Sexual Assault at Nursing Homes
While it is an unfathomable offense, sexual abuse does occur in nursing home facilities across the country. While it is difficult to be sure of how common the practice is, even one of these heinous incidents is too many. If you or a loved one is aware of a senior citizen who has been sexually assaulted while in the care of a nursing home, contact the expert Boston-based attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP today to go over options for legal recourse against the perpetrator or the facility in which it happened.
Sexual assault within the elderly population is an upsetting topic to try to pin down, primarily because it is impossible to get an accurate measure of how common it is across the nation. Many elderly individuals may be experiencing dementia and could be completely unaware that an assault has occurred at all or might not be able to remember any details about the perpetrator. Others may not be inclined to report the incident due to fear of repercussion or shame about the incident.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Justice found that a staggering 83 percent of victims of elder sexual abuse reside in assisted living facilities, and that 80 percent of cases where the perpetrator is identified, it is the elderly individual's caregiver who commits the despicable crime. The study also found that elderly women are six times more likely to be victimized in sexual assaults.
Unfortunately, human nature dictates that certain individuals will take advantage of a situation where they feel they can get away with a deplorable act. Given this knowledge, it unfortunately makes sense why a majority of sexual assaults are conducted by the elderly individual's caregiver - these people have the access and opportunity to take advantage of their position for their own sick intentions.Signs of Elder Sexual Assault
Being able to tell your elderly loved one has been victimized by a sexual assault may be difficult, especially if the individual suffers from dementia or other memory-related illnesses like Alzheimer's. Otherwise, elderly individuals may simply not want to talk about the incident because they are afraid their confession will result in retaliation or they are embarrassed or mortified by the reality they have suffered.
Physical signs may manifest as visible bruises, difficulties walking or sitting down, irregular bleeding from the genital areas, changes in attitude or demeanor such as panic attacks, irritability, night terrors or nightmares or sudden social withdrawal, development of an STD, pelvic injuries or more severe symptoms like sudden suicidal thoughts or chronic depression.
If an elderly loved one seems to be displaying any signs that they were sexually assaulted, or otherwise assaulted in any way, you should act immediately to get them out of that healthcare facility and into a safe place. You can contact the local authorities and ask them what steps to take, and also contact a professional elder abuse attorney at Altman & Altman LLP to assess what legal recourse you might have against the facility that allowed this criminal act to occur.
The elder abuse attorneys at Altman & Altman have over 50 years of experience litigating on behalf of individuals who have suffered every different type of abuse imaginable, and we can help you figure out what steps are best to take to hold a nursing home accountable for letting your loved one be subject to such horrible actions. We will take a caring, steady approach to work with the senior individual and connect them with resources so they will be comfortable to provide their account of what happened, and then move forward with a legal strategy to see the perpetrator faces the penalty for their crime.
Call us for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.