Sexual abuse in nursing homes occurs when a caregiver, visitor, or other person forces a sexual act or behavior on a resident. Sexual abuse includes a wide range of inappropriate behaviors. It is also important to note that many nursing home residents do not have the capacity to consent to sexual activities, and it is never appropriate for a caregiver to engage in this type of behavior with a resident.
Like other types of nursing home abuse, sexual abuse may support both criminal and civil cases.
What Acts Are Considered Sexual Abuse?
Almost any act that is sexual in nature or involves unnecessarily undressing and exposing the genitals or breasts of a nursing home resident may be considered sexual abuse. This can vary widely in severity, but any type of sexual abuse can leave the victim feeling insecure, victimized, and depressed. Physical injuries are also possible in some cases.
Some examples of sexual abuse that could occur in a nursing home include:
- Taking off a resident’s clothing when not necessary
- Inappropriate fondling of breasts or genitals
- Exposing a resident to the abuser’s genitals or breasts
- Masturbation in front of a resident
- Sexual assault
This list is far from complete, and you may have a viable nursing home sexual abuse case without your loved one having experienced any of the examples on this list. The best option to learn more about your eligibility to pursue justice for your loved one is to discuss your case with a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Home Residents
The victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes often suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive defects, mental illness, or other issues that prevent them from refusing the abuser’s advances or communicating with someone they trust about the abuse.
Seniors with physical disabilities that limit their mobility are also at an increased risk. Younger residents who suffer significant physical or cognitive deficits may also become the victims of sexual abuse in a nursing home.
Since those most at risk of this type of victimization cannot tell you about what is happening to them, you should know the signs of sexual abuse if you have loved ones who depend on caregivers. Some signs of sexual abuse in nursing homes include:
- Torn, missing, or bloody underwear
- Bruises on the thighs, genitals, or breasts
- Irritation or pain around the genitals, anus, or other areas
- Developing the symptoms of a sexually transmitted disease
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Losing interest in activities they previously enjoyed
- Unusual agitation
- Engaging in inappropriate behaviors such as acting out sex acts
Pursue Justice for Your Loved One After a Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Incident
You may be eligible to pursue compensation for the financial damages and mental anguish your loved one suffered at the hands of an abuser in their nursing home. Call us today at 1-800-516-4783 to discuss your loved one’s case. An attorney can help you understand your legal options for getting the justice your beloved family member deserves.
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