Elder abuse has been called an epidemic by the Center for Disease Control. Elder abuse takes many forms including physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, chemical abuse and even sexual abuse. While it is unfathomable to try to understand why anyone responsible for caring for our elders would instead take advantage of them sexually, it does happen. Sexual abuse in nursing homes may be one of the worst types of crimes committed against an elderly resident of a nursing home. Unfortunately, this type of abuse is often under reported, due to a variety of reasons.
It is believed that one reason sexual abuse goes unreported is due to the fact that the elderly resident’s condition is such that it is difficult for them to communicate the abuse to others. Sexual abuse in nursing homes is also believed to go unreported because victims are often terrified of their perpetrators and fear that speaking up will only provoke further attacks. Similarly, fear of being punished for reporting the abuse, including a denial of food or medication, may be another reason victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes do not report the crimes. Finally, others may not report the sexual abuse due to a feeling of shame about the incidents.
If you believe that someone you know is being sexually abused while living in a nursing home, you should immediately contact local law enforcement.
Christopher C. Walton is a California elder abuse attorney whose practice is dedicated to issues involving elder abuse & neglect. If you believe you or somebody you know has been subjected to abuse or neglect in a California nursing home, contact him at (866) 338-7079. Consultations are free and confidential, and cases are always handled on a contingency basis.