Nursing homes have a moral responsibility and legal obligation to ensure that their residents remain safe and protected under their care. Sexual abuse in nursing homes can occur by either nursing home staff employees or by other nursing home residents abusing elderly victims. Regardless of the identity or circumstances or the person who abused the elderly resident, they should be held responsible.
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered sexual abuse from any person while they were a resident of a nursing home, calling a Rockford sexual abuse lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine your next steps and help you build a strong case—after you call the police.
According to The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, any non-consensual sexual contact between a nursing home staff member and an elderly resident is sexual abuse. Instances of sexual abuse are part of an overall manipulative and controlling environment that may occur in an abusive nursing home environment.
Oftentimes, sexual abusers will target those who have dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or mental illness and are unable to communicate not only their disapproval, but also cannot report the abuse to their loved ones or the authorities.
If an elderly person suffers from sexual abuse in a nursing home, there may be signs that reveal this illegal activity. Make sure to always monitor your loved one closely when you visit to see if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms. Some signs of elder abuse and neglect can include:
- Pelvic injuries
- Difficulty walking or sitting
- Development of sexually transmitted diseases
- Bloody or stained undergarments
- Bruising in the genital area
- Bleeding from the genitals or anus
- Diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Newly developed symptoms of agitation or panic attacks
- Development of inappropriate and aggressive sexual tendencies
- Suicidal ideation or depression
- Sudden withdrawal from family, friends, or social activities
This list is not exhaustive, however, any unusual or sudden changes in either physical condition or emotional behavior should warrant a close inspection by the family and a medical provider.
If you notice any type of unusual behavior in your elderly loved one, you may investigate possible sexual abuse by a nursing home staff member—especially if your loved one has memory issues. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you. Call us today.
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 Rockford, call (800) 794-0444
A Nursing Home Administration Can Be Liable for Abuse on its Premises
Thorough and sensible security procedures and adherence to said procedures are vital to protect and ensure the safety of residents. However, if a nursing home remains understaffed or overworked, or if the staff is simply negligent in their duties, sexual abuse may occur.
An abuser could be a staff member, a visitor to the residence, or another nursing home resident. In all cases of sexual abuse of one resident against another, the nursing home staff is liable for elder neglect. Any level of staff member at the nursing home can be held liable for abuse. In addition to the actual abuse, a nursing home administration could be guilty of failing to prevent the abuse or failing to stop the abuse once they are made aware of it.
Rockford Sexual Abuse Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Compensation for Sexual Abuse
If your elderly loved one suffered from sexual abuse while living in a nursing home, they likely experienced both physical and emotional trauma. They may have needed any number of medical services. The emotional scars left after sexual abuse can be just as devastating as physical injury.
While financial awards will never be able to truly compensate a victim for their abuse, they may face unexpected medical bills and need lifelong therapy or other forms of treatment. Filing a lawsuit against a nursing home for sexual abuse holds those who perpetrated the abuse responsible under the law to pay for the damages to which they directly or indirectly caused or contributed.
Victims may receive compensation to cover:
- Medical treatment
- Varying forms of therapy and psychological treatment
- And more
You may be able to recover other forms of compensation as well. More important than financial compensation, however, is that holding those responsible will possibly protect other elderly victims from suffering the same kind of sexual abuse your loved one experienced.
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Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today for a Free Consultation
If you suspect that your elderly loved one suffered from sexual abuse while living in a nursing home, you can pursue justice under the law on their behalf. Our firm is prepared to:
- Represent you and your loved one in court, if necessary
- Keep your family updated at all stages of the case
- Valuate your loved one’s damages and losses
- Answer any questions that you might have
- Make sure your family is aware of all your options
- Come to you wherever it is convenient (even a hospital room, your loved one’s room at a nursing home facility, your home, or your office)
Reach out today, as there may be relevant statutes of limitations that could pertain to your case and which would affect how long you have to file a lawsuit against the liable party or parties.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We have the utmost sympathy for you and your loved one and want to be your advocate.