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Long Beach Elder Sexual Abuse Attorneys
Compassionate legal help for senior citizens experiencing sexual abuse and assault in California
Elder sexual abuse refers to any form of sexual exploitation or mistreatment inflicted upon elderly individuals and senior citizens. It involves non-consensual sexual activity or behavior that occurs against the will or without the understanding or capacity to consent of the older person. Elder sexual abuse is a severe violation of an individual's rights, dignity, and autonomy. It can have profound physical, emotional, and psychological consequences for the victims, leading to feelings of shame, fear, guilt, and trauma.
If this has happened to you or a senior loved one, talk to the Long Beach attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere today. We understand how to hold the right parties accountable, with a combined expertise of over 150 years to back us up. Our law firm has a track record of success – over $3 billion in compensation recovered for people nationwide – and we want to help your family, too.
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What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse refers to the mistreatment, harm, or neglect of older adults, typically those who are aged 60 or older. It encompasses a range of actions or lack of action that results in physical, emotional, sexual, or financial harm to an elderly person. Elder abuse can occur in various settings, including the home, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or community settings. The following are the common types of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse. This involves the use of physical force that causes pain, injury, or impairment to an elderly person. It can include hitting, pushing, restraining, or inappropriate use of medication.
- Emotional or psychological abuse. This refers to behaviors that inflict emotional pain, distress, or anguish on older adults. Examples include verbal threats, intimidation, humiliation, isolation, or constant criticism.
- Sexual abuse. This involves any non-consensual sexual contact or activity imposed upon an older person without their understanding, consent, or against their will.
- Neglect. Neglect occurs when a caregiver fails to provide the necessary care, support, or assistance required for an older person's well-being. It may include neglecting basic needs such as food, water, medication, hygiene, or medical attention.
This section focuses on sexual abuse.
What constitutes elder sexual abuse?
Elder sexual abuse can manifest in several ways, including:
- Non-consensual sexual acts. This involves any unwanted sexual activity or contact forced upon an older person against their will. It may include sexual assault, rape, unwanted touching, fondling, or any form of sexual behavior that is non-consensual.
- Coercion or manipulation. Sexual elder abuse can involve the use of coercion, manipulation, or emotional blackmail to compel an older person into engaging in sexual acts. This may include threats, intimidation, emotional manipulation, or exploiting the person's vulnerability or dependence for sexual compliance.
- Exploitation. This form of abuse occurs when individuals misuse an older person's vulnerability or dependence for sexual gratification. It can include caregivers, family members, or other individuals taking advantage of the elder person's physical or mental limitations, such as dementia or cognitive impairments, to engage in sexual activity.
- Non-consensual pornography. It refers to the distribution, creation, or sharing of explicit images or videos of an elderly person without their consent. This can involve capturing or disseminating explicit content without the person's knowledge or against their will, often exploiting their diminished capacity to understand or consent to such activities.
If you believe your elderly loved one is experiencing sexual abuse, it is crucial you contact both the authorities and a Long Beach, California attorney from Garcia & Artigliere right away for help.
What are the signs of elder sexual abuse?
Recognizing the signs of elder sexual abuse can be challenging, as older adults may be hesitant to disclose or may lack the ability to communicate their experiences. However, some common signs and indicators that may suggest sexual abuse include:
- Unexplained physical injuries. Bruises, cuts, abrasions, or other unexplained injuries, particularly around the breasts, genitals, or inner thighs, may be indicators of sexual abuse.
- Emotional or behavioral changes. Sudden changes in mood, behavior, or emotional well-being, such as becoming withdrawn, anxious, fearful, or depressed, can be signs of sexual abuse.
- Sexualized behaviors. Displaying inappropriate sexual behaviors or language that are uncharacteristic of the senior may indicate sexual abuse or exposure to explicit material.
- Difficulty walking or sitting. If an older person experiences pain, discomfort, or difficulty walking or sitting, it could suggest possible sexual abuse or physical trauma.
- Genital or anal pain or irritation. Complaints of pain, itching, or irritation in the genital or anal area may be indicative of sexual abuse.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The presence of STIs in an older person who is not sexually active or whose sexual activity is limited may suggest sexual abuse.
- Fear or discomfort around specific individuals. A senior exhibiting fear, anxiety, or discomfort around a particular caregiver, family member, or acquaintance may be a red flag for sexual abuse.
It is important to note that these signs are not definitive proof of elder sexual abuse, but they can serve as indicators for further investigation. If you suspect elder sexual abuse, it is crucial to report the situation to the appropriate authorities, such as adult protective services, law enforcement, or a healthcare professional, who can conduct a thorough assessment and take necessary actions to protect the older person. Then, contact the Long Beach attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere, who can guide you through the next steps of the legal process.
Who is liable for my California elder sexual abuse claim?
Determining liability for an elder sexual abuse claim can depend on various factors, including the specific circumstances and the individuals or entities involved. The potential parties that may be held liable for elder sexual abuse can include:
- Perpetrator. The individual directly responsible for committing the sexual abuse, whether it is a caregiver, family member, staff member at a care facility, or any other person involved in the abuse.
- Care facility or institution. If the abuse occurs within a care facility or institution, such as a nursing home, assisted living facility, or hospital, the facility itself may be held liable. This can be based on theories of negligence, inadequate supervision, or failure to prevent or address the abuse.
- Employers. If the abuser is an employee, the employer may be held vicariously liable for the actions of their employee. This is often applicable when the abuse occurs within the scope of the abuser's employment or when the employer is found negligent in their hiring, training, or supervision practices.
- Third parties. In some cases, other individuals or entities may bear liability. For instance, if the abuse occurs due to the negligent security of a premises or the failure of a third party to report known abuse, they may also be held responsible.
- Professionals and mandatory reporters. Certain professionals, such as doctors, nurses, social workers, and other caregivers, have a legal obligation to report suspected cases of elder abuse. If they fail to fulfill this duty, they may face professional liability or legal consequences.
It is important to consult with our Long Beach attorneys to assess the specific circumstances of your claim and determine the parties that may be held liable. We can guide you through the legal process, help gather evidence, and pursue appropriate legal action to seek justice and compensation for the harm caused by the elder sexual abuse.
Do you have an elder sexual abuse attorney near me?
Garcia & Artigliere has offices at 180 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 1100, Long Beach, CA 90802.
Consult with our California elder sexual abuse attorneys today
If you or an elderly loved one are experiencing sexual abuse, there is help available and you have legal options. The attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere have over 30 years of experience helping people just like you secure compensation for their injuries and losses. You are not alone and we are here for you. Call or contact us in Long Beach today.
We only collect attorney fees if we win your case. Our elder abuse lawyers maintain additional offices in Louisville, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New Orleans. Our services are available in both English and Spanish.
Se habla español.