Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact that is forced onto one person by another person or group of people. It may or not involve actual sex acts but is designed to demean, humiliate, injure, or traumatize an innocent victim.
Unscrupulous caregivers who sexually abuse their frail and vulnerable patients must be held accountable. We can help you hold these individuals accountable and seek financial awards for the damage they cause.
Please call the Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more about your legal rights. As your lawyers, we will work to recover compensation on your behalf. Your actions might also prevent other elderly victims from becoming prey to sexual abuse.
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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.
Sexual Abuse Is a Major Threat to Nursing Home Residents
In addition to physical, emotional, verbal, and financial abuse, sexual abuse is a growing problem in our nation’s nursing homes. According to a joint issue brief from the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, 816 cases of sexual abuse were reported in 2016.
As sexual abuse lawyers, we believe that the actual number of sexual abuse cases is much higher. Nursing home abuse and neglect is often an underreported crime. Victims fear retaliation from their abuser or they may feel ashamed that they cannot protect themselves from assault or abuse.
Our founding attorney, William Pintas, began his law career in 1985 with the determination to help those who are injured by negligence or wrongful intent. Call today to learn more about how a Stickney sexual abuse lawyer can help you fight for your rightful compensation and justice.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Stickney, call (800) 794-0444
Understanding Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home
Any nursing home resident is at risk of being subjected to sexual abuse, assault, violence, and harassment. Some older people are more likely victims, including women and those with dementia.
These are signs of sexual abuse, according to the NCEA:
- Bruises, cuts, or welts around the genital area, inner thighs, or breasts
- Unexplained genital infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Unexplained genital or anal bleeding, pain, or irritation
- Discomfort or difficulty sitting or walking
- Torn, stained, or bloody underwear
In addition, a victim of sexual abuse may show signs that include:
- Extreme anxiety that may include anxiety or panic attacks
- Withdrawing from personal or social interactions
- Abrupt changes in behavior such as avoidance of a person or place
- Self-harm or attempts at suicide
- Sudden fear of being left alone or with a person
A victim of sexual abuse is usually reluctant to speak out, and in some situations, is medically unable to voice their protests. That is why we urge you to take immediate action to protect your loved one and to consult a nursing home abuse and neglect lawyer.
Reviewing your case with a Stickney sexual abuse lawyer can help. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a free consultation.
Stickney Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
When I Should Call a Sexual Abuse Lawyer
If the situation is life-threatening, call 9-1-1. Once your loved one is in a safe place, you should notify the nursing home administrator in writing.
Most states have a statute of limitations when it comes to taking legal action for nursing home abuse and neglect. It is important to act quickly to protect your rights.
A Stickney sexual abuse lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may first try to seek compensation through a claim against the nursing home’s liability or malpractice insurance. If we cannot reach an acceptable settlement, we can take your case to court.
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We Determine Liability Based Upon Evidence
Proving sexual abuse involves a thorough review of the facts and involved parties.
A lawyer with our firm may use the following as evidence of liability and negligence:
- Photos of your loved one’s bruises and injuries
- Test results for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV
- Eyewitness accounts by other residents and staff
- Expert testimony by professionals on sexual assault and abuse
- Torn or bloody clothing and bedsheets
It is unlikely that there are photos or videos of the attack. However, our lawyers will obtain any photographic evidence from a cell phone or surveillance camera.
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Who Might Be Held Liable
Once a lawyer with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has collected evidence, we identify the liable party. Often a sexual abuse case involves more than one defendant.
We will hold all parties accountable who played a role in your loved one’s suffering, including:
- Nursing home staff and administration
- Facility owners and operators
- Agencies that are supposed to inspect the facility or provide oversight
- Any third-party who was involved, such as an individual who filmed the resident in the bath or while being abused
Nursing homes have an obligation to protect their residents’ safety and security. When this is violated, they should face the consequences of their reckless acts or failure to act.
Potential Compensation in a Sexual Abuse Case
While we cannot erase the trauma of sexual abuse, our lawyers at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm are dedicated to helping you and your loved one recover damages. You should not have to suffer any more at the hands of an unscrupulous caregiver or neglectful nursing home.
You and your loved one could be awarded damages that may include:
- Medical bills
- Domestic and healthcare services
- Pain and suffering
- Moving expenses and related losses if your loved one transfers to another facility
- Diminished enjoyment and quality of life
- Loss of companionship or consortium
Sometimes the court may also award punitive damages for wrongful actions that are particularly egregious.
We Accept Nursing Home Abuse and Other Types of Cases
The Pintas & Mullins Law Firm handles all types of nursing home abuse cases, including those that involve:
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Financial abuse
We invite you to call our firm today for a free case evaluation. A member of our team can talk to you at your home, our office, the nursing home, or by telephone. Call now.