San Diego County Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Nursing home abuse and neglect can take many different forms in San Diego County, including sexual abuse. Sexual assault and abuse is an often-underreported form of elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and it can be difficult to identify signs and symptoms of this particular type of abuse. At the same time, it is also the most devastating form of nursing home abuse that can result in debilitating physical and psychological harm. Both the facility itself as well the perpetrator of the sexual abuse can be liable for injuries to an elderly resident of a nursing home who is the target of sexual abuse.
It is important to know the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse in nursing homes and to learn more about the steps you can take to hold the wrongdoers and the negligent nursing home accountable. An experienced San Diego County sexual abuse lawyer at our firm can help.What is a Sexual Abuse in a San Diego County Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility?
Sexual abuse in nursing homes is a serious form of abuse that involves “non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another,” according to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. Non-consensual sexual contact occurs anytime a nursing home resident does not consent — by actively saying no, refusing to give affirmative consent, or as a result of a cognitive impairment that prevents a resident from being able to consent. The National Council on Aging defines sexual assault similarly as “touching, fondling, intercourse, or any other sexual activity with an older adult, when the older adult is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened, or physically forced.” Sexual abuse in a nursing home setting can take any of the following forms:
- Unwanted sexual touching of any type;
- Oral penetration;
- Anal penetration;
- Forced viewing of pornography or sexual images;
- Forcing a nursing home resident to observe another person masturbating or engaging in sexual touching or activity;
- Forced nudity; and/or
- Taking any unwanted photos or videos of a sexual nature (or doing so without consent) of a nursing home resident.
Signs of sexual abuse may be difficult to identify depending upon the nursing home resident and the form of sexual abuse. Common signs of sexual abuse in a nursing home setting include but are not limited to:
- Bruising around the breasts, thighs, or genital area;
- Unexplained sexually transmitted infections;
- Bleeding or pain in the genital areas;
- Difficulty sitting or standing or walking;
- Torn clothing, especially undergarments;
- Bloodied or stained undergarments;
- Fear or agitation around a particular staff member or resident;
- Withdrawal from regular interests and activities;
- Unexplained changes in behavior; and/or
- Anxiety, depression, or signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to KPBS, a recent review of sexual abuse in San Diego County nursing homes revealed that dozens of sexual assaults had gone uninvestigated, and nursing home residents sustained serious trauma and harm as a result of those assaults.Contact Our San Diego County Sexual Abuse Attorneys Today for Help
If you have any concerns at all about sexual abuse in a Southern California nursing home, it is critical to get in touch with one of our experienced San Diego County sexual abuse lawyers as soon as possible. Contact the Southern California Nursing Home Law Group today for assistance.