It is a sad reality that elder sexual battery occurs more often than most people realize. An act of elder sexual battery occurs when someone (in many cases, a caregiver) takes advantage of an elderly person in a sexual way. Although this type of abuse can happen anywhere, it tends to occur most often in nursing homes. When an elderly person suffers from an act of sexual assault due to the negligence of a nursing home, or any other assisted living facility, the elderly victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Sexual battery of an elderly person is a form of abuse that includes the initiation of physical or sexual contact with an individual, and that contact is nonconsensual or unwanted. Elderly sexual battery can be an unwanted touch or may go as far as rape.
Even if an elderly person seems to be agreeable to the sexual activity, there are some cases in which the elderly person is unable to consent, making the incident a sexual battery. The inability of an elderly individual to consent may be a result of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Additionally, the elderly may also be suffering from confusion or another type of memory impairment. These kinds of cases can be particularly complex, since the elderly person may not be consciously aware of what has happened to them. This can cause them to fail to report the sexual battery or to seek out help.
There are certain risk factors commonly associated with elderly sexual battery that elderly persons and their loved ones should be aware of. Abusers seem to seek out elderly individuals since they tend to be more vulnerable and are believed to be an easier target. Elderly persons that live alone or in nursing homes are also at a higher risk than those that live with loved ones at home.
Another risk factor associated with elder abuse is being an elderly woman. Elderly women are statistically more likely than men to suffer from an incident involving sexual battery. Other risk factors include suffering from another form of abuse or neglect and having any form of physical disability.
If you are worried that a loved one has been the victim of a sexual battery, there are some signs you can watch for that may reveal that they are in need of help. Some common signs include unexplained bruises, a new sexually transmitted disease or infection, depression or a sudden change in mood or affect, depression, anxiety, or excessive fear expressed when they are around a caregiver or someone else that they have been in contact with. If you see any of these signs, you should check in with your loved one and offer to help.
One of the ways that you can help your loved one is to connect them with an experienced elder law attorney who can help them fight for compensation if another party was negligently responsible for the abuse. Contact the California elder abuse attorneys at The Peck Law Group today to learn more.
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