Little Details

A Fact-Checking Community for Writers

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Strangulation! Effects with limited damage
Weeping Angel
dont_even_blink wrote in little_details
Setting: late 19th century Portugal
Searched: various combinations of ligature + strangulation + signs + symptoms + hoarseness + recovery

The main character in question is a boy, around 11 or 12 years old. He's been strangled with a cord by a boy a few years older than him, though the strangulation attempt was interrupted before serious damage could be done.

I read that in most cases, the victim doesn't show significant signs of having been strangled, but I'd like it to be more obvious in this case. The problem is, I don't want to hurt him too badly. He is not going to receive any sort of medical treatment and has to 1) survive and 2) have no effects lasting into adulthood. (No permanent voice change, no brain damage, etc.)

I was thinking of going with petichiae, bruising on his neck, and having his voice be hoarse, but I'm not sure how plausible this is.
I'm particularly worried about the last part. I've read that a person's voice can be hoarse after strangulation, but I'm wondering if that only occurs with more serious damage and how long it lasts. I can't seem to find much of anything about recovering from hoarseness after strangulation; at the same time, I can't find anything that specifically says the hoarseness would be permanent, either. (My google-fu is weak.) If the hoarseness would be permanent or more dangerous than I'm looking for, I can drop that easily.

So, little_details, what do you think? Are my signs alright for this, or too much? Would hoarseness be permanent (or signify more serious damage)?

I accidentally punched myself in the throat (yes, I am a klutz!) and was hoarse for the rest of the day, so hoarseness can occur with pretty minor damage and no apparent bruising.

Ouch, that must have hurt! Thank you, though -- I was worried it was much worse. (Out of curiosity, how hoarse were you? "Hey, are you alright? You sound a little off," or "Please, please stop talking. You're going to make it worse"?)

I was really hoarse. I croaked, and made little wheezing noises as I talked and people thought I must have a terrible cold and told me not to infect them! The truth was much more embarrassing!

Ooh, not fun at all. It probably would have been easier to pretend you had a cold, heh.

I've been strangled (not with a ligature though) and the main after effect I remember is a mega-headache, I also sounded like I had eaten a box of tacks, I was wheezy and doing just about anything with my voice gave me horrible coughing fits.

I had one horribly bloodshot eye where the vessel burst. I don't know how hard you have to be strangled to get those, but I had them, so probably not that hard.

Ouch, ouch. It sounds really awful, but -- well, it's mostly what I'm going for! Thank you very much!

Something like this happened to me


2009-09-05 01:52 am (UTC)

Though not, I should say, by any local homicidal kid - I clothes-lined myself on an honest-to-god clothesline when I was a kid. We were staying overnight at a house I wasn't familiar with, and when my mom called us in for dinner at twilight, I didn't noticed the line between me and the door.

Effects I remember: I had a sore throat, was hoarse, and had a hard time eating anything solid for a day or two. It looked like someone had tried to lynch me - my entire front neck was abraded - we're talking a long oval from bottom of chin to top of collarbone, and stretching from under one ear to the other. And bruises, which lasted longer than the abrasions did.

I don't know about headaches - I either knocked myself out by hitting the line, hitting the gravel under it, or from lack of Oxygen, and was unconscious for a while, so I may have missed a headache or other symptoms. I don't remember any bloodshot eyes.

If the older kid is using a cord around the whole neck (front and back) his abrasions wouldn't be as wide, but they would probably be deeper and more long-lasting. The victim's bruises will be deeper, as well.

Also? Anything that causes choking for the next few years is going to get a very strong, uncontrollable reaction from the victim. This will wear off eventually (or at least it did for me), but before it does he's going to seem to radically overreact to anything that makes it hard to breath, or even just irritates his throat the wrong way.

Re: Something like this happened to me


2009-09-05 02:08 am (UTC)

I just checked with my brother. He remembers that I had trouble swallowing for a day or two, and says my neck was swollen where the line hit hit me. He also says I did have bloodshot eyes, and thinks he remembers being told I had a bruised trachea.

He also says that I'd hit the line hard enough that my body ended up straight horizontal before I dropped to the ground, so we're talking about a good deal of force in the injuries described.

Hope it helps!

This helps a lot, especially the details about having trouble swallowing and the abrasions, and that you had a bruised trachea. Thank you very much!

strangulation physical damage


2011-01-31 11:49 pm (UTC)

~ 8 years ago my ex boyfriend used to hurt me nearly every weekend. His favorite move was to choke me as lng as possible without leaving any noticeable injuries.
Since then i have had chronic pain from the back of my left ear, excrutiating pain in the left side of my neck/throat area; under my collarbone area & down the left underside of my arm & left breast.
I have seen many specialists & they say I am an mystery. Please pick this apart & find sfome medcal explanation for me.l

Sounds like nerve damage. Maybe he compressed/damaged a nerve running from your neck. A nerve function test might help narrow in on the problem.

right now!


2014-12-07 05:00 pm (UTC)

Strangled Friday morning around 3:30 is best I can put a time on it. Quick fast no 10 seconds whatever these people r talking about! Once those hands were around my neck there is no way I had a ten count chance I promise u that! Maybe 5 count til I was opening my eyes with some kind of dizziness and loud ringing and trying to see with my eyes if I could see and the spinning and his voice saying hey wake up hey get up.......and as it all started to finally get to where I now know I am on the floor on my back him standing over me now saying that was a real rush huh..........I immediately start into what I now believe was some kind of right arm kept going ina movement vision was .....I couldn't tell the depth of something.....hold on I will finish after I regain composure


Log in