Phoenix Elder Sex Abuse Victim Lawyers
Most nursing homes and other assisted care facilities are committed to providing quality care for their residents. But some fail and expose the people under their care to abuse. Elder sex abuse is defined as sexual contact with a senior citizen who is unwilling or unable to consent, including touching, assault, and rape. Sadly, the very people entrusted to provide care for vulnerable adults may abuse their victims.
Victims of elder sexual abuse are often reluctant to report it because of embarrassment, threats of retaliation, or mental conditions that prevent them from understanding they have been abused. Elder sexual abusers prey on those least able to protect themselves. If someone you care for has suffered sexual abuse, the Phoenix elder abuse lawyers at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., may be able to help.
In addition to unwanted physical contact, elder sex abuse can include making the victim undress or partially undress, showing him or her pornographic materials, exposing oneself to an elder, and other reprehensible actions. This abuse can cause:
- Physical injuries that are very difficult to treat
- Emotional trauma that profoundly and negatively impacts the victim's quality of life
- Distrust of everyone
- Feelings of helplessness and self-loathing
- Refusal to eat or drink
- Chronic depression
- Other physical and mental conditions
Suspecting that your loved one is being abused in a facility meant to care for him or her is a horrible feeling, but there are things that can be done. As soon as you suspect abuse is taking place, start to visit more regularly. Visiting regularly will allow you to spot the signs as soon as they occur, so you can report them.
When you do see signs, contact the administrator of the facility immediately. They will need to know about the abuse, even if you’re unsure of the identity of the abuser. If you know who the abuser is, this will also need to be reported to the administrator.
If the abuser is not removed or identified, move your loved one immediately. If another trustworthy nursing home is not available, keep your loved one at a family member’s home. If the abuser knows that the abuse has been reported, it might even get worse at the facility.
Once the abuse has been reported to the facility administrator, report the abuse to the authorities. In Arizona, there are many places where nursing home abuse can be reported including:
- State Long Term Care Ombudsman
- Your local Office on Aging
- Arizona Board of Nursing Care Institution Administrators and Assisted Living Facility Managers
- Arizona Center for Disability Law
- Adult Protective Services
Lastly, after your loved one has been removed from the nursing home and the abuse has been reported, it’s important to file a personal injury claim. This is different from pressing criminal charges and will allow the victim to claim compensation for injuries, including emotional trauma.
In sexual abuse cases, victims are often reluctant to press charges or file a personal injury claim. They want to try and forget about the entire incident, and they fear having to go on the witness stand and relive the experience. This can be especially true for the elderly.
But filing a claim against the perpetrator is vital. And in sexual abuse claims, there’s more than just compensation at stake. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., want to stress how important such a case could be to others. Even if the victim is removed from the situation, there is a good chance that the abuser will simply find another victim. This is especially true in nursing homes where there are many other vulnerable adults present.
A personal injury claim can get the sexual predator removed from these environments - he or she likely won’t be able to find similar work ever again. This one step could save many other people from suffering the same kind of abuse.
In addition to helping others, personal injury claims can save the victim from destructive patterns. Oftentimes when people are sexually abused, they start to have difficulty in other relationships. They may suffer from low self-esteem, develop anxiety or depression, or start to withdraw from social situations.
When a personal injury claim is filed, it puts the power back into the hands of the victims. They will be the people making their abusers pay for what they did. This can be incredibly empowering and can greatly help a person move on from a traumatic sexual incident.
If someone you care about was the victim of sexual assault or another kind of abuse, the Phoenix personal injury attorneys at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., can help. We alert the proper authorities, launch an immediate investigation into the abuse, and help victims and their families in many other ways. We can file a personal injury claim to help the victim receive the compensation he or she deserves for moving expenses to another facility, medical care, physical and emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and other injuries caused by the abuse. If you know or suspect that a senior citizen is or has been abused, every minute counts. Contact The Husband and Wife Law Team today by calling (602) 267-1280.