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Sexual Assault

More than two-thirds of female rape victims above the age of 60 were attacked in nursing homes.

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Sexual Assault by Nursing Staff or Others

Nursing home residents, especially those with cognitive deficits, are vulnerable to sexual predators. In many cases, their physical conditions make them unable to defend themselves from assaults, and some lack the ability to communicate with others about the abuse.

Data reveal that more than two-thirds of female rape victims above the age of 60 were attacked in nursing homes. More than half of all victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes died within a year of the incident.

As with other types of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other care facilities, many sexual assaults go unreported altogether.

Sexual misconduct in nursing homes includes inappropriate touching, forced nudity, sexual advances and rape. Those who commit these offenses may be staff members, volunteers, other residents or visitors to the facility.

Nursing home operators have a legal duty to protect their residents from sexual abuse, but they sometimes neglect to do so.

Nursing homes and other care facilities may be liable for sexual assault damages when they:

  • Do not conduct proper background checks on employees
  • Do not adequately supervise employees
  • Do not take measures to prevent residents from abusing others
  • Do not reasonably monitor visitors to their facilities

Signs of Possible Sexual Abuse

  • Unexplained bruising
  • Tender areas, especially around genitals and breasts
  • Infections or bleeding in genitals
  • Difficulty walking or standing
  • Contracting a sexually transmitted disease
  • Withdrawal
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Other changes in demeanor
  • Fear of others, especially of one person in particular

Sexual abuse in nursing homes and other care facilities must be stopped immediately, and those responsible for it must be punished.

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