Sexual abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is a distressing and all-too-common issue that affects some of our most vulnerable citizens. At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, our Atlanta personal injury lawyers are committed to fighting for justice on behalf of those who have suffered sexual abuse in care facilities in Atlanta. Let us help you ensure that justice is served and that the wrongdoers are held fully accountable for the harm they caused.
What is Sexual Abuse in a Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility?
Sexual abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility encompasses a range of deplorable actions perpetrated against a resident, including:
- Unwanted touching or groping: Any non-consensual physical contact of a sexual nature
- Rape: The gravest form of sexual abuse, involving coercing or physically forcing a resident into sexual intercourse against their will
- Forced or coerced nudity: Forcing or manipulating a resident into undressing or exposing themselves
- Forced or coerced explicit photography: Taking explicit photos or videos of residents without their consent
Any sexual interaction can be considered sexual abuse if the perpetrator uses threat, force, or exploitation, or if they know the victim does not have the mental capacity to understand the nature of the act or give knowing consent.
What Nursing Home Residents Are Most Vulnerable to Sexual Abuse?
Some nursing home residents are particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, especially those who fall into one or more of the following categories:
- Residents with dementia
- Residents with developmental or intellectual disabilities
- Residents with physical disabilities that render them immobile to any extent.
Similarly, the possible perpetrators of sexual abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility can be grouped into three basic categories:
- Members of the facility’s staff: Caregivers, nurses, or other staff who exploit their positions of trust
- Visitors: Outsiders who gain access to residents’ rooms or common areas
- Other residents: Fellow residents who engage in abusive behavior
Signs That a Resident of a Nursing Home or Assisted Care Facility is Has Been Sexually Abused
Recognizing the signs that a resident of a nursing home or assisted care facility has been sexually abused is crucial to stopping the abuse and taking action against the perpetrator. Common signs of sexual abuse that family members and caregivers should look out for include:
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
- Changes in a resident’s behavior
- Withdrawal from social activities
- Sudden emotional distress
Causes of Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities in Atlanta
There are also a variety of causes and circumstances that can give rise to sexual abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, including but not limited to the following:
- Lack of background checks for employees: Inadequate screening can allow individuals with a history of abusive behavior to work in these facilities.
- Lack of training and education: Staff may not be adequately trained to identify or prevent sexual abuse.
- Failure to promptly address complaints and allegations: When nursing homes do not take reports of abuse seriously, it allows perpetrators to continue their actions.
- Failure to report allegations to the proper authorities: Neglecting to involve law enforcement allows abuse to remain hidden.
- Failure to implement safety measures: Inadequate security and supervision can enable abuse to occur.
Regardless of the cause, victims of sexual abuse deserve to be heard and to be compensated for the physical pain and suffering they have suffered, as well as for the emotional trauma they have experienced due to the actions of the perpetrators and the negligence of those entrusted with their care.
How an Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Can Help
Experiencing any form of sexual violence is always traumatic, and victims and their families often struggle to recover. If you or someone you love has suffered abuse, our Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers can help in the following ways:
- Performing an investigation: We will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence and build a strong case against the negligent care facility. This evidence may include:
- Victim’s testimony
- The testimony of witnesses
- Documented evidence of lack of consent, coercion, and the impact of the abuse on the victim’s life.
- Determining Fault: We can help identify all those responsible for the abuse and hold them all accountable.
- Assisting with obtaining additional support: We can connect you with resources like The Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division (HFRD) to report the abuse, and The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) for emotional and practical support.
- Pursuing a nursing home abuse lawsuit: If we cannot negotiate a satisfactory settlement with the facility or their liability insurance carrier, we will be prepared to pursue a civil lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve for the harm endured.
Contact Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates to Schedule a Free Consultation with an Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been a victim of sexual abuse in a nursing home or assisted care facility in Atlanta, do not hesitate to contact us at 770-865-8654 or reach us online for a free consultation. At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, we are dedicated to advocating for your rights and fighting for those responsible to be held accountable for their actions. Let us be your voice in seeking justice, and together, we can work towards a safer future for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.