A Louisville Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Discusses Sexual Abuse Claims
There are few things more abominable than elder sexual abuse – in which seniors are the victims of unwanted sexual contact. Yet this is shockingly common in Kentucky nursing homes and adult care facilities across the country. Why? Sadly, many seniors suffer from age-related physical and mental conditions that make it difficult for them to stop or report abuse. At the same time, homes are often ill-equipped to deal with such cases. In fact, the facilities themselves may be to blame for the assaults.
If your elder loved one has been sexually abused while living in a nursing home, you should know his or her legal rights, as well as the best avenues to justice. Speak to a Louisville nursing home abuse attorney today to get the answers that you need about filing a claim and receiving compensation.
Types of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Nursing home sexual abuse is often misunderstood. First and foremost, it is important to understand that seniors may be abused by a range of different people, including:
- Staff members.
- Doctors or nurses.
- Other residents.
- Family members.
It is also important to understand that nursing home sexual abuse takes a number of different forms. Let’s take a closer look:
- Sexual assault. Sexual assault includes any nonconsensual sexual contact, such as rape, sodomy, and other unwanted sexual contact. In nursing homes, these assaults often involve residents who are not strong enough to resist, who suffer from age-related cognitive issues, or who are sedated through medication. Even seniors who are well enough to communicate their abuse are often simply not believed by staff or loved ones.
- Sexual coercion. Seniors with age-related illnesses like dementia – or simply lonely or confused seniors – may be the victims of sexual coercion. This type of abuse takes place when an abuser uses subtle pressure or emotional force to engage in unwanted sexal contact with another person. In these cases, abusers might use threats, lies, and psychological abuse in order to take advantage of others.
- Sexual harassment. Perhaps the most common form of sexual abuse in nursing homes is simply sexual harassment, which could include unwanted sexual advances, unwanted physical sexual contact, requests for sexual favors, and any other inappropriate sexual verbal abuse.
If it is discovered that a resident has been sexually abused, by law, the incident must be reported to the proper authorities. Unfortunately, researchers believe that a majority of these situations are never reported, allowing abusers to continue their abuse, and causing victims to endure ongoing harassment and assaults.
Those responsible for abuses such as these may face serious consequences, including being charged with crimes and facing jail time. In addition, those responsible may face a civil lawsuit in which they may be found responsible for damages associated with their actions.
Who is Responsible for Nursing Home Sexual Abuse?
It seems obvious that the abuser is the responsible party when it comes to sexual abuse. However, these cases are not often simple. The truth is that it is often also the fault of the facility that created an environment in which abuse could take place. Put another way, it often occurs because of the neglect of the nursing home itself.
Specifically, sexual abuse may take place because:
- The nursing home neglects to conduct adequate background checks on potential employees.
- It hires staff members with a history of nursing home abuse or sexual abuse.
- The facility does not properly train staff members regarding how to recognize and report abuses, how to treat patients, or how to supervise residents.
- The nursing home does not properly monitor residents who have cognitive or personality disorders.
- It has inadequate security and safety features, such as cameras.
- The nursing home does not have an adequate plan to prevent or stop this type of abuse.
If you can prove that your loved one’s facility was negligent with regard to a sexual abuse incident, they may be responsible for damages, including associated past and future medical bills, therapy, and pain and suffering.
Stop Nursing Home Sexual Abuse In Kentucky. Start With Your Loved One’s Case.
One of the best ways to ensure that nursing home abuse is stopped is to make certain that the person who abused your elder loved one is held accountable, and that the facility that allowed the abuse to happen takes responsibility for what took place. If a senior in your life has been sexually abused in a nursing home, speak to an experienced, compassionate Louisville nursing home abuse attorney today. Seth Gladstein offers confidential, complimentary consultations where he can answer all of your questions and explain your options for legal action. Call us today at 502-855-4177 or 800-991-0474 or fill out our electronic contact form.