One of the most disturbing forms of abuse that affects thousands of nursing home patients every year is sexual abuse. One in three nursing homes are cited for abuse violations every year. A study from the Medicaid Fraud Reports indicates that about nine percent of abuse violations in nursing homes involve some form of sexual abuse every year. The sexual abuse of nursing home patient is particularly disturbing, because it typically impacts those who are most vulnerable and unable to do anything about it. Individuals in nursing homes, whether they are other residents or nursing home employees, tend to target those who are disabled, unable to speak and unable to physically defend themselves from the abuse. Both men and women can be the victims of sexual abuse in the nursing home context. If you suspect that a loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home, then it is vital to speak with a nursing home lawyer about your loved one’s legal rights today.
Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes: A Growing Societal Problem
As research studies continue to expose the harmful abuse patterns found in nursing homes, it is important for family members to continue to stand up for the rights of their loved ones. The first step that family members can take in protecting their loved ones is recognizing signs that a loved one is being sexually abused. Some of the signs that a loved one is the victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home are:
• The appearance of vaginal or rectal bleeding
• Presence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
• Embarrassment and humiliation
• Depression and anxiety
• Difficulty in sleeping
• Resentment and anger
• Genital scarring or abrasions
Victims of sexual abuse also frequently show psychological and emotional reactions that are similar to rape trauma syndrome. Victims of sexual abuse may express denial or disbelief that the situation has actually occurred, and they may repeatedly deny that sexual abuse has occurred in speaking with family members. A victim should receive crisis counseling as soon as it is discovered that he or she may have been sexually abused. Family members may also decide to attend crisis counseling sessions with their loved one who has been the victim of sexual abuse. Counseling sessions will help a victim to regain his or her social skills and deal with effects like depression or anxiety.
Reporting Sexual Abuse to the Authorities
When a victim has suffered from sexual abuse, it is important for family members to ensure that a report is made to police authorities. Even though a nursing home may have its own internal policy for dealing with allegations of abuse, this does not prevent family members or a victim from being empowered to report such abuse to the proper authorities. A nursing home may attempt to stall the time period in which the abuse is reported to police authorities, but family members should see to it that this does not happen. A nursing home lawyer can also assist family members in reporting sexual abuse to the proper authorities.
Filing a Lawsuit Against Nursing Homes For the Sexual Assault of a Patient with the Assistance of a Top Elder Abuse Law Firm
Victims of sexual abuse often suffer from emotional scarring and physical injuries as a result of such abuse. They may be entitled to compensation for the harm that they have suffered. Nursing home lawyers are available to help stand up for the rights of your loved one in a court of law and prevent future sexual abuse of nursing home patient.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers has successfully prosecuted cases involving the sexual abuse, molestation and rape of patients in nursing homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities perpetrated by other residents, visitor or staff. We understand the sensitive nature of these cases and take every possible safeguard to minimize the impact on the victim. Our attorneys also appreciate the lengths facilities will go to in order to defend themselves against these horrific acts. As with all of our legal consultations, we invite you to speak to a lawyer with out cost or obligation in a completely confidential manner to determine how to proceed. Call us anytime (888) 424-5757
- Robert A. Hawks, “Grandparent Molesting: Sexual Abuse of Elderly Nursing Home Residents and Its Prevention”
- Elizabeth A. Capezuti, “Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes”