You may be surprised, even shocked, when you hear someone discussing the rising issue of elder sexual abuse in nursing homes. However, it is one of the more common types of abuse in nursing homes mainly because the elderly are easy targets for sexual predators who take advantage of their weakness and defenseless. In addition, the elderly with some sort of medical conditions due to which their motor skills or speech have been impaired are also victims of sexual abuse.
What is Elder Sexual Abuse?
Sexual abuse is defined as a form of sexual contact that is unwanted or non-consensual and involves inappropriate touching, sexual coercion, rape, sexual harassment, sodomy, and sexually-explicit photographing. It involves situations where the residents of a nursing home are forced, manipulated, tricked, or coerced into sexual contact without consent or where the victims are frail, disabled, too ill, or mentally incapacitated to give consent.
The resident of a nursing home can be sexually abused by different types of people, such as:
- Sexual abuse by a nursing home staff member
- Sexual abuse by a family member
- Sexual abuse by a nursing home resident
- Sexual abuse by a stranger
Facts about Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
The following are some facts pertaining to nursing home sexual abuse:
- 70% of the total reported abuses take place in nursing homes
- In 81% of the cases, the abuser is the primary caregiver
- The number of elderly female victims exceed by six times than that of men
- Only 30% of elder sexual abuse cases are reported to the authorities
Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse
In order to determine whether your elderly loved one is being sexually abused at the nursing home, here are some physical and behavioral indictors to look for:
- Pelvic injury
- Difficulty in walking or sitting
- Extreme agitation
- Diagnosis of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Aggressive and inappropriate sexual behavior
- Stained, torn, or bloody undergarments
- Bruises or signs of injury around the genital area or on inner thighs
- Ignoring or withdrawal from social interactions
- Unusual or inappropriate behavior with another resident or staff member indicating a sex-role relationship
Taking Action against Elder Sexual Abuse
When you discover that your elderly loved one has suffered from sexual abuse, it is important that you make a report against the institution to police authorities. Even though some nursing homes have policies in place for dealing with sexual abuse claims, you should not hesitate to involve proper authorities if they don’t take immediate action.
If you have observed any of the above mentioned signs of elder sexual abuse and want to file a claim against the nursing home, you should hire a reliable and experienced nursing home neglect attorney for legal help and advice. Contact the Law Offices of Robert T. Edens, P.C. at (847) 395-2200 or online today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.