According to an in-depth study performed by the Special Investigations Division of the House Government Reform Committee, 1 out of every 3 nursing homes in the United States has had serious nursing home abuse violations, with a majority of these violations being sexual assault, sexual misconduct, and even rape. Nursing home rape or assault are among the most traumatic experiences an elderly person can endure.
Close to 70% of female rape victims over the age of 60 have suffered the abuse in nursing homes. In addition, over half of all sexual abuse victims in nursing homes in the United States died within a year after the sexual misconduct occurred.
Reasons for Prevalence of Nursing Home Rape, Assault or Sexual Misconduct
Every resident living in a nursing home is there because they need assistance with daily living needs and/or medical and psychological needs. Their weakened conditions, unfortunately, make them prime targets for sexual deviants to take advantage of. Residents who can no longer talk or suffer from cognitive disorders run an even higher risk of being victims of sexual misconduct.
Although it seems like a nursing home is last place someone should be worrying about sexual abuse occurring, the unfortunate fact is that a large number of nursing homes fail to properly screen employees. Some nursing homes don’t even perform background criminal checks before offering employment. In fact, 10 states in the United States do not have laws mandating required background checks on potential nursing home employees. As a result, there are nursing homes across the nation employing people who have past records of criminal behavior.
In other instances, sexual misconduct happens at the hands of another nursing home resident. When these situations occur, it is due to the negligence of nursing home staff members who have failed to properly monitor the residents. Some residents will prey upon other residents who are physically weak or suffer from a lack of motor skills and cognitive disorders.
Signs of Nursing Home Rape or Assault
Loved ones need to pay close attention to the cues of nursing home residents, especially if they cannot talk or lack the mental capacity to fully communicate. Common signs of sexual abuse include:
- Troubles with walking or standing that were not previously present
- Bleeding, infection, and irritation in the genital areas
- Bruising on arms, inner thighs, and/or breasts
- Contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Unusual fear and anxiety
- Withdrawing from activities and socialization
- Acting stressed and/or fearful around others, especially the potential assailant
Getting Legal Help in Nursing Home Rape or Assault Cases
It is the nursing home’s responsibility to protect and take care of its residents. Failing to properly screen employees and not monitoring residents can result in physical and mental danger. If a nursing home fails to provide the state and federal-mandated quality of care for its residents, it could be held liable for damages that develop as a result of the nursing home rape or assault.
If you or a loved one has been a victim to nursing home rape or assault, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to assist you. At MedMalFirm.com, our award-winning nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys have represented a number of sexual nursing home abuse victims and their families. Give us a call today at 877-887-4850 and for a free consultation to discuss your potential nursing home rape or assault claim. You may also fill out our online inquiry form and one of our intake case managers will respond to you shortly.