Loved Ones with Cognitive Delays at Highest Risk for Elderly Sexual Abuse

Each week news cycles publish more stories of sexual abuse in nursing homes. Plus last year, National Public Radio and the U.S. Department of Justice revealed those at the greatest risk for abuse. These agencies also warned that people with cognitive disabilities were seven times more likely to be victims of elderly sexual abuse.

About Elderly Sexual Abuse

According to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study of 1998, approximately 67% of elder sexual abusers were family members. Another study, published in the Journal of Abuse in 2000, estimated 12.2% of elder sexual abuse victims were assaulted within their own home. Approximately 14.6% of elderly sexual abuse victims were assaulted in the sexual offender’s home. The largest percentage of elder sexual abuse, around 70.7% of cases, occurred within nursing homes.

Common elder sexual abuse follows these statistics:

  • Women are 6 times more likely to be victims of elder sexual abuse.
  • Only about 30% of elderly victims of sexual abuse over the age of 65 years actually report the abuse to the authorities.
  • About 83% of victims of elder sexual abuse reside in an institutional care center, such as a nursing home.
  • Around 30of victims of elder sexual abuse occurred in either the elder’s own home or in the perpetrators home.
  • 80% of the time, the perpetrator of elder sexual abuse was the caregiver to the elder.
  • About 76%  of elder sexual abuse victims have had their incident witnessed by another.
  • Around 70 % of elder sexual abusers were members of the family, according to the National Elder Abuse Incidence Study.

Link Between Cognitive Delays & Elderly Sexual Abuse

A national study showed that 30% of survey respondents with disabilities experienced sexual abuse. Despite these statistics, this issue isn’t discussed.  Those with delays may not equate inappropriate touching as bad. Perpetrators know how to confuse and twist the abuse. Most states require background checks among providers who work with vulnerable populations. However, Adult Protective Services have only substantiated less than 1% of elderly sexual abuse claims. Many repeat offenders didn’t receive chargers, and investigations show agencies never fully investigated them either. Plus, many states don’t require training about defining, recognizing and reporting signs of sexual abuse. Also, certain states don’t allocate any funding to sexual assault specific services or prevention efforts.

Get Justice for a Loved One

If you suspect abuse or neglect, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. When an abuser injures a resident at a care facility, it is not always obvious what happened and legal liability.  The evidence available is often incomplete and may be self-serving for the defendant – the nursing home. This is why a free consultation with us is so important. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.

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