It is unfathomable to most people that sexual abuse and assault could take place in nursing homes—the very facilities entrusted with the care of the elderly, disabled, and others in need. Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes is shockingly prevalent. The exact number of nursing home sexual abuse cases is unknown, as instances often go unreported. In fact, a recent report by CNN revealed that, while there have been over 16,000 sexual abuse claims arising out of nursing homes since 2000, an estimated 70% of sexual assaults in long-term assisted living facilities are never reported. Even more disturbingly, the same report revealed that, more often than not, nursing home facilities were slow to take action and law enforcement was reluctant to believe victims.
At Anastopoulo Law Firm we believe that perpetrators of sexual abuse should be held accountable to the fullest extent. In addition to criminal action, the victim and/or his or her family members may take civil action to recover compensation for their damages. This includes things like pain and suffering, emotional trauma, medical expenses, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
If you believe you or your loved one was the victim of an assault, contact our South Carolina nursing home sexual abuse attorneys today at (800) 313-5984 for a free consultation.
Signs of Sexual Abuse
As previously mentioned, it is believed that the vast majority of sexual abuse and assault cases in nursing homes go unreported. Often, victims are not able to remember all of the details of what happened. They may be unable to report the abuse, afraid to speak out against caregivers in a position of power, or even unaware that what has occurred is criminal. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that you are able to recognize the signs of sexual abuse. This way, at the first indication that something is wrong, you will be able to report the abuse to the proper authorities and work to put an immediate stop to it.
If you have a loved one in long-term assisted living, be aware of and look out for the following signs of sexual abuse:
- Injuries to the breast/genital areas, including bruises, bleeding, or irritation
- Occurrence of new sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs)
- Ripped, torn, bloody, or stained undergarments
- Unexplained difficulties standing, sitting, or walking
- Genital or anal pain, bleeding, irritation, or injuries
- Sudden, unexplained changes in behavior or mood, including extreme agitation
- Social withdrawal and/or suicidal behaviors or attempts
- Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or panic attacks
You should also be aware of any behavior by nursing home staff that appears unusual, such as a strange relationship between a staff member and your loved one. If your loved one tells you that he or she has been assaulted or sexually abused, contact the police and report the abuse right away. Then, reach out to our South Carolina nursing home sexual abuse lawyers as soon as possible to protect your rights and seek justice on behalf of your loved one.
Here for You When You Need Us Most
Few things are as devastating as learning that your loved one has been the victim of sexual abuse. At Anastopoulo Law Firm we are here to help you navigate the legal process with compassion and understanding. With more than 25 years of legal experience, our nursing home abuse attorneys understand the immense impact such an incident can have on your entire family. We are here to fight for the maximum compensation you are owed, as well as to hold the responsible party/parties accountable.
Call our office now at (800) 313-5984 for a free consultation.