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Lawyers Handling Claims of Sexual Abuse of the Elderly
Relentless advocacy for seniors who are sexually abused in California
Any type of non-consensual sexual abuse requires that action be taken to hold the abusers and anyone who could have stopped the abuse accountable. Sexual assault such as rape or the use of any force can cause serious physical injuries. All sexual abuse victims suffer emotionally. The victims lose their trust. They lose their confidence. They often need counseling – sometimes for the rest of their lives.
At Garcia & Artigliere, our California elder abuse lawyers have been fighting for elder abuse victims for a combined 150+ years. We work with the police who work to hold the abuser liable criminally – while we fight to hold the abuser civilly. Often, those who were entrusted with the care of the senior are also responsible for sexual abuse because, often, there were steps they could have taken to prevent the sexual abuse from occurring.
Elder abuse attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollars on behalf of an 87-year-old woman who was repeatedly sexually molested by the co-manager of a residential care facility. The facility, even though the co-manager had a long history of alleged sexual misconduct at the facility, failed to report the abuse to either Adult Protective Services or the Department of Social Services. Due to their delay in finally reporting the abuse, the co-manager was able to flee.
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How can we help?
- What is sexual abuse of the elderly?
- Why does sexual abuse of the elderly occur?
- What are the signs a senior was sexually abused?
- Who is responsible for the sexual abuse of the elderly in Los Angeles?
- What damages can elderly sexual abuse victims demand in Los Angeles?
- Do you have an elder abuse lawyer near me?
What is sexual abuse of the elderly?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines sexual abuse of seniors (60 and older) as conduct that “involves forced or unwanted sexual interaction of any kind with an older adult. This may include unwanted sexual contact or penetration or non-contact acts such as sexual harassment.” Rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment are all forms of sexual abuse.
The abusers and the victims can be male or female. In most cases, the sexual abuse offender and the senior know each other. The abusers may be family members, friends, home-health aides, nursing home staff, people who visit other residents, and other residents. The abuse may occur in the senior’s home, a nursing home, or any location.
Why does sexual abuse of the elderly occur?
Sexual abuse, no matter who the victim or the perpetrator is, is about power. And few people are less powerful and more vulnerable than the elderly.
Many seniors who are abused have cognitive disabilities such as dementia or Alzheimer’s which means they have no idea what’s happened to them. Sexual abuse is violating them physically and emotionally as well as sexually. Many other seniors are sexually abused too – which means they know what’s happened and they’re powerless to stop it. Sexual abuse is inhuman; it’s inexcusable. It’s unconscionable.
When sexual abuse of the elderly occurs, most seniors either cannot report the abuse or are too afraid to report the abuse. Many physicians who conduct regular examinations of seniors focus on their physical health. Focusing on the signs of sexual abuse is often not a priority unless there’s an emergency.
What are the signs a senior was sexually abused?
Everyone who cares for a senior; children, grandchildren, other relatives, friends, and other caretakers, should be able to recognize the signs of sexual abuse of the elderly. These signs include:
- Bruises of the genital areas or inner thigh
- Any bleeding from a sexual body part
- Bloody, stained, or torn clothing
- Problems with sitting or walking
- The development of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
- Emotional difficulties such as anxiety or depression
- Withdrawal from other people and from social activities
- Unusual sexual activities
- Suicide attempts
All sexual assault victims, including seniors, should be examined by a physician to treat any physical injuries. They should also consult with a psychologist or trained sexual abuse counselors to help with the unforgivable trauma of sexual abuse.
Our Los Angeles sexual abuse of the elderly lawyers work with a network of physicians, sexual abuse counselors, and psychologists.
Who is responsible for the sexual abuse of the elderly in Los Angeles?
Sexual assault victims often target the elderly because of their vulnerabilities. Many victims of sexual abuse, at any age, fail to seek medical or legal help.
The person who sexually abuses the senior may be charged with a criminal offense. They should pay for any harm or damages they caused the victim. Sexual abusers in Los Angeles will normally also be required to pay punitive damages.
Senior care agencies, nursing homes, and long-term facilities may also be responsible if they could have taken steps to stop the abuse and discipline the abuser and failed to do so. These senior care businesses may also be directly liable on the ground that employers are liable for the conduct of their employees if an employee was the sexual abuser.
Senior caretakers (all types of caretakers including nursing homes) may also be liable because they failed to prioritize the security of the senior.
Some of the steps elder care agencies and facilities should take to prevent and respond to sexual abuse include:
- Hiring enough qualified staff members
- Ensuring that staff members understand what types of activity such as sexual abuse of a resident are forbidden
- Training the staff members so they can recognize the signs of sexual abuse
- Creating a reporting system for reporting any suspicions of sexual abuse of a senior
- Establishing procedures to protect residents with cognitive or physical impairments from sexual abuse
- Creating an environment where seniors and the people who visit or care for the senior can be viewed
- Monitoring the possible abuse by other residents
- Promptly responding to complaints by the senior, family, or concerned adults that sexual abuse is or has occurred
- Conducting full investigations of sexual abuse complaints, immediately disciplining any sexual abusers, and reevaluating the security protocols
Agencies, nursing homes, and other care providers should have written policies and procedures to detect and monitor sexual abuse.
What damages can elderly sexual abuse victims demand in Los Angeles?
Seniors who are sexually abused suffer physically and emotionally – usually for the rest of their lives. At Garcia & Artigliere, our Los Angeles sexual abuse lawyers are respected for their dedicated and tough representation of our elder care clients. We have obtained more than $3 billion dollars in recoveries nationwide. We coordinate your case with any criminal cases. We are skilled at showing what sexual abuse occurred, why it occurred, and why it was preventable.
We demand compensation for all your current and future:
- Medical costs, including ER care, rape and sexual assault consulting, hospital care, physician treatments, rehabilitation, medications, and any other medical costs
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering, which is often overwhelming
- Loss of life’s pleasures and quality of life
Do you have an elder abuse lawyer near me?
Sexual abuse of seniors is life-shattering. At Garcia & Artigliere, our Los Angeles sexual abuse attorneys move quickly to stop the abuse, place every responsible person on notice, notify the proper authorities, demand compensation, and fight to restore the senior’s dignity.
Speak with Garcia & Artigliere now if you or a loved one was sexually abused in California
Garcia & Artigliere has the experience, tenacity, and resources to fight for the elderly who suffer sexual abuse by anyone who cared for them or was responsible for their safety. We fight to ensure that seniors are fully compensated for sexual abuse that should have been prevented.
To assert your rights or the rights of someone you love to compensation for sexual abuse of the elderly, call or contact our offices today to schedule a free, case evaluation. We maintain additional offices in Long Beach, Louisville, New Orleans and Phoenix, and represent seniors across the United States. There are no upfront costs. We only receive payment if the victim of sexual abuse or their family receives payment. Call for help now.
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