It is a sad truth that sexual abuse can and does occur inside nursing homes. To make matters worse, nursing home residents who are physically and/or cognitively disabled may be especially vulnerable to sexual assault and other forms of abuse from staff members or other residents.
Pursuing civil litigation over sexual abuse in a San Diego nursing home can be a uniquely complex process. Support from a capable and compassionate nursing home abuse lawyer could be vital to protecting your loved one from further harm and holding the wrongdoers accountable.
Possible Signs of Sexual Abuse Inside a Nursing Home
Any sexual behavior involving someone who does not consent to that activity constitutes sexual abuse. This includes forced sexual contact or intercourse, requests for sexual favors, and forcible stripping or exposing of a person. Notably, any person who suffers significant mental or cognitive decline due to a disease like Alzheimer’s or a medical condition like a stroke cannot consent to any sexual activity.
Regardless of whether a resident struggles with mental or cognitive incapacity, it is vital for any reports of sexual misconduct inside a nursing home to be taken seriously. Other physical and emotional signs that mistreatment of this nature may be occurring inside this type of facility include:
- Unexplained bruising or bleeding around the genital areas
- Contraction of sexually transmitted disease(s)
- Dramatic changes in a resident’s personality or mood, especially if it occurs in a particular area and/or around a particular staff member or resident
- Residents suddenly being easily startled
- Signs of post-traumatic stress
Anyone who suspects a loved one has suffered sexual abuse inside a nursing home or assisted living facility should contact law enforcement, take steps to remove the resident from the dangerous situation, and retain legal counsel from a seasoned San Diego attorney.
Holding Facility Management Liable for Sexual Abuse
The people and companies that operate nursing homes must ensure every resident receives high-quality care in accordance with state and federal law. That duty includes hiring qualified and trustworthy staff members and adequately training them. Accordingly, nursing home facilities in San Diego can often be held vicariously liable for sexual abuse committed by one of their employees.
A facility that fails to take immediate and consequential action to protect a resident from being sexually abused by another resident could be considered legally liable for ensuing damages. A knowledgeable attorney in San Diego can explain what legal options might be available to address a nursing home sexual abuse case.
Seek Help from a San Diego Attorney for Nursing Home Sexual Abuse Litigation
Learning that a family member has been subjected to sexual mistreatment inside their nursing home can be a devastating and infuriating experience. Unfortunately, it can also be challenging to take proactive legal action to address the situation without skilled legal support. Assistance from a legal representative experienced in handling sensitive cases like these can be crucial to ensuring a positive final resolution for your family.
A conversation with a nursing home abuse lawyer is the first step in dealing with sexual abuse in a San Diego nursing home. Call today to schedule a meeting with a member of our team.