Self-inflicted wound

Self-inflicted wound

A self-inflicted wound (SIW), is the act of harming oneself where there are no underlying psychological problems related to the self-injury, but where the injurer wanted to take advantage of being injured.

Reasons to self-wound

Most self-inflicted wounds occur during wartime, for various possible reasons.

Potential draftees may self-injure in order to avoid being drafted for health reasons.

The most common reason enlisted soldiers self-wound is to render themselves unable to continue serving in combat, thus resulting in their removal from the combat line to the hospice. Thus, self-injury can be used to avoid a more serious combat injury or a combat death.

In prison camps, such as gulags and concentration camps, people sometimes self-injure so that they will not be forced to work and could spend some time in the more comfortable conditions of the infirmary barracks.

Types of wounds

Among the most common type of wounds are a rifle shot to the hand, arm, leg, or foot.


In most militaries, deliberately self-inflicted wounds are considered to be a serious military offense. Most self-inflicted wounds go unnoticed, though consequences are often severe if caught.

In the British army during World War I, the penalty for self-inflicted wound was capital punishment, which at that time was death by firing squad. In the British Army, some 3,894 men were found guilty, though none were executed but instead were sent to prison for lengthy periods. [ [ First World - Encyclopedia - Self-inflicted Wounds (SIW) ] ] [ Blighty Wounds ] ]

In Nazi concentration camps, self-injury was dangerous as the incapacitated were often just executed, but in some lower-stringency camps it has indeed been documented.


There have been many reports of SIW during World War I, placing certain soldiers under suspicion for some injuries which could have been genuine accidents.

During World War II, almost all armies (most often mentioned are the Soviet Army and the Wehrmacht) had cases of self-inflicted injury.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • self-inflicted — self infliction, n. /self in flik tid, self /, adj. inflicted by oneself upon oneself: a self inflicted wound. [1775 85] * * * …   Universalium

  • self-inflicted — self in·flict·ed in flik təd adj inflicted by oneself <a self inflicted wound> …   Medical dictionary

  • self-inflicted — ADJ A self inflicted wound or injury is one that you do to yourself deliberately. He is being treated for a self inflicted gunshot wound …   English dictionary

  • self-inflicted — /ˈsɛlf ɪnflɪktəd/ (say self infliktuhd) adjective inflicted on one by oneself: a self inflicted wound …   Australian-English dictionary

  • self-inflicted — self in|flict|ed [ ,self ın flıktəd ] adjective a self inflicted injury, condition, etc. is one that you cause yourself: a self inflicted gunshot wound …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • self-inflicted — [ˌself ɪnˈflɪktɪd] adj a self inflicted injury, condition etc is one that you suffer from and that you have caused a self inflicted gunshot wound[/ex] …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • self-inflicted — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ (of a wound or other harm) inflicted on oneself by one s own actions …   English terms dictionary

  • self-inflicted — UK [ˌself ɪnˈflɪktɪd] / US [ˌself ɪnˈflɪktəd] adjective a self inflicted injury, condition etc is one that you cause yourself a self inflicted gunshot wound …   English dictionary

  • self-inflicted — adj. Self inflicted is used with these nouns: ↑wound …   Collocations dictionary

  • self-inflicted — adjective (of a wound or other harm) inflicted on oneself …   English new terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”