is trampling boundaries, whether that is your personal “No” or the laws of the larger society. Alternately, you could be the one who is not respecting someone else’s boundaries.
People rely on boundaries such as the word “No” and the laws of society to keep order in life. When someone uses force to override boundaries, as in the case of rape, you feel powerless because whatever you would usually rely upon to make them stop does not work. Even appealing to the rapist’s sense of empathy does not work.
Dreaming of rape could therefore symbolize any situation where you feel totally powerless – where any technique you would normally use to resolve it somehow does not work.
Rape is humiliating for the victim in part because it typically involves private areas of their body being exposed to the rapist without their consent. A rape dream could therefore symbolize a situation where something you preferred to keep private was made public in a way you did not have control over.
In cultures where it is important to be a virgin until marriage and then have sex only with one’s spouse, a rape victim can be viewed as impure for having had sex outside marriage, even though the sex was not consensual. A rape dream could therefore symbolize a situation where your reputation seems to be permanently damaged, even if whatever led up to it was not really your fault.
https://cfa7afeac24cfebf1f3d2d70af88a91b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlCommon Rape Dreams
Dream of being a rape victim
If you actually are a rape victim, your dream could be processing what happened to you. If you are not actually a rape victim in waking life, your dream of being a rape victim probably suggests that you feel like a victim in some other way.
Maybe whatever you are a victim of is something more subtle than rape, and your dream symbolizes that you wish for your suffering to be acknowledged in what you see as the way the more obvious suffering of a rape victim would be. (The actual experience of rape victims in this regard may be different from how it appears to you from afar, but dreams are often limited to some extent by the knowledge base of the dreamer.)
For example, the #MeToo movement raised awareness of sexual misconduct in the workplace, and many people who were victims of workplace sexual harassment got their long-deserved justice. If your workplace tormentor managed to cross every line imaginable except for that of sexual misconduct, however, nothing changed for you.
Dream of being sexually attacked
A dream of being sexually attacked is troubling in a way different from a dream of being shot or a dream of being stabbed, even though being shot or stabbed may be more likely to immediately kill you than a rape or other sexual attack.One of the unique threats of a sexual attack is that it can cause pregnancy in a person who is capable of becoming pregnant. This would, of course, be an unplanned pregnancy, and it would be further complicated by the fact that the sperm came from the rapist.
A dream of a sexual attack could therefore symbolize that you have anxiety about the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy in general. Rape or a sexual attack can also spread sexually transmitted diseases, even if you are not capable of becoming pregnant, so your dream of a sexual attack could also symbolize that you have anxiety about the possibility of catching a sexually transmitted disease.
Even when you have a partner you feel comfortable with and can plan rationally with, sometimes it is not possible to have complete control over whether you become pregnant or catch a sexually transmitted disease. It might be easier for your subconscious mind to displace this anxiety onto an unfamiliar attacker in your dream, even if some of the worry is really about a partner you generally have good feelings toward.
Alternately, maybe your sex life is a little bit too comfortable and too planned and too rational. In some cases, a dream of being sexually attacked could symbolize a desire for more passion in your sex life. It may be easier for you to project this desire onto an attacker in your dream than to take responsibility for having such a desire yourself.
Dream of being touched sexually
If you are touched sexually, like if someone gropes your genitals with their hand, this is generally not associated with the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases that a penetrative sexual attack has. This touch could, however, still be troubling if it is unwanted, both in waking life and in a dream.
A dream of being touched sexually can be upsetting if the sexual touch comes from someone you did not want looking at you in a sexual way, like a family member or your employer. This dream could symbolize that there are boundary problems in your relationship with that person.
Such a dream does not necessarily mean that this person is sexually attracted to you. However, they may be inappropriately intimate with you in other ways, like telling you personal things that would be better left for their spouse or their therapist.
A dream of being touched sexually, like if the other person’s hand is sliding up your thigh, can be disturbing not only because of what you are actually experiencing in the moment, but also because you are afraid of what will happen next.
This dream could therefore symbolize that you feel like someone in your life is testing your boundaries in some way. They may not have escalated to a truly dangerous level yet, but you may need to take action to prevent that from happening.
Dream of being accused of a rape
Interpreting a dream of being accused of a rape might hinge on whether or not you think there is any truth to the accusation. If you know in the context of the dream that you are guilty, the dream could symbolize that you are worried about getting caught and punished for something you have done.
If you feel in the dream that the accusation is false, however, the dream could symbolize that you feel tragically misunderstood in your life. Maybe you did something with good intentions, and it did not turn out as you had hoped.
Dream of seeing rape
If you dreamed of seeing someone else get raped, what were you doing while it happened? Did you try to intervene, or did you stand by and watch?
If you tried to stop the rape in the dream, this could symbolize that you feel like you are involved in the pursuit of justice in your waking life. If you just watched it happen, however, this dream could symbolize that you feel guilty for being a bystander to some form of injustice.
Dream of being molested
Dreams of being molested often involve a component of feeling betrayed by an authority figure. The people who molest children are often people the children look up to and respect, like religious leaders, sports coaches, or family members.
Dream of being molested by an authority figure
https://cfa7afeac24cfebf1f3d2d70af88a91b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.htmlIf you were actually molested by an authority figure, processing that in your dreams is normal. If you did not have a physical experience of being molested, maybe your dream symbolizes that you feel betrayed or let down by the corresponding authority figure in some other crucial way.
Alternately, a dream of being molested by an authority figure could symbolize that this person or an institution they represent had poor boundaries with you emotionally, even if they never did anything physically inappropriate. Maybe they acted in a way that led you to believe that you were responsible for their well-being even though you did not have the power to ensure that.
Dream of being molested by a family member
Dreams about being molested by a family member can unfortunately reflect actual physical events in some cases. Even if no inappropriate physical contact ever took place, however, a dream of incestuous sexual abuse can be revealing of dysfunctional relationship dynamics within your family.