Due to their vulnerable natures and circumstances, the elderly are often fall prey to abuse from nursing home staff, the very people who are responsible for protecting them. One of the most unsettling types of abuse that occurs at nursing homes across the country is sexual abuse on elderly residents.
Victims of sexual abuse in a nursing home often times are unable to speak out against their abuse, for several reasons. These victims, due to their age or health, may have medical conditions that make it difficult for them to communicate or recall certain events.
Sexual abuse within a nursing home, unfortunately, happens more often than many would believe. The most disturbing part of the entire situation is how nursing home administrators and employees take almost no action to prevent or stop these events. In some cases, pure negligence of abuse is the reason why nursing homes are not taking action, but in many other cases, victims don’t feel they can safely report these attacks or just can’t accurately recall the event, due to illness or fear.
Family members who believe that elderly sexual abuse may be happening at their loved one’s nursing home should speak with law enforcement immediately. The police will often assign a caregiver from the state who is affiliated with the department to investigate the abuse allegations further. They will ask the elderly victim a series of questions to learn if that person might have been abused. Some of the questions will study mental stability, relationships and the environment that they live in. If the investigator can identify that elderly abuse has taken place, the patient will be moved to another location, and they will receive treatment through counseling and medication to hopefully help them cope with their abuse.
An essential step for the victim’s family members would be to find an experienced nursing home sex abuse lawyer who is knowledgable with these types of cases. You can receive free legal consultation from KBA Attorneys and learn about fighting back against negligent nursing homes.
In the case with the elderly, anyone who spends time alone with the patient could be a suspect, and this includes:
One of the main issues with this crime is that the abusers are often people in a position of authority and take advantage of a vulnerable senior person. It is an inexcusable act when caregivers betray the trust that is granted to them that corrupts the entire institution of nursing home professionals everywhere. If someone alleges that this type of abuse has taken place, their claims should be taken seriously.
Because of the secretive nature of these crimes, it can be hard for family members and the public to be aware that there is an issue, especially with a nursing home that doesn’t respond to or reports these cases. Sometimes the staff isn’t even aware of these issues. In one study that examined nursing homes, researchers learned how sexual abuse was one of the most under-reported types of assault that can occur in nursing homes.
Sonja Fischer, 83, couldn’t fight back against her abuser. A nursing assistant saw a male caregiver into Fischer’s on December 18th, 2014, at 4:30 in the morning. The witness to the scene observed an individual with bare legs, thrusting, and saw Fischer’s adult diaper had been undone. That individual was then indentified as George Kpingbah. In the end, Kpingbah was handed eight years in the penitentiary for third-degree criminal sexual misconduct.
A more recent incident occurred in January 2018 when a woman in a vegetative state, who was previously unknown to be pregnant, suddenly going into labor. This lead to an investigation on sexual abuse within the nursing home that the woman stayed at for 14 years. You can read more about this nursing home rape incident can on KBA Attorneys’ blog page.
Unfortunately, cases of nursing home sexual abuse happen because predators chose to prey on the vulnerable. In the case of George Kpingbah, though allegations about his behavior had been made in the past, nothing could be proven until they caught him in the act. After Kpingbah was caught though, the nursing home acted immediately. Allegations were raised multiple times, and nothing was done. This shows a lack of sympathy part of the nursing home because other residents of theirs also reported being abused by Kpingbah.
Sadly, crimes of this nature are happening throughout the nation. One example in South Carolina, a woman who was under 100 pounds and impaired cognitively was unable to defend herself from an abuser, a nursing assistant who sexually assaulted her behind closed doors.
In another case out of Texas, a resident was raped by a caretaker in their nursing home. The abuse victim saved what evidence she could, leaving her bra unwashed for over three weeks before investigators came and examined it.
In Iowa, a victim was assaulted while she took a shower. In this example, the nursing home never bothered to bring this up with the authorities because the person responsible had left the country. Reporters discovered over a thousand cases of how nursing homes weren’t reporting these sexual abuse crimes.
One of the significant problems with sexual abuse crimes is that abusers often have a great deal of power over their victims. Victims often fear that if they did report these crimes, those nursing home staff members could cause them harm and the matter doesn’t get investigated.
The most appalling outrage is that many of the people who have committed abuses within the nursing home have never faced justice for their crimes. The callous disregard for human decency has made it all the more apparent that new laws and regulations need to be enacted so that people protected from abuse within their nursing home.
Here at KBA Attorneys, we are committed to helping these victims find justice in the court of law and punish the nursing homes that have failed to provide the care that was promised. We will use the full extent of the law to punish the abusers and the facilities that have been unable to prevent sex abuse.
If someone you love has suffered at the hands of someone else in a nursing home, you have a right to compensation. Finding an experienced personal injury lawyer from KBA Attorneys can bring those responsible to justice. Call KBA Attorneys today for a free case evaluation.
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