There is nothing more horrifying than sex crimes against children and the elderly, two of our most vulnerable populations, yet two of the most preyed upon since the dawn of time. Most of us would do anything in the world to protect our children, our parents, and our grandparents from the cruel hands of an abuser.
But what if you’ve done everything possible to find your aged loved one what you thought was a safe place to live, somewhere they would be cared for around the clock by trained medical professionals, somewhere they would be safe and well cared for in their last years? What if the very same people you chose to care for your senior loved one are the ones tormenting and torturing her when you’re not around?
Many of us would feel tremendous guilt, and we want to punish those who have harmed our aged loved one. You will need an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer if you suspect your elderly loved one has been abused in a nursing home, assisted living, or similar location. In Georgia, please contact attorney Laurie Robbins for your free initial consultation. She can help.
Elderly Sex Assault Statistics
Elder sexual abuse, not just that which takes place in nursing homes, is an all too rampant problem in the United States, and the statistics regarding this shameful problem are nothing less than shocking. The website, nursinghomeabusecenter.com, provides some numbers that allow a glimpse into just how prevalent sexual assault against the elderly is today:
- Women are 6 times more likely than men to be victims of elder sexual abuse.
- Only roughly 30% of elderly sexual abuse victims over the age of 65 years report the abuse.
- 83% of elder sexual abuse victims live in a nursing home or similar facility (assisted living, for example).
- In 80% of the cases of elder sex abuse, the perpetrator was the caregiver to the elder.
- Approximately 76% of elder sexual abuse victims had witnesses to their abuse.
Signs of Sexual Abuse in the Elderly
There may be physical and behavioral signs of sexual abuse in your aged loved one. If you notice any of the following, you must take action right away:
- Problems walking, sitting, or shifting in a chair or bed
- Pelvic injuries
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Torn or bloodied underwear
- Bleeding or irritation in the genital or anal region
- Unexplained bruises in the genital or breast region
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Signs of PTSD
- Agitation and irritability
- Social or emotional withdrawal
- Aggressive or inappropriate behaviors, usually sexual in nature
- Suicide attempt
- Fearfulness of caregivers or others around her
Protect Your Senior Loved One
If you suspect your family member or loved one has been a victim of sexual assault in the nursing home or assisted living facility in which they live, you must call law enforcement and remove your family member from that location as quickly as possible. If that’s not an option, call law enforcement and let them begin an investigation while you look into an alternate living situation for your family member. Your state’s department of health or department of aging will also be called in to do its own investigation. Once evidence is collected and analyzed, the guilty parties will be removed and criminally prosecuted, or that is the hope.
If you and your lawyer decide to file a claim against the nursing home, most states have a very specific process that must be adhered to (the steps vary in each state, however):
- The facility must be alerted there was a violation by certified mail
- You must identify the specific rights that you allege they have violated
- You must identify the negligence you allege caused the injuries or wrongful death
- You must describe all injuries sustained by your loved one
- You must include a certification from an attorney that you are making the claim in good faith
If you or your loved one has been victimized in a nursing home or similar facility in Atlanta or anywhere in Georgia, please call us for a free and confidential consultation. Laurie Robbins can explain the complex process of filing a claim against the nursing home, and together, you can decide the next steps for you and your family.