Is Your Loved One Being Sexually Abused in a Nursing Home?
Nursing homes are designed to provide aging and ill patients with the level of care they need to make it through their last few years of life as comfortably as possible. Unfortunately, not only do nursing homes sometimes fail to meet the standard of care that they owe to patients–neglecting them, making medical errors, and failing to maintain the property in a safe condition, etc.–but in particularly egregious cases, nursing home patients may even become victims of sexual abuse.
Sexual Assault in Nursing Homes
Sexual assault, including rape, may be more common in nursing homes than one would guess. An article published by CNN states that at the time the report was written, more than 500 facilities across the United States had been cited for failing to investigate or report allegations of sexual abuse or not screening employees properly. This number does not include the actual number of sexual assault reports in nursing homes, which is much greater.. The article also referred to instances of sexual abuse in nursing homes throughout the country as an “epidemic.” It cited horrendous stories of nursing home residents being urinated on, inappropriately touched and gestured towards, having photos taken of them while naked, and of being raped, amongst other tragic and repulsive acts of abuse.
How to Recognize Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse of a nursing home resident can be difficult to recognize, especially because sexual abuse can be both physical and behavioral. Some signs that sexual abuse may be occurring include:
- Social withdrawal;
- Agitation or anger;
- Obvious signs of stress or signs of PTSD;
- Attempted suicide;
- Obvious fear of nursing home or nursing home staff;
- Torn or bloodied clothing;
- Bruises or signs of restraint;
- New STIs/STDs (sexually transmitted infections/diseases); and
- Signs of injury to the pelvis or new discomfort while standing or moving.
Nursing home residents may be embarrassed to talk about the abuse, or fearful of what will happen if they report it.
What to Do If You Believe that Your Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
If you believe that your loved one is a victim of nursing home sexual abuse, you should act immediately. Nursing home sexual abuse is not only a breach of a person’s rights under tort law, but is also a crime that carries criminal consequences. In addition to bringing criminal charges against the at-fault individual, you may also file a lawsuit directly against the nursing home in order to recover damages for the economic and noneconomic losses sustained by the nursing home resident.
Our Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Are Here to Help
Nursing home abuse is tragic and infuriating. When it occurs, the at-fault party should be held liable, and action against the at-fault party should be taken quickly. At the offices of Stanger Law, we know how sensitive sexual abuse cases can be, and promise to protect your family’s confidentiality and your best interests. For a free consultation where you can learn more about your rights, please contact us today by phone or online. We are here to fight for you.