When we make the difficult decision to entrust the health and safety of our loved ones to others, we often take for granted that their healthcare providers will always treat them in a caring way. As instances of nursing home abuse continue to rise, however, it has become increasingly clear that this is not always the case.
Sexual abuse is one of the most shocking types of abuse that nursing home residents may fall victim to. Sadly, reported cases of this type of abuse are also on the rise, in addition to physical, emotional, and financial abuse; however, the shame and confusion that many victims often experience lead to a staggering number of cases going unreported.
At Rosen & Spears, our sexual elder abuse attorneys can handle cases in Houston and anywhere else in the entire United States. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, reach out to our firm using our online contact form.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse includes any unwanted, non-consensual sexual conduct, including acts with individuals who are unable to communicate their denial of consent. Elderly residents’ fragility – both physically and mentally – make them easy targets for sexual predators. Often, attackers prey on victims who are unable to speak in the hopes that they will not be able to bring attention to the situation. These handicaps may be a result of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, which result in confusion, memory loss, and difficulty communicating with others. Further, many victims feel shameful or humiliated and will not report abuse, which makes it all the more important for you to be able to recognize potential signs of sexual abuse.
Physical indicators of possible sexual abuse include:
• Pelvic injury
• Bruises or scratches on the genitals or inner thighs
• Difficult sitting or walking
• New sexually transmitted disease or infection
• Genital or anal pain, irritation or bleeding
Victims may also suffer emotional distress with signs including:
• Extreme or unexplained mood swings
• Any changes in behavior, such as in eating and sleeping patterns
• Isolation and withdrawal from social interaction
• Panic attacks or new anxiety
• Suicide attempts
Sexual abuse victims each react differently to his or her situation, so it is important for family members to take note of any changes in mood or behavior. Sadly, many victims of sexual abuse are also intimidated, tricked, or manipulated into keeping quiet. In many cases, they are dependent on their attackers for assistance with basic necessities such as medication and nutrition, making them vulnerable to threats and feelings of helplessness. It is extremely important that we take definitive action to protect the safety and dignity of our loved ones.
How We Can Help
At Rosen & Spears, our unique law firm combines experience with compassion. Our attorneys genuinely care; they are sensitive to our clients’ needs during this difficult period in their lives and have honed their legal skills by handling more than 750 nursing home abuse cases. If you suspect that your loved one may be a victim of sexual abuse or would like to meet with one of our lawyers to learn more about our services, please take the time to fill out our online contact form.