Deceiving others/deceiving oneself: four cases of factitious rape

South Med J. 1994 Jul;87(7):736-8. doi: 10.1097/00007611-199407000-00012.


Although patients with factitious disorders typically seek the "patient" role through illness portrayals, some instead portray themselves falsely as "victims." We discuss the cases of four women who claimed to have been victims of rape; the allegations ultimately were disproved. Factitious rape may be prompted by a search for nurturance; by dissociation, leading individuals to believe that trauma earlier in life is ongoing; by a need to be rescued from real, current abuse; and by projection of anger onto specific male targets. Although dramatic, factitious rape is rare, we advocate thorough investigation of rape claims even when patients have known histories of deceptive behavior.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Deception*
  • Factitious Disorders / psychology*
  • Fantasy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Disorders / complications
  • Personality Disorders / psychology
  • Rape*
  • Self Mutilation