legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Sexual abuse can affect every aspect of a victim's life, including the physical, mental, social, and spiritual. Often, sexually abused people find it difficult to return to their everyday lives and create and maintain meaningful relationships with others.
Sexual abuse is one of the most horrible types of mistreatment and should never be tolerated, especially in nursing homes where many vulnerable people live.
If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual abuse in a nursing facility, the personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you seek justice.
Contact our nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 for a free consultation.
What is Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact with another person. It may occur due to deceiving, manipulating, forcing, or threatening a nursing home resident into a sexual act.
Forms of sexual abuse include:
- Unwanted touching or groping
- Forced vaginal, oral, or anal sex (rape)
- Attempted rape
- Forced or coerced nudity
- Forced or coerced explicit photography
Sexual interaction is considered sexual abuse if the perpetrator:
- Uses threat, force, or manipulation
- Knew that the victim could not understand the nature of the act or give knowing permission
Others define sexual conduct without consent as rape, criminal sexual conduct, criminal penetration, or sexual battery.
Elderly Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes
Elder sexual mistreatment can cause lasting damage to your loved one, such as unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
According to a 2017 elder abuse report from the World Health Organization (WHO), 0.7% of nursing facility employees admitted to committing sexual mistreatment. It is the least reported type of elder abuse, including physical, psychological, and financial mistreatment and neglect.
Federal data from the Administration for Community Living (ACL) states that there have been over 20,000 complaints of sexual abuse in nursing homes for the past twenty years.
Who is Most at Risk of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes?
Female nursing home residents are more likely to experience sexual abuse in America's nursing homes. Other at-risk groups include:
- Residents with dementia: Dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) affects memory, judgment, thinking, communication skills, and other significant functions. Elderly patients with dementia are susceptible to being sexually abused because of the inability to ask for help.
- Residents with developmental or intellectual disabilities: People with developmental disorders such as autism are more vulnerable to mistreatment due to intellectual limitations. Women with autism are two to three times more likely to suffer sexual abuse in nursing homes than neurotypical women.
- Resident with physical disabilities: Physically limited nursing facility residents may be more susceptible to sexual abuse. Bedridden or wheel-chair bound residents may be unable to fight back against abusers.
- Children with developmental disabilities: Like female residents, children are vulnerable to sexual abuse regardless of the setting.
Although some residents have a higher risk of abuse, anyone can be vulnerable, especially in nursing homes.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Developmentally Disabled Children in Group Homes
Aside from the physical and psychological signs mentioned above, sexually abused children may also display the following signs:
- Bed-wetting past an appropriate age
- Inappropriate knowledge of sex for their age
- Sexualized behavior during play
- New fears, e.g., being alone in the dark
- Reduced performance at school
Causes of Sexual Abuse Among Nursing Home Residents
Sexual abuse in nursing homes typically results in the following:
- Not conducting background checks to avoid hiring individuals with sexual assault backgrounds
- Not providing training and education to prevent sexual assaults on facility residents and staff members
- Failing to address complaints promptly or ignoring alleged victims entirely
- Failing to report allegations to the proper authorities
- Not implementing safety measures for people prone to suffering abuse in nursing homes, especially elderly women with dementia.
Possible Perpetrators of Elder Sexual Abuse
People involved in sexual assault in nursing homes may include:
- Nursing home staff members
- Other residents
Regardless of who is at fault, nursing homes and long-term care facilities may ultimately be liable for failing to prevent the abuse.
Employees aware of a child or elder sexual abuse in nursing homes may also face legal repercussions if they fail to report it, which is required by law.
Sexual abuse cases involve three kinds of evidence including:
- Victim's testimony
- Witness accounts from staff members, visitors, family members, and other residents
- Documentation showing the alleged victim is cognitively impaired, if applicable.
How a Nursing Facility Sexual Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Any sexual violence is always a traumatic experience. Victims and their family members often struggle to recover.
A nursing home abuse lawyer can help by:
- Investigating how your loved one was sexually abused and identifying perpetrators
- Determining the negligence of the nursing home staff
- Connecting you to elder abuse resources for additional support, such as the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)
Schedule a Free Consultation with The Best Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Any sexual abuse against nursing home residents must have legal repercussions for perpetrators. Aside from seeing their abusers face criminal charges, victims deserve financial compensation to ease their burdens.
Our experienced attorneys can help you and your family seek justice for life-altering suffering. Our team has years of experience handling elderly sexual abuse, assault, and other forms of mistreatment in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Contact our attorneys at (800) 926-7565. Use the contact form for a free case evaluation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team will remain private under an attorney-client relationship.
Our nursing home abuse lawyers handle all accepted cases on a contingency fee basis. This agreement ensures your family does not have to pay for legal services unless we win your case.