You’re probably familiar with sexual abuse occurring among children because they’re so vulnerable, but it’s also a common occurrence in nursing homes. Like children, many elderly individuals are emotionally and physically frail and as a result, they too are vulnerable to non-consensual contact and sexual abuse.
The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care defines sexual abuse as “non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another.” Adding, “Sexual abuse is a form of elder abuse that frequently goes underreported, under-investigated, and unnoticed.”
Sexual Abuse Takes Different Forms
While rape is a form of sexual abuse, it’s only one form and there are many. Sexual abuse in a nursing home includes:
- Forced oral sex
- Forced anal sex
- Forcing the resident to be nude
- Forcing the resident to watch pornographic movies
- Forcing the resident to observe masturbation
- Taking sexually explicit pictures of the resident
- Taking sexually explicit video recordings of the resident and distributing them
- Taking pictures or videos of the resident bathing, dressing, etc.
The most likely victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes are women and residents who have dementia, however, any nursing home resident can be a victim, including men. According to The National Consumer Voice, 65.2 percent of nursing home residents are women, and those residents who have dementia are especially susceptible to sexual abuse due to their impaired memory and communication skills.
Identifying the Perpetrators
“Who are the abusers?” that’s the next question. They’re not only the nursing home staff. It can be anyone who has contact with the resident. It can be a friend, a family member, another resident, or a complete stranger. It can also be someone who visits the facility or a temporary staff member.
Interestingly, sexual abuse is often committed by other residents who have dementia themselves, which affects their behavior – this is called “resident-to-resident sexual aggression” or RRSA, and it’s the most common type of sexual abuse that occurs in nursing homes.
To learn more about sexual abuse in nursing homes, click here.
If your family member is telling you they’ve been sexually assaulted or raped, take them seriously! They have rights under federal law and that includes the right to be free from sexual abuse. Contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today to file a personal injury claim on behalf of your loved one.