Elder sexual abuse is a widely understated and underrepresented area of nursing home negligence. Victims of elder sexual abuse often suffer from mental conditions that cause dementia, confusion, memory loss, or communication problems and are thus unlikely to report sexual abuse. Employees can trick, coerce, threaten, or force residents of nursing homes to take part in non-consensual sexual activities. Our team of Kansas City elder sexual abuse lawyers is here to help victims and their families receive compensation.
The largest percentage of elder sexual abuse occurs within nursing homes. In the past, sexual abuse victims in nursing homes were unlikely to achieve a conviction. Due to a lack of communication, mental conditions, and a failure to report incidents when they occur, the courts often dismiss elderly victims of sexual abuse.
Today, more researchers are studying the frequency of elder sexual abuse in nursing homes, and awareness of the issue is spreading. Educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of elder sexual abuse can help you protect your loved ones, and filing a claim against a perpetrator for compensation can help others in the same situation. Industry-wide regulation changes start with a single lawsuit.
How to Detect Sexual Abuse
It can be difficult to detect elder sexual abuse, especially without physical signs or if your loved one is an unreliable source due to a mental condition. You may have to pay attention to subtle signs of abuse. Ask a trusted healthcare professional to conduct a physical with your loved one, and report any signs of sexual mistreatment.
Signs of elder sexual abuse include:
- New sexually transmitted diseases
- Difficulty sitting or walking
- Pelvic injury
- Bruising on inner thighs or around genitals
- Genital pain, bleeding, or irritation
- Extreme agitation
- Withdrawal from normal activities
- Panic attacks or symptoms of PTSD
- Depression, shame, guilt, or self-blame
Any of these developments in your loved one could point to sexual abuse, especially if he or she resides in a nursing home. Often, the perpetrator is the victim’s personal caregiver or someone frequently left alone with the resident. In other cases, the perpetrator is a family member or trusted friend. If you suspect any sexual abuse happening to your elderly loved one, don’t hesitate to contact the authorities.
What to Do if You See Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse
If your loved one appears distressed, talks about a sexual abuse situation, or you see physical signs of sexual abuse, contact the authorities immediately for an investigation. Take measures to protect your loved one against further abuse, such as switching nursing homes or demanding increased room security.
The state will assign a caregiver to your loved one to ask him or her a series of questions for insights into health conditions, living environment, personal relationships, and other relevant facts. If the caregiver confirms a case of elder sexual abuse, the caregiver will relocate the resident and provide treatment for any mental or physical damages.
The victim and his or her family may file a claim and fight for retribution of the physical injury, mental pain and suffering, and medical costs of the sexual abuse incident. They may be eligible to receive financial compensation. More importantly, a lawsuit will spread awareness about the dangers of that particular nursing home or facility, and it may bring a sexual predator to justice.
Do You Believe Your Loved One May Be Experiencing Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect in Kansas City, Missouri?
If you feel your loved one is being subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect you should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact us online or call our office directly at 816.832.4688 to schedule your free consultation. We are proud to serve Kansas City, Missouri, and the surrounding area and look forward to speaking with you.