Sexual abuse is sexual activity (also referred to as sexual violence) that occurs between two individuals where consent is “not obtained or freely given,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes fondling, touching, or intercourse. If the person objects to the behavior yet is threatened or physically forced to engage in it, the act is sexual abuse.
Elder abuse can include sexual activity with an older adult when that person cannot understand or consent to the act, says the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Elder abuse also includes a list of other categories such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, willful deprivation, confinement, financial exploitation, and abandonment.
These are brutal circumstances to consider when it comes to your elderly loved one who resides in a nursing home facility or assisted living facility. But you must face these possibilities if you suspect something is wrong regarding your loved one and their care within a facility.
A Cicero sexual abuse lawyer can assist you in investigating and pursuing compensation for any claims of elder abuse against your loved one. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation regarding your case.
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 of The Elderly Requires Action
It is a sad reality that predators in our society see the elderly as easy targets. These predators will take advantage of your loved one if they believe that they can get away with it. It is your job, with help from a Cicero sexual abuse lawyer, to ensure that such predators do not get away with any sexual abuse that they perpetrated against your loved one.
It is difficult to know precisely how common elder sexual abuse occurs, as this group of people may be less likely to report the abuse that they endured than younger victims. Therefore, it is up to family members like you to spot the potential signs that abuse has taken place and take the next steps in determining the one who abused your loved one and seek justice.
The Signs of Sexual Abuse
The signs of sexual abuse in the elderly may be different from those in younger victims, though some could be the same. Symptoms may include:
- Unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted diseases.
- Underclothing that is torn, stained, or bloodied.
- Unexplained bleeding in vagina or rectum.
- Trouble walking or sitting.
- Bruising around thighs, the genital area, or breasts.
You may also notice some changes in personality and behavior that could indicate that abuse, whether sexual or otherwise, is occurring. Such changes may include:
- Signs of depression, including a withdrawn mood.
- Suicide attempts.
- Panic attacks or post-traumatic stress (PTSD) symptoms.
- Fear or avoidance of a person or place, fear of being left alone in the dark, and/or disturbed sleep.
You know your loved one, and there is a good chance that you can sense when something is wrong. If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, it is important that you investigate further. If you see physical signs of possible abuse, you should seek legal counsel from a Cicero sexual abuse lawyer for help.
Sexual Abuse Could Be an Indicator of Other Forms of Abuse
If somebody would go so far as to abuse your loved one sexually, there is a likelihood that your loved one is being abused or neglected in other ways. Some other forms of abuse that may occur in a nursing home include:
- Emotional abuse, such as a caretaker berating, degrading, or yelling at your loved one.
- Physical abuse, such as twisting of the limbs, hitting, spitting on, pinching, and the many other forms of physical mistreatment.
- Neglect, which may include failing to properly change a person’s clothing, take them to the bathroom, bathe them, comb their hair, administer basic hygiene, and move them to prevent the emergence of bedsores.
- Financial abuse, or the exploitation of your loved one for financial gain.
You are the last line of defense for your loved one, and if you suspect that any form of abuse is taking place or has taken place, then you should contact law enforcement. Once you have alerted the proper authorities, you should also call a Cicero sexual abuse lawyer. An attorney can inform you about your legal options for action against the facility where the abuse took place. A lawyer will also help you seek justice against any individuals perpetrating the abuse including individuals who helped enable the behavior.
Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss the next steps towards justice for your loved one.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Cicero, call (800) 794-0444
A Cicero Sexual Abuse Lawyer Will Guide You in The Right Direction
The revelation that your loved one may be suffering from abuse can be shocking, and you should not have to face this possibility alone. An attorney can provide a source of comfort. An attorney can also give you peace of mind while they pursue real, tangible justice against those responsible for harming your loved one.
A Cicero sexual abuse lawyer will:
- Speak with you and, if possible, your loved one to understand why you suspect abuse, and get these accounts recorded on a permanent, official record.
- File your case in court right away to ensure that we are pursuing justice as swiftly as possible.
- Interview any employees that are made available to seek out admissions that abuse has taken place.
- Refer you to an independent medical professional so that your loved one can be properly assessed for signs of abuse.
- Contact counsel for the nursing home to see what steps they are taking to investigate abuse, and to see if they offer any form of settlement.
- Review records of employees who may have abused your loved one, seeking any red flags that may qualify as negligence.
- Handle every step of your case from start to finish.
- Protect you and your loved one’s rights throughout the entire legal process.
When abuse takes place in an elderly living setting, then multiple parties may be responsible. We will help you identify the liable parties and bring a case against them.
Cicero Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Possible Compensation From Your Case
If your case is successful, you or your loved one could be entitled to collect compensation covering:
- Pain and suffering.
- A refund for your loved one’s time at the location where abuse took place.
- The cost of any medical care required because of the abuse.
Call Our Team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
We will fight for justice for you and your loved one and ensure that the responsible parties are held accountable. Call us today for a free consultation. Do not wait to call. The sooner you reach out, the quicker we can start your case.