Now, knowing his past, there have been topics on whether Trowa was raped while under the Mercenary Corps. or while working under Barton. Most have considered it due to how Trowa's mannerisms are. Some have considered that he might have been raped by a man during his childhood.
Some of this could have come to mind due to an interview with the producers where a fan asked if the pilots had any sexual experience in degrees varying from bases like kissing all the way down to sex. Out of them Duo and Trowa were given the answer yes.
In a radio interview when asked about relationships, Trowa's response was of not trying anything of such nature. It was also stated by producers that while in the planning stages of Gundam Wing Trowa was to have the darkest past out of all the pilots. I do not know if the source of the interview is true or not, but it seems that this started the debate.
He had some sexual experience and yet had never tried anything of relationships? Then again he was always in all men mercenary groups... so... he had to have been raped right? He was raised by them, and when older he was a young boy who could be vulnerable to such abuse.
Whether this is so, it is unknown. Out of deduction though, if he had any experience it was highly likely by a man from one of the groups he was under. He might have been molested at the least. At the most, as some speculated, he could have very well been raped. He was in an all male setting, was the youngest, and men who had sexual frustrations could have used him as an outlet, and if not that used him to show role of who had dominance.
Others disagree sometimes though due to his intelligence and fighting capabilities. When Endless Waltz came to play, those who saw how built he was came to the conclusion he certainly could never have been raped or the like. Others argue again that he is that at the end, as a child he was more vulnerable.
Some also put up the argument that he was raised by the Mercenaries. Despite that, from my knowledge, not every male there would have taken advantage of him. Even more, why would he tell anyone if he had been molested or assaulted? While some raised him, some might have taken advantage of him. After all, Episode Zero indicates that the Mercenaries took a shining to him rather showing of malice.
I really do not know much on what to consider on the matter since it could be either way. Though a thing to put note of is what occurred in Episode Zero.
Something to say otherwise to the assault idea is that after Midii Une appeared, Nanashi offered to help her out and get her a job there with the mercenaries. Based on his continuous reactions in the TV show, OVA and manga, he'd warn her to go elsewhere if there was any chance of the mercenaries causing harm to a child be it a boy or girl. Thus, giving proof he trusted them and was never harmed by a fellow mercenary.
People usually don't consider that and look at a different scene during Episode Zero instead. Later on, Nanashi and the Captain of the Mercenary Corp. that took him in were fighting against other members who had betrayed their unit. Nanashi killed them off and told the Captain they should withdraw together. The Captain was surprised and trailed that he had killed the ones who had raised him. Nanashi simply replied they betrayed them. The Captain questions if he thought they sold information. Nanashi replied he thought they did more or less. The Captain found it unbelievable. Nanashi responded he did not regret and only did what he had been taught to do, which was to kill the enemy he saw before him. The Captain manages out the Nanashi was not human. Nanashi gives the negative and says he was always a soldier.
In analysis, Trowa as Nanashi protected the one who had taken him in. The Captain obviously cared for Nanashi. He was the one who took him in and was the one who ordered him to retreat while he stayed to fight alone. Nanashi would likely never see the Captain as his enemy unless he proved otherwise. He easily killed off the others though. He saw them as the enemy. He easily saw them to be capable of betraying them even though the Captain could not believe such. Why was he so certain?
There was a bit of possible underlying in his words and actions. He was told by the Captain that the ones he killed had raised him. Nanashi easily said they had betrayed them. Perhaps they had betrayed him, hence why he was so certain. How did they betray him before all of that? Hence there is the possibility of them abusing him. He might have seen the Captain as someone who raised him, but he might not have seen the others to be such.
Then there is the case where the Captain mentioned Nanashi was not human. The response the boy gives leaves one to consider why he always considered himself not to be human. He killed the ones who used to be his comrades but he was not sad. He said he used up all his tears when he was a baby. What did he use all those tears for though?
Midii commented he was killing his own heart. He very well might have. Perhaps it was due to war. Perhaps it was due to something more than just that. Either way, he no longer wanted to feel nor show any weakness. It could have been for the sake of becoming a better soldier, it could have been from abuse, it could have been from both.
As noted earlier, in Blind Target Trowa, as Nanashi, joined one more Mercenary Corps. before heading to space when he was around nine or ten. This can cause argument that he was not assaulted in any way by the mercenaries who raised him. After all, if he had been molested or otherwise in such a setting, why would he go to another mercenary group afterwards?
Some speculate that his time there could have been a time he was possibly molested or all the way down to raped.
Nanashi stayed there for just a few years and then left. Not much is delved into in regards to that time. It is more of a mystery than in Episode Zero.
Considering he was older, this is a time where he might have stirred up the older mercenary members' interest most likely. Nanashi was nearing the stages of adolescence, no longer had looked as much as a child, and not being developed he likely seemed more androgynous to even a bit feminine. Even more he is a "pretty boy" as are all the Gundam Pilots.
As shown in shows dealing with all boys' schools, troops in war, or other scenarios where there are only men, usually there is sexual frustration. With no women around for relief, even those who are straight will go to others for relief. It is noted, such men would look for those most feminine and weaker as their prey. In this case, Nanashi is the ideal target.
To strengthen the likelihood of him being attacked during this time of his life is that he was part of a mercenary group that had not raised him. Should everyone in his previous group have liked him and looked after him like older brothers would, here such was not the case. This mercenary group didn't pick him up as a child, raise him and train him to be a part of their team. They took him in, but likely didn't feel the need to create ties.
When he left that group, one cannot search around for hints. The mercenaries were taken out and so he left for space. If the groups were still around, but he left anyway, one might speculate he left because he was abused and thus decided to go elsewhere. After all when Ralph Kurt appears in Blind Target Nanashi, who now goes by Trowa, doesn't look pleased to see him. Perhaps Ralph had done something to him? Perhaps.
Ralph Kurt considered Nanashi to be a "perfect soldier". Some could spin out stories that he wouldn't have considered Nanashi a perfect soldier if he had abused the boy, thus making such a statement not make any sense. Despite his age, Nanashi likely showed his proficiency at the job which would lead to respect. He is known to eliminate his enemies without remorse and be selfless to protect those who are his comrades.
Considering he was a part of mercenary groups who fight for a living as opposed to being in the armed forces to fight to survive, Nanashi's skills and experience in fighting were likely invaluable. Why harm someone who makes your unit work? There is no need to really compete with each other as mercenaries since the only one who has something of rank is the one who leads and that is due to awareness of the individual's ability to fill such a role.
Another interpretation is that Trowa could have seen Ralph as a threat to his current status. After all, he is posing under a dead man's name. Ralph knows he started out nameless. He even joked about it when he found him, saying it was ironic to his previous name. Ralph also kept talking almost persuasively about how he had been different. Trowa has every right to be leery. He gained peace and was regaining things he had lost from his time in battle, like his emotions and a home and now an old associate of his is talking about how he made a fine soldier and giving hints in his manner and talk of something about to happen. In the end, Ralph's interests were made known. He wanted the Gundam Heavy Arms.
In the end, when Ralph realizes he was being used, Trowa admits he was possibly jealous of Ralph when younger since the other had enemies he hated and people important to him he wished to protect. Thus, he never saw Ralph as an enemy but as someone to be envied.
Therefore, while the scenario of him surrounded by older men all his life does ring some bells, his likelihood of being assaulted is just as equal to his chances of not being. After all, while he was burdened with a life surrounded by fighting, he was not in a place where there were ranks in officers or victims of war. They were not under a certain Party causing conflict.
So, with that argument, where else could such a thing have happened? Te third likely place for such an act against Nanashi could have been done was during his time under the Barton Foundation. Again, he was surrounded by men and some think the real Trowa Barton could have been the aggressor. How they saw each other is already noted. Was it more intense than that though? The real Trowa Barton liked to bother Nanashi. How far did he bother him? Did he try to torment Nanashi? Could he have gotten physical?
Some people study the memory scene in Endless Waltz where you see the gruff blonde-haired Trowa Barton. He went to Nanashi, draped his arm around him and shows him a picture "for his eyes only". Some who think Nanashi might have been taken advantage of during this part of his life say he seems submissive towards the real Trowa Barton. He doesn't flinch, move away, try to escape or show any form of discomfort, and yet he dislikes, possibly even hates the guy?
Some say he might have been gotten to the point he didn't care anymore. Some say he might have learned that fighting it only made things worse and would get him nowhere. If that is so, they might as well say he was assaulted back as a little kid, since his personality has remained the same in all scenarios.
There is then the other case that perhaps Nanashi merely was keeping himself above Trowa Barton. Trowa constantly bothered him, perhaps to provoke or get a reaction out of the solemn boy. The older man shoved away personal space, bothered him and then talked about how his family was going to rule the world once their plans with Operation Meteor were set. He goes on about his niece was going to be queen of the human race one day to Nanashi, a detached mechanic with no identity or family. Perhaps the real Trowa Barton simply kept it at mind games and Nanashi could see that and thus found no reason to respond.
So... was he sexually abused? It is unknown. It is possible, but no matter what, it still remains unknown.