When CNN reported on the “rape epidemic” in nursing homes, many people were surprised. Most people have no idea of the rate of sexual assault in nursing homes, and most have never experienced the severely-traumatic effects first-hand.
But, for those who have experienced nursing home sexual assault, life is different. For nursing home residents who have been abused or who have seen their neighbors abused, there is a constant fear that their situation will get worse before it gets better. Those who have been sexually abused are more likely to commit abusive acts in the future, and those who have been victimized are often at the greatest risk for being targeted again.
At the Babiarz Law Firm, PA, we understand the risks facing nursing home residents. Living and working in The Villages® for over 20 years, we have gotten to know numerous senior residents and their families. We know that in many nursing homes, the risk of sexual abuse is very real, and we are passionate about using our knowledge and experience to give a voice to those who have been abused.
Identifying Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Assault
For family members, it can often be difficult to identify the signs of sexual assault. Nursing home staff and administrators will try to cover up known assaults (in CNN’s investigation, more than 1,000 nursing homes were cited for failing to report and otherwise mishandling cases of suspected abuse), and seniors who have been abused are often reluctant to speak about their attacks. This reluctance can be the result of fear and intimidation, or it can result from feelings of shame and anxiety in the wake of being abused. In some cases, seniors with dementia and other cognitive impairments may not know or remember that they have been abused.
As a result, it is important for family members with loved ones living in nursing homes to be aware of the signs and symptoms of sexual assault -- and to know how to seek help when they suspect abuse. Among seniors living in nursing homes, some of the most-common effects of sexual assault include:
- Appearing fearful of nursing home staff members
- Becoming reclusive or emotionally-withdrawn
- Difficulty or pain while sitting or walking
- Panic attacks and other signs of severe stress
- Physical injuries consistent with being restrained or sexually assaulted
If you suspect that a family member living in a Central Florida nursing home may be a victim of sexual assault or abuse, we urge you to seek help promptly. Our legal team is available to provide assistance, from finding a doctor to holding the nursing home accountable in court. We have decades of experience representing seniors in Central Florida, and we often work with family members nationwide whose loved ones are victims of accidents, assault; and/or abuse.
Contact The Villages® Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Babiarz Law Firm, PA Today
For more information about what to do if you have been sexually assaulted in a nursing home or if you suspect nursing home abuse, schedule a free consultation at the Babiarz Law Firm, PA. Call (352) 205-7599 or get in touch with us online, and we will make arrangements for you to meet with attorney Tim Babiarz as soon as possible.