It may not be the first form of elder abuse that comes to mind, but elder sexual battery occurs more often than you may think. Elder sexual battery occurs when someone, in many cases, a caregiver takes advantage of an elderly person in a sexual nature. Although elder sexual battery can occur anywhere, it happens most often in nursing homes. When an instance of elder sexual battery happens due to the negligence of a nursing home or other assisted living facility, the victim may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.
Elderly sexual battery is a form of abuse that involves the initiation of sexual or physical contact with an elderly person and that contact is unwanted or nonconsensual. Elderly sexual battery can be an unwanted touch or rise to the level of rape.
In some cases, even if an elderly person seems agreeable to the sexual activity, they may be unable to consent, which makes the incident a sexual battery. Their inability to consent to sexual activity may be due to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Elderly individuals may also suffer from confusion or another form of memory impairment. These types of cases may become particularly complex, because the elderly person may not be aware of what is happening to them, and therefore, does not report the sexual battery or seek help.
There are some risk factors that elderly individuals and their loved ones should keep in mind so that they can be protected from this form of abuse. Abusers tend to seek out elderly individuals because they are more vulnerable, and they believe they will be an easier target. Those that live in isolation or in nursing homes are at a higher risk than those that live at home with loved ones.
Another risk factor of elder abuse is being an elderly woman. Elderly women are statistically more likely to suffer from an instance of sexual battery. Other risk factors include having any type of physical disability and suffering from neglect or other forms of abuse.
If you are concerned that a loved one has suffered from a sexual battery, there are some signs you can look for that may indicate that they are in need of help. Some of these signs include bruising, unexplained sexually transmitted diseases and infections, torn clothing, depression or sudden change in affect or mood, and anxiety or excessive fear around a caregiver or someone they have been in contact with. If you notice these signs, you should speak with your loved one and let them know you are there to help.
If you are worried that an elderly loved one has experienced sexual battery, one of the ways that you can help the victim is to help them hire an experienced elder law attorney who can help them recover compensation if another party negligently allowed the abuse to occur. Contact the California elder abuse attorneys at The Peck Law Group today.
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