Elder Sexual Abuse


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Torrance Elder Sexual Abuse Lawyers

Torrance sexual abuse attorneys fighting for seniors suffering sexual abuse by caretakers in California

Choosing to move a loved one into a nursing home or long-term care facility is a difficult decision. It can come as a surprise to learn that these facilities can be detrimental to the health and well-being of the individual. Nursing home facilities and caretakers seem to be trusting and should be. They are tasked with caring for your loved one and should uphold a standard of medical care and provide the best possible care. The last thing you expect is for your loved one to suffer sexual abuse by those entrusted with their care. The Torrance elder abuse attorneys at Garcia & Artigliere fight for justice by holding negligent parties responsible for their actions - call us today to assert your rights.

Elder abuse attorney Stephen M. Garcia obtained $5.4 million dollars for an 87-year-old woman who was repeatedly sexually molested by the co-manager of a residential care facility. The co-manager had a long history of alleged sexual misconduct at the facility, but none of the incidents of elder abuse were reported to either Adult Protective Services or to the Department of Social Services. Upon discovery, the nursing home fired the co-manager and waited 8 days to report his actions to the police, giving him time to flee.


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What is elder sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is another form of elder abuse impacting the most vulnerable. It can hurt the victim as well as their families. It has become a widespread issue across the country and is prevalent in California. It is often left to families to uncover this abuse, which can be traumatizing to all involved. While facilities should do more to prevent sexual abuse, they often do not.

Often, predators will seek out vulnerable populations like seniors over the age of 60 who have cognitive issues or are too frail to fight back, and nursing homes seem to be the prime location for predators. Elder sexual abuse consists of the following:

  • Sexual battery
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Groping and touching private areas
  • Sexual assault
  • Putting the senior in sexually suggestive positions
  • Taking nude photos of the senior
  • Showing the senior nude images of the caregiver or others

Anything that is sexual and nonconsensual could be considered sexual abuse. Remember, these incidents can happen anywhere, including private residences. Sexual predators are adept at hiding the abuse, so it is essential to be vigilant. If your loved one suffers sexual abuse by a caregiver, speak to a Torrance sexual abuse attorney.

What are signs that a senior is being sexually abused in Torrance?

Staying vigilant and looking for warning signs of sexual abuse when visiting is essential. We understand you trust the facility and its staff, but abuse by third parties and other residents can happen. Warning signs include:

  • Depression and withdrawal
  • STDs, especially if your loved one is bedridden and in a solitary room
  • Bleeding in the vaginal area
  • Having trouble walking or sitting due to pain in the vaginal or anal region
  • Showing fear around certain residents or staff members when they enter the room
  • Unexplained bruising in the genital area, thighs, or breasts
  • Mood swings and outbursts that are atypical of their condition
  • Clothing that has stains or blood, especially on underwear

Of all types of nursing home abuse, sexual abuse is the least reported. Less than one percent of nursing home staff reported participating in sexual abuse, with about 2% of residents reporting sexual abuse. According to the Administration for Community Living, there have been over 20,000 sexual abuse complaints over the past two decades, and these figures do not include sexual abuse committed by residents. More must be done to deter predators, and the best way to help your loved one is to speak to a Torrance sexual abuse attorney.


Why are elderly people sexually abused in Torrance?

There is no clear answer to why this happens, but it is never the senior's fault. The predator chooses to sexually abuse them, and there is no excuse for their behavior. While seniors who fall into specific categories may be at a higher risk for sexual abuse, predators will take advantage of anyone they can. The family who decided to move the senior into the home often feels guilty and ashamed, believing that they could have prevented the abuse.

You are not to blame. You hired a facility to care for your loved one, and they did the opposite. Often, victims are unable to fight back or express the abuse that is happening. You must have a keen eye to uncover where there could be abuse. Some potential risk factors to consider:

  • Women are at a higher risk of suffering sexual abuse than men.
  • The oldest resident in the facility–by age or residents who have been in the institute the longest–are the most at risk for sexual abuse.
  • Residents who have challenging relationships or are isolated from friends and family are at greater risk.
  • Suffering from a mental incapacity that makes it challenging to remember specific details or causes confusion puts a senior at risk for sexual abuse.
  • Physical limitations that prevent a person from fighting back make them a target for sexual abuse.
  • Residents who are already suffering from neglect often sustain sexual abuse as well.

While these risk factors exist, they do not excuse the predator's behavior. They are hunting for a prime target, and falling into these categories would be enough for them to pounce. However, families and extended care facilities can take action to prevent sexual abuse and catch it early on. You should speak to a Torrance sexual abuse attorney for legal options.

Who is liable for senior sexual abuse in Torrance?

Often, seniors fear retaliation or an increase in abuse if they say something. They might be so frail they fear they will lose their life if they say something. Several parties can inflict this abuse on nursing home residents or in private residences. The most common predators include other residents, family members, nursing home staff, and third parties.

Third parties with access to the facility can also gain access to patients. They should be kept away from vulnerable residents, but they may intrude to accomplish daily tasks. Third parties can consist of salespeople, contractors, and vendors. When they enter the facility, the nursing home is responsible for their actions and can be liable if they sexually abuse a resident.

Living with others can create tension, and some residents will take it out on each other. It is common to hear about residents becoming sexually involved, but they may also commit sexual abuse against each other. It is up to staff to stay vigilant and look for warning signs of sexual abuse among residents.

However, the largest group of predators consists of nursing home staff and in-home caregivers. Both parties will find ways to seclude their desired target. There are many instances where a staff member intentionally seeks out employment at a facility so they can prey on innocent victims. However, the hiring process should prevent these predators from entering the facility.

How much is a Torrance elder sexual abuse claim worth?

When you file a sexual abuse civil lawsuit, you are seeking compensation for a breach by the nursing home or caregiver. These civil actions will also punish the sexual predator and the facility. The amount and kind of compensation you are eligible for will vary depending on your circumstances. Some compensation that may apply includes:

  • Medical expenses
  • Mental health counseling
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Relocation costs
  • Legal fees

Do you have a Torrance elder sexual abuse attorney near me?

We want to secure justice for your loved one. Whether the culprit was a hospital, nursing home, or extended care facility, we understand that sometimes sexual abuse happens within a private residence. We will review your case facts and legal options to seek justice no matter where the abuse occurs. Garcia & Artigliere have offices in Long Beach and Los Angeles, serving clients across California. Schedule a confidential consultation with a Torrance sexual abuse attorney today.

Talk to a Torrance elder sexual abuse attorney at Garcia & Artigliere today

The team at Garcia & Artigliere has the experience and compassion necessary to fight for the rights of your loved one when facing sexual abuse at a nursing home. Call our office or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation today.

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