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Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers > Blog > Nursing Home Abuse > Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes

Sexual Abuse in Nursing Homes


When you think of sexual abuse, you may think of something that happens to younger people and in certain environments, such as homes, schools, and workplaces. However, sexual abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere — even in nursing homes, which can be a huge shock to residents and their loved ones. It can be devastating to know that a vulnerable loved one can be a victim of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse refers to non-consensual sexual contact by one person upon another. It may include:

  • Unwanted intimate touching to the breasts or genital area
  • Rape
  • Forced nudity
  • Forced viewing of masturbation and/or pornography
  • Taking sexually explicit photos or videos of residents. This may include situations in which residents are not fully clothed, such as while bathing or dressing.

In nursing homes, sexual abuse typically occurs by forcing the resident into sexual contact. The victims are often vulnerable elderly people who cannot report the abuse because they are too physically or mentally disabled to do so. Because of this, sexual abuse is a form of elder abuse that tragically goes unreported.

While anyone can be a victim of sexual abuse, female residents and residents with dementia are more likely to be victims. Sadly, residents with dementia are often targeted for sexual abuse due to  their impaired memory and communication skills.

The abuser can be anyone who has contact with the resident. In many cases, residents know their abuser. It could be a family member, friend, or staff member. In some cases, the abuser may even be a complete stranger or another resident.

Some residents may have a mental health issue such as dementia that impacts their choices and behavior and result in resident-to-resident sexual aggression (RRSA).

While some nursing home residents may engage in sexual activity voluntarily, it is important to remember that all such interactions must be consensual. This can be tricky in a nursing home environment, since both parties involved must have the mental capacity to consent. A resident’s ability to consent to sexual activity needs to be carefully assessed, as those with dementia or other cognitive disorders may not be able to consent.

Contact Us Today

You should not have to worry about sexual abuse in nursing homes, but the truth is that you need to be aware of it. If you or someone in your family has been harmed, contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer to assist you in securing the justice you deserve.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is a common issue in nursing homes. Seek legal help from a Columbia nursing home abuse & neglect lawyer from Simmons Law Firm. We will take the proper steps to investigate and initiate swift action to make sure any abuse or neglect stops and that residents get the care they need. To schedule a consultation, call (803) 779-4600 or fill out the online form.



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