Nursing homes can provide an option for elder care if your loved one needs help with daily activities and medical requirements. Sometimes, abuse occurs in nursing homes, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). If you believe a loved one you placed in a nursing home experienced sexual abuse, defined as any unwanted sexual activity by the American Psychological Association, you have the ability to take legal action. In some cases, you may qualify for financial compensation. Speaking with a legal expert may help you understand your options during this difficult time. A Forest View sexual abuse lawyer wants to discuss your case. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to set up a free consultation.
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
Residents live in nursing homes because they need assistance in their everyday life. Nursing homes provide 24-hour care for residents, including emergency medical attention, bathing and personal care assistance, social and recreational activities, medication administration, and more. While these services help elderly adults, they require you to place substantial trust in the trained staff of the facility. Sometimes, caregivers breach the standard of care surrounding their profession. Nursing home residents may live with particular vulnerability to abuse as residents often live in a compromised physical or mental state.
The Nursing Home Reform Act requires a nursing home facility to adhere to a certain standard of care with respect to facility residents. If your loved one suffered abuse of any kind, the action or failure to act classifies as a direct violation of federal law. Your loved one deserves to receive appropriate care at the hands of a nursing home and the trained staff provided to them.
Abuse of the elderly can come in many forms, and in some cases, it includes sexual abuse. The United States Justice Department defines sexual abuse as any sexual act that occurs without consent, including acts with individuals who cannot feasibly give consent due to cognitive issues, like dementia. This abuse includes any unwanted physical touching or verbal advances. If your loved one did not give explicit consent for any physical touching but it occurred nonetheless, you may have a case of sexual abuse. Residents living in a compromised mental state without the ability to communicate approval of physical or emotional sexual behavior toward them may live at a heightened risk of sexual abuse in a nursing home.
For a free legal consultation with a Sexual Abuse Lawyer serving Forest View, call (800) 794-0444
Liability for Sexual Abuse of an Elderly Resident at a Nursing Home
Sexual abuse on behalf of a caregiver, visitor, or another nursing home resident may result from the negligence of the nursing home’s own administration since they have a responsibility to supervise all residents at all times. While every case is different, a legal expert may help you understand your options.
Warning Signs That Something Could be Wrong
You can look for several warning signs that may indicate sexual abuse in a nursing home. Learning more about the warning signs of sexual abuse may help you recognize when some form of abuse occurs. If you notice signs of abuse, you owe it to your loved one to get help. You may also help prevent future cases of abuse by reporting any suspicious behavior. Warning signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home include:
- Avoidance or fear of a particular staff member
- Physical cuts, scrapes, bruises, abrasions, or injuries
- Physical or emotional changes in the potential victim
- Contraction of a sexually transmitted disease or infection
- Uncharacteristic panic or anxiety attacks
- Torn, stained, bloody, or damaged underwear
- Injury specific to the pelvic area or genitals
- Complaints of sexual advances from a staff member
If your loved one exhibits any of these signs, seek help immediately. Their health, safety, and well-being should factor as a priority in their care. According to the NCEA’s infographic on abuse of residents of long-term care facilities, nursing home staff members even admit to mistreating patients at some point. In severe cases, this includes abuse. Some of these instances include abuse of a sexual nature.
A Forest View sexual abuse lawyer may help discuss possible legal actions you can take.
Forest View Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Potentially Recoverable Compensation
Experiencing sexual abuse can have devastating effects on your loved one’s life. They may suffer from injuries, emotional repercussions, or contract diseases and infections.
You may qualify for financial compensation for medical expenses related to their abuse. This may also include future medical expenses incurred, such as ongoing physical therapy or psychological treatment.
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Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for Help
Reporting an incident that you believe may involve sexual abuse begins the process of seeking justice. In the aftermath of abuse, understanding your legal options may also help you deal with the resulting losses.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to learn more about what you can do if your loved one was the victim of physical abuse. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can focus on your recovery while a Forest View sexual abuse lawyer pursues potential compensation on your behalf.