According to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, sexual abuse refers to “non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another.” Sexual abuse may go underreported, unnoticed, and under-investigated in nursing homes.
If you suspect that your spouse or parent in a nursing home suffered as a victim of sexual abuse, do not wait to report it. After reporting it, working with an Elgin sexual abuse lawyer as soon as possible may help you build your case. When you call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we can begin assessing your case to determine your rights to legal action.
Types of Sexual Abuse
Sexual assault comprises many types of actions. All types, however, hold one thing in common: They happen against the victim’s will or without their consent. Sexual assault also covers actions that occur when an individual is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, disabled, or below the age of consent in the state where the assault transpired.
The National Institute of Justice lists the following activities as forms of sexual assault when they happen in the above circumstances:
- Intentionally touching the victim’s genitals, breasts, groin, or anus
- Exposing the victim to exhibitionisms
- Exposing the victim to pornography
- Publicly displaying images taken of the victim in a “private context” or without their knowledge
These actions may or may not involve the use of actual force, weapons, threats of force, intimidation, coercion, or pressure.
Although in some states, sexual assault stops short of attempted rape or rape, other states use the terms interchangeably, and still others consider rape to be a form of sexual assault. In a situation of rape, the victim suffers nonconsensual penetration (vaginal, anal, or oral), either by objects or the perpetrator’s body parts. This type of assault involves physical force or threats of physical harm. Alternatively, the victim is considered a minor or was incapacitated at the time of the assault.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Elgin, call (800) 794-0444
Violations of Safety And Good Care
Sexual abuse encompasses a number of behaviors that infringe on the lawful rights of all nursing home residents. In Illinois, nursing home residents are entitled to safety and good quality care free from abuse, whether physical, verbal, mental, financial, or sexual, according to the Illinois Department of Aging. Sexual abuse constitutes a blatant violation of the rights of your loved one.
Additionally, a study published by the Journal of Nursing Research about sexual abuse says, “Abuse perpetrated against an older person is often not limited to only one form; for example, physical violence is often accompanied by psychological abuse.” The same thing applies to sexual abuse: When it happens, it likely accompanies other forms of abuse endured by your loved one.
The first researcher of sexual abuse conducted their studies in the 1970s, so well publicized and well-known sexual abuse reports in nursing homes can prove rare. Unfortunately, more than other types of abuse, when sexual abuse happens in nursing homes, it often goes unreported and uninvestigated.
The same study mentioned above shows that sexual abuse victims include women and men. Regardless of the gender of your elderly loved one, never ignore the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse.
Elgin Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Why Sexual Abuse Go Unreported
Sexual abuse classifies as the “most hidden form of elder abuse,” according to the Journal of Nursing Research and Practice. This does not make it any less wrong. Some signs of sexual abuse, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, include the following:
- Bruising on the inner thighs.
- Bruising on the genitals.
- Bruising on the breasts.
- Unexplained genital infections.
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases.
- Any unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding, pain, or irritation.
- Unprecedented difficulty sitting or walking.
- Torn, stained, or bloodied underwear or undergarments.
If you notice any of these upsetting signs, it can prove extremely alarming. If this is your case, you need to file a case of sexual abuse against the nursing home facility where your loved one resides. Some other symptoms to consider that might not display as obviously include:
- Unexplained agitation.
- Withdrawal from social activities and hobbies.
- Panic attacks.
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- A suicide attempt or desire.
- Unexplained changes in behavior that suddenly occur, including fear or avoidance of a person or place, fear of sleeping alone, nightmares, or disturbed sleep.
As you can imagine, this represents a non-exhaustive list of signs that your loved one may exhibit after suffering as a victim of sexual abuse. If you have any suspicion that your loved one sustained sexual abuse, continued investigation may reveal egregious actions on behalf of the staff and administration of the nursing home. Work with an Elgin sexual abuse lawyer when you call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.
Build a Legal Case Against Sexual AbuseYou have options for initiating a legal battle against sexual abuse, but it may help to work with someone who knows the ins and outs of nursing home abuse laws. First, you can report suspected elder abuse in a few ways, such as by contacting your designated ombudsman, the Elgin Township Office on Aging at (708) 636-8850, or the Adult Protective Services Hotline.
When you suspect sexual abuse, remember the Journal of Nursing Research and Practice states that abusers often have “cognitive impairment, psychiatric diagnosis, substance abuse, criminal history, or previous committed sexual abuse.” Therefore, if you suspect sexual abuse, let the authorities investigate the suspected individual for repeat offenses. Afterward, consider the benefits of hiring an Elgin sexual abuse lawyer to help you recover compensation for your loved one’s losses, both economic and noneconomic.
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Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Welcomes Tough Cases
When seeking monetary compensation for the emotional pain and suffering of your loved one, you may need to file a civil claim such as personal injury, breach of contract, medical malpractice, or more.
The lawyers at Pintas & Mullins can discuss your legal options with you and explain which actions would prove most appropriate to pursue. We may handle additional duties throughout the case, like helping collect medical records and witnesses for evidence, looking into the history of the nursing home’s violations, and investigating the suspected perpetrator. Know that our lawyers want to fight for your loved one’s rights.
A Elgin Sexual Abuse Lawyer May Help You Seek The Justice Your Loved One DeserveWhen you work with the lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, you receive extensive explanations of your most appropriate legal options. When you discover signs of sexual abuse in an elderly loved one living in a nursing home, do not wait for the case to go away. Holding all liable parties accountable for their actions may help you receive compensation to address the pain and suffering of your loved one.
Statutes of limitations apply in personal injury lawsuits, so the sooner you call an Elgin sexual abuse lawyer, the sooner one may begin working on your case. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Call or text (800) 794-0444 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form