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Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Lawyer
- Nursing home abuse, such as sexual abuse, is prevalent across America’s assisted living facilities.
- Nursing home sexual abuse refers to any sexual contact with a resident who is unable to or refuses to consent.
- Nursing home sex abuse survivors have the right to pursue compensation through a civil sex abuse lawsuit.
Representing Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Survivors
We want nursing homes to provide safe and comfortable living conditions for our loved ones. Unfortunately, there have been many instances of abuse of the elderly or disabled residing in such facilities. Sexual abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is a serious problem that can have lasting consequences on the survivors and their families. While there are laws in place to protect residents from this kind of treatment, not all nursing home abuse survivors realize they have the right to pursue justice for what happened to them.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse during your stay at a nursing home, remember you have legal options. Nursing home sexual abuse survivors have the right to file a civil lawsuit against the facility that allowed such abuse, covered up the abuse, or neglected to provide the right infrastructure to prevent the abuse from occurring. By filing an elder sex abuse lawsuit, survivors may be able to recover compensation for the crime. Our nursing home sexual abuse lawyers at Edwards Henderson Lehrman can listen to your story and advise you on your legal rights during a free legal consultation.
What is Nursing Home Sexual Assault?
Nursing home sexual abuse refers to unwanted sexual contact or behavior with a nursing home or other long-term care facility resident. Anyone can be the perpetrator of nursing home sexual abuse, such as a nurse, staff member, or a fellow resident.
Nursing home sexual abuse may take many forms, including:
- Kissing on any part of the body, including the mouth
- Showing pornographic material to a resident
- Masturbating or engaging in any sexual activity in front of a resident
- Non-consensual sex, including oral and anal sex
Often, sexual abuse survivors are uncomfortable reporting such abuse for reasons that may range from humiliation, fear, shame, guilt, or inability to fully comprehend the situation. Many survivors do not report the abuse for months or even years. This makes it hard for the authorities and law enforcement officials to uncover the abuse or detect any pattern in nursing home abuse.
How Common is Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
Nursing home or assisted living facility sexual abuse is a serious problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of people throughout the country. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, one in six nursing home residents has experienced some form of abuse, including sexual abuse.
Unfortunately, despite the prevalence of nursing home sexual abuse, there is a lack of comprehensive national data as well as underreporting of such abuse. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse and the Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, ombudsman programs investigated over 800 complaints of sexual abuse in the year 2016 alone. It was found that among nursing home residents, women and patients with dementia are the ones most likely to experience this type of sexual abuse.
In addition, nursing home sexual assault claims are often dealt with improperly. Over 1000 nursing homes have failed to prevent or have mishandled instances of nursing home sexual abuse, according to a CNN investigation.
Who Is Most at Risk for Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes?
A sexual abuser in a nursing home may want to look for individuals who are at their most vulnerable, and/or might be least likely to speak up about abuse, such as the elderly. Other vulnerable groups in assisted living facilities could be residents suffering from Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other forms of memory impairment, as well as those with physical disabilities.
Other situations that may make a nursing home resident more susceptible to sexual abuse include those who are isolated from family and friends.
Signs That Sexual Abuse Has Occurred
Nursing home sexual abuse is often hard to spot because the person who was abused may not be able to communicate with others about the abuse or may not be ready to speak about it. Some sex abuse survivors may refrain from reporting the crimes committed against them due to fear of retaliation from their abuser. Because of this, it is important for you to keep an eye on your loved ones and look for some of the common signs of nursing home sex abuse, including:
Emotional Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Appearing withdrawn or depressed
- Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Withdrawal from friends and family members
- Refusing any form of physical touch or wanting more physical touch than usual
- Having unusual problems sleeping, eating, concentrating, or remembering things
- Excessive fear of certain people, such as nursing home staff
Physical Signs of Sexual Abuse
- Bruising around the genitals or on the breasts
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Presence of sexually transmitted diseases
- Trouble walking or sitting down, without other medical explanation
- Torn or blood-stained clothing
When Should You File a Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Against a Nursing Home?
If you know or strongly suspect that someone you love has been sexually abused while in the care of a nursing home, you may consider filing a sexual abuse lawsuit against the perpetrator and/or the nursing home where the abuse took place. If this is the case, it is important that you know what the available legal options are.
In addition to pursuing criminal charges, you may be able to file a civil sexual abuse lawsuit on your loved one’s behalf. While criminal charges against the perpetrators may help you put them behind bars, a civil sexual assault lawsuit can help you hold the nursing home facility accountable for their role in the crime. A successful nursing home sex abuse lawsuit allows you to pursue compensation for the pain and trauma your loved one has experienced due to the negligence of a nursing home facility. While no amount of money will change what happened to them, it is a powerful way to acknowledge the pain and suffering, mental anguish, and similar losses that they endured and help ensure it does not happen again.
How Can a Nursing Home Be Held Liable?
In order to hold a negligent nursing home liable for sexual abuse, it must be shown that the facility’s negligence resulted in the sexual assault happening. There are several ways in which a nursing home may have shown negligence:
- Failure to properly screen or conduct background checks of the employees and other staff
- Failure to appropriately staff the facility, such as by understaffing
- Failure to adequately supervise employees
- Failure to sufficiently train employees regarding the prevention, recognition, and reporting of sexual abuse
- Failure to adequately monitor visitors
How a Sexual Assault Attorney Can Help
The elder sex abuse attorneys of Edwards Henderson Lehrman are nationally recognized, with a track record of success in helping individuals attain justice and compensation against organizations responsible for sexual abuse occurring under their watch. If you decide to pursue a sexual abuse lawsuit or simply want to understand your legal options, we can assist you by:
- Explaining your legal options and answering any questions you may have.
- Analyzing the facts of your case to determine potential liability.
- Gathering evidence and expert testimony to strengthen your claim.
- Handling communications with insurance companies and opposing counsel.
- Following all applicable substantive and procedural laws, such as the state-specific statute of limitations, at the time of filing your lawsuit.
- Advocating and fighting for justice on your behalf.
Speak To a Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Attorney Today
At Edwards Henderson Lehrman, we are committed to restoring justice on behalf of nursing home sexual abuse survivors. Our sexual assault lawyers have successfully taken on many rich and powerful defendants, including Jeffrey Epstein. We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of survivors, including a $71 million jury award that was the largest sex abuse verdict in U.S. history.
If you or a loved one have been affected by nursing home sex abuse, contact us today for free legal consultation.
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