When people think of nursing home abuse, they commonly have egregious conduct in mind that includes:
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
- Mental abuse
- Emotional abuse
What they do not tend to contemplate is nursing home sexual abuse. People from all walks of life understandably cannot imagine a situation in which a predator would be so depraved as to sexually abuse a vulnerable nursing home resident. The grim reality is that nursing home sexual abuse occurs with alarming frequency across the United States. There are four key statistics to consider when it comes to sexual abuse of nursing home residents:
- Number of formal nursing home sexual abuse complaints
- Number of nursing homes cited for sexual abuse of residents
- Rate of sexual abuse of elderly and dementia residents
- Underreporting of nursing home sexual abuse
Before diving deeper into important nursing home sexual assault and abuse statistics, a couple preliminary points need to be made:
- Common perpetrators of nursing home sexual abuse
- Signs of nursing home sexual abuse or sexual assault
Perpetrators of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
Over the course of the past two decades, an array of individuals has been identified as perpetrators of sexual abuse in a nursing home setting. There are certain individuals who more frequently are identified as perpetrators of sexual abuse of nursing home residents:
- Nursing aides
- Administrative staff members
- Maintenance employees
- Fellow residents
- Individuals from outside a facility
Signs of Nursing Home Sexual Abuse
In nearly all cases, a family member or other loved one is the first person to suspect that a nursing home resident possible is the victim of nursing home sexual abuse. The most commonplace signs or nursing home sexual assault or abuse are:
- Bruising on a resident’s thighs
- Bruising at or around a resident’s genital area
- Newly developed anxiety
- Newly developed depression
- Unexplained STDs or sexually transmitted disease
Formal Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Complaints
Over the course of the past two decades there have been over 20,000 formal complaints lodged about nursing home sexual abuse in the United States. This translates to about three reported cases of sexual abuse perpetrated on nursing home residents daily.
There are two important points about this information. First, there is no national database with statistics on nursing home sexual abuse. Thus, this 20,000 number is likely incomplete.
Second, many cases of nursing home sexual abuse are never reported. As will be discussed in a moment, most victims of nursing home sexual abuse are highly vulnerable residents. They are unable to advocate effectively for themselves.
Nursing Homes Cited for Sexual Abuse of Residents
During a three-year time period, 1,000 nursing homes in the country formally were cited for sexual abuse perpetrated on their residents. The stark reality is that this number likely does not come close to identifying all of the facilities that this type of conduct occurred.
Sexual Abuse of Elderly and Dementia Residents
Nursing home residents most frequently sexually victimized are those who are elderly or diagnosed with dementia. Sexual predators in these types of settings are drawn to people who are least able to defend themselves.
Sexual Abuse: Least Reported Type of Nursing Home Abuse
For reasons discussed a moment ago, nursing home sexual abuse is the least reported type of abuse in a skilled care facility:
- Less than one percent of nursing home staff members reported sexual abuse of residents
- Just under two percent of nursing home residents or their family members reported instances of sexual abuse
If you’ve learned a loved one is the victim of nursing home sexual abuse, the legal team at The Doan Law Firm is here for you. As was noted previously, family members, friends, and other loved ones of nursing home residents typically are the people in a position to protect the rights of a victim of nursing home abuse.
You can connect with a Doan Law Firm nursing home sexual abuse lawyer through our 24-hour telephone line at (800) 349-0000. A nationwide law firm, we can schedule a consultation with you at any one of our 40 offices located across the country. We can also arrange an appointment at your home or a virtual consultation online as well. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a nursing home sexual abuse lawyer from our firm.