CHICAGO. In modern American society rape victims face scrutiny by the very people who should help them. According to the Huffington Post, many police officers are still more likely to believe abusers rather than those who are abused. Officers may claim that they are protecting all parties involved (namely, men from false claims), when they may be perpetuating a culture that trusts men and sees female speech as questionable. The situation is difficult enough on college campuses and in situations where women have been violated, but what happens when a rape victim cannot speak? What happens when a rape victim is abused by the very people entrusted to offer protection and care?
According to CNN, there have been growing numbers of reports of nursing home residents facing sexual assault by the very people who should be caring for them. It is difficult to know exactly how many residents have been violated. There are currently few protections in place to protect nursing home residents from sexual assault.
The problem seems to be systemic. Nursing homes may be reluctant to report allegations of rape because they may not believe the victims or they may want to avoid a scandal. Police may not be likely to believe victims because some suffer from Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues. In one instance, a caregiver was found to have repeatedly assaulted residents in his care. The caregiver faces a fine of $15 million if he abuses again. Nursing home sexual assault is particularly pernicious because abusers target residents who are already vulnerable.
What can families do to protect their loved ones? According to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, nursing home residents may hold perceptions of rape that differ from their children and from younger generations. For instance, in past generations childhood sexual assault, when committed by a member of the family may not have been reported. Elders may hold negative views about rape and may blame themselves. Families cannot always expect their loved one to report the abuse.
Yet, there are still signs families can watch for to identify sexual assault in nursing homes. If your loved one has a new emergence of an STD, pelvic injury, difficulty sitting, genital pain, inner thigh bruises, torn undergarments, has panic attacks, signs of post traumatic stress disorder, or unusual or uncharacteristic sexual behavior, families may wish to contact a qualified elder abuse attorney in Chicago, Illinois, like the lawyers at the Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd.
Abuse may not only be the result of nursing home caregivers, but also perpetrated by fellow residents. According to the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, sexual aggression against older adults most often occurs in nursing homes, with fellow residents being the most likely culprits. Nursing homes have a responsibility to protect residents, not only from harming themselves, but also from harming each other. If you suspect that your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home, visit https://www.dinizululawgroup.com/. Our nursing home neglect lawyers can review the details of your case and help your family seek the justice you may deserve.