Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen anywhere—in workplaces, homes, churches, teen camps, and even in nursing homes. Sexual abuse is one of many types of abuse in nursing homes. Others include mental and emotional abuse, physical abuse, neglect, confinement abuse, and other forms of deliberate, hurtful behavior to nursing home residents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 percent of Americans over the age of 60 have been a victim of some form of elder abuse. Most of these cases are rarely reported, especially those that happen in nursing homes. Various reasons for this willful compliance are fear, shame, embarrassment, and loneliness.
Has your loved one suffered from sexual abuse in a nursing home environment? If so, an Atlanta sexual abuse lawyer may be able to put you on a path toward a claim of negligence and a possible financial settlement. Contact the legal team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to learn more.
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 in Nursing Homes
Sexual abuse in nursing homes generally refers to all nonconsensual sexual contact with a resident. This type of abuse also includes sexual contact with any person who cannot respond, such as a person in a vegetative or coma-like state. All unwanted touching falls under this banner of sexual abuse, and also includes nudity, forceful touching of private parts, rape, sodomy, and other forms of sexual misconduct.
Loved ones of older persons in nursing homes may see signs of this type of abuse. A report may have been filed with the nursing home management. If the assault was not reported, there may be other signs. Indicators could include bruises around genital areas, bites or bruises around the breasts or neck, bleeding from the vaginal area, or other sexual assault symptoms.
For a free legal consultation with a Atlanta Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Atlanta, call (800) 794-0444
Reporting Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Case
Sexual abuse of a senior citizen in a nursing home is very serious, and you should report the incidents to the police as well as any regulatory bodies that can conduct investigations for the nursing home. The Georgia Department of Community Health allows people to file reports online for complaints, including abuse. Although you can submit a complaint anonymously, it could be in the best interest of your loved one to include contact information so it can help your case if you seek financial justice.
You can also submit reports to the nursing home and to The Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to investigate reports of sexual abuse. The Division of Aging Services has an Adult Protective Services (APS) that will also allow you to report sexual abuse of your loved one. You and your loved one have rights to a standard of care in nursing homes, and your loved one has a right to seek justice.
Sexual abuse in nursing homes requires a professional, legal response for the victim. If your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, an Atlanta sexual abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help gather evidence and seek financial restitution for any wrongdoing.
Although it may be hard to think about seeking money after a terrible ordeal like sexual abuse, damages from a civil case can help you with medical bills and other costs associated with your loved one’s recovery and healing. Remember that the statute of limitations in the state under Georgia Code § 9-3-33 is only two years, so this can impact your case. Although you can pursue damages without a lawyer, hiring a legal representative will ease your burden and allow you to focus on helping your loved one.
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Nursing Home Negligence in Sexual Abuse Cases
Family members always have high expectations for the highest level of care of a loved one in a nursing home. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 15,000 nursing homes in the United States. Not all of them will be perfect places for your loved ones. Some of these nursing homes operate on minimal budgets and corners get cut. Improper training techniques can lead to accidents, personal injuries, or even sexual assault events for the resident.
While many nursing homes portray themselves as top-notch in quality and service to its residents, the truth is that wrongdoing exists in these facilities, and incidents of sexual abuse occur. Families of the victims can make a point by pursuing lawsuits to seek damages in these types of cases.
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Liability for Abuse and Neglect
If you hire a lawyer to pursue a case against a nursing home facility, the lawyer can. This can be done months in advance of a lawsuit by the family. It is important to note any signs of abuse, any hint of impropriety among the staff and management, and any worker discussions that might be useful in backing up charges of sexual abuse in a nursing home.
An Atlanta sexual abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you and your family gather evidence to show negligence in a nursing home. Our team can also compile a claim to help the victim and family recover costs of medical bills, pain and hardship involved, and any physical disability and/or disfigurement, among other things.
We will help you pinpoint areas where the nursing home was negligent in its hiring, staffing, management procedures, or training of nursing care staff. All of these areas may play a part in fighting for financial compensation for a sexual abuse case in a nursing home. Call us today for a free consultation.