I am planning to have one of my female characters flogged by an angry/out of control male. I know that the stats will differ depending on the conditions, so I will provide those below:

Her Physical Statistics

  • Weight: 105lbs
  • Height: 5'5"
  • Age: 17
  • Build: Thin, not very strong, but not weak for a female

His Physical Statistics

  • Weight: 130lbs
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Age: 18
  • Build: Stocky, relatively strong for a male
  • Experience: Experience being flogged, no experience flogging. Because of that he will probably employ some hop-step technique the way he used to be flogged.


  • Temperature: We'll say it's summer, so like 74ºF.
  • Climate of region (effects recovery): 70-85ºF throughout the summer, not unusually hot.
  • Item used as a lash: A plain leather belt, holding the end with the buckle.
  • Speed of lashes: Quick succession (he's in the heat of anger)
  • Length of lashing: That depends on how much she could sustain without and ends when other people get there to help.
  • Advancement of medicine: Overall in my fantasy word, it's pretty high-tech so medicine is slightly more advanced than ours. In the area (region) that this event happens, it is as advanced as our medicine.
  • Does the hospital have air-conditioning: Yes

Also, she would be transported to the hospital immediately upon the arrival of people who could get her out of the situation.

The Desired Outcome for the Character Being Flogged

  • That she lives
  • Can function normally afterwards
  • Preferably has scars

Based on My Criteria, I Would Like to Know

  • How min/max time it would take for her to properly recover
  • How many lashes could she receive without scarring
  • Minimum lashes she can receive with ensured scarring
  • Lashes that can be received without dying

If there is anything else I can provide to help answer this question I would be happy to provide it. Also if there is another forum where I can ask this question and have a chance of receiving a better answer, I'd be happy to know that too.

  • $\begingroup$ If medicine is better than modern day Earth (and can be administered immediately), then all that is needed is not to die during lashing (and even then there is a chance of revival). I'd say that the number of lashes is very unpredictable and depends on how strong is girl's heart. $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Oct 12, 2018 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander I said in my question that the area/region that she has access to only has medicine as advanced as our modern day. I edited my question to make that more clear. $\endgroup$
    – Nadia
    Oct 12, 2018 at 18:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Build: Thin, stocky". You can't be both. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Oct 12, 2018 at 19:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Temperature: We'll say it's summer, so like 74ºF." Is this Siberia?? $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Oct 12, 2018 at 19:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Chicago is close to Siberia!!! :) $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Oct 12, 2018 at 19:59

3 Answers 3


You can be severely whipped still lead a productive life.


"Ten days from to-day I left the plantation. Overseer Artayou Carrier whipped me. I was two months in bed sore from the whipping."

Gordon joined the Union Army as a guide three months after the Emancipation Proclamation allowed for the enrollment of freed slaves into the military forces. On one expedition, he was taken prisoner by the Confederates; they tied him up, beat him, and left him for dead. He survived and once more escaped to Union lines.[15]

Gordon soon afterwards enlisted in a U.S. Colored Troops Civil War unit. He was said to have fought bravely as a sergeant in the Corps d'Afrique during the Siege of Port Hudson in May 1863.[16] It was the first time that African-American soldiers played a leading role in an assault.[17]

By Mathew Brady - File:Scourged back by McPherson & Oliver, 1863.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71185842 enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ It's worth pointing out that blacks are commonly more likely to develop keloid scars, and this is an example. The horrendous appearance of the scars does not mean a corresponding level of injury. $\endgroup$ Oct 14, 2018 at 3:24

Scarring: Even a single lash from a whip can cause scarring. How much scaring, and if it remains visible depends on the treatment used to heal the wound, and wheather or not it becomes infected. For example, using stiches on wide-wounds will reduce scarring, so will applying ointments like bacitracin. The ability to keep it clean, and safe from further damage, while healing, will also help reduce scarring.

With modern medicine like skin grafts, and plastic surgery; one can, with enough money and time, pretty much eliminate scars, recent or old.

Fatality: Flogging someone (on the back) is generally considered NOT a fatal punishment. There are no critical organs (other than the skin, obviously) damaged by it, and the spinal cord is protected by bone. Pain alone, usually, will lead to passing out, I don't know of any instances where pain alone leads to death. Infection, and for excessive floggings, blood loss, are probably the main causes of death. Both of which can be effectively dealt with by modern medicine.

Recovery: Recovery time depends upon many factors. Primarily, what is considered "healed"? If this includes removing scars, and all the plastic surgury/skin grafts that might require, obviously the recorvery time is many times longer than say.. being able to put on a shirt without pain. Other recovery time factors include the victims general level of health, nutrition intake, etc... I've endured a few injuries, like being cut(ripped) to the bone, that I would guess are similar to a single lash, in terms of physical damage: these took a couple of weeks to heal up, (without stiches).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The body goes into shock, like any other physical trauma, which can itself be a cause of death. $\endgroup$
    – pojo-guy
    Oct 13, 2018 at 7:41

The first three questions are quite variable, depending on the victim's genetics and state of conditioning.

The last,

Lashes that can be received without dying

has considerable historical evidence. I refer you to Farwell's "Mr. Kipling's Army", a most entertaining take on the British Army prior to WWI.

Until the Victorian era flogging was widely practiced, often with enormous numbers of lashes. The practice gradually fell into disuse during the early-to-mid 1800's, was considerably restricted in 1859, and was finally (almost) eliminated in 1881. It was apparently authorized as late as 1914, although only to 30 lashes.

Private James Honeygold of the Ninth Foot (Norfolk Regiment) was sentenced to 150 lashes for failing to answer ten o'clock roll call one evening; because of his previous good conduct, he was given only 50. Private John Bird of the same regiment received 400 lashes for stealing 19s 6d from a comrade. During the Peninsular War two privates were 170 lashes each for stealing a pig; another received 75 on suspicion of killing a pig. At Gibralter, sentries who did not call "All's well" every thirty seconds could be given 200 lashes. At one time there was at Gibralter a drummer who in the course of his 14 years' service had received 25,000 lashes and was reported to be 'hearty and well, and in no way concerned'. Sentences of up to 2000 lashes were sometimes ordered until George II decreed that no punishment should exceed one thousand. A Colonel of the Gordon Highlanders once remitted a sentence of 100 lashes awarded by a court-martial on the grounds that the sentence was too trivial.

A flogging was administered by the strongest drummer or bugler in the battalion; behind him stood the bandmaster armed with a stick to beat the beater if he did not lay on hard enough; and behind the bandmaster stood the adjutant, also armed with a stick to beat the bandmaster. A doctor was in attendance and was authorized to order the flogging stopped at any time, but this was only a respite, for the victim, once recovered, whether in hours or in days, was hauled back to receive the remainder of his punishment.

Bindon Blood found it curious that 'in the engineers, the officers disliked corporal punishment, whereas the non-commisioned offices and the old sappers were generally in favor of it.' It was indeed curious, but true. In Ireland, sixteen-year-old John Green once saw a man receive 50 lashes for striking an officer; the flogging was also witnessed by a crowd of civilians, who, horrified by the spectacle, shouted abuse at the officers present. Green, writing after he had retired as a sergeant and had no cause to falsify his opinion, said that 'the people might mean well, but it is absolutely necessary to punish such behavior, or no man could live in the army or navy'. Later, Green saw a man given 800 lashes by 'the strongest drummers and buglers in the brigade' and he was 'astonished how soon the man recovered after such a severe flogging.


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