Sexual Abuse of Elderly Women

Elder sexual abuse is a crime. It describes any unwanted or nonconsensual sexual contact with someone over the age of 60. Elderly women are most at risk of sexual abuse; they are about six times more likely to suffer sexual abuse than elderly men, according to the National Institute on Aging. A survivor of elder sexual abuse in Southern California has the power to hire a Los Angeles elder sexual abuse lawyer and hold a perpetrator accountable through pressing criminal charges as well as filing a sexual abuse claim.

Elder Sexual Abuse Definition, Facts and Statistics

  • Elder sexual abuse is one of four main types of elder abuse: physical, emotional, financial and sexual. Elder sexual abuse specifically refers to nonconsensual sexual touching, groping, assault, rape or battery between a perpetrator and someone who is 60 or older.
  • Elder sexual abuse is most common in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; about 70% of reported abuse cases occur in nursing homes. The most common perpetrator (accounting for about 81% of reported elder sexual abuse cases) is the victim’s caretaker.
  • Although both elderly men and women can suffer sexual abuse, elderly women are the most vulnerable – especially if they have physical or mental impairments, such as a physical disability or cognitive failure. Sexual abuse occurs most often when the abuser feels he or she can get away with it, such as against a victim who is physically or mentally unable to come forward.

How Sexual Abuse Affects Elderly Women

If you know an elderly woman who is in the care of a nursing home, hospice, nurse, long-term care facility or caregiver in Los Angeles, pay close attention to his or her wellbeing. Every time you visit or speak to your friend or loved one, look for possible signs that could point to abuse or neglect, including signs of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse can affect an elderly woman in many different ways, both physical and emotional.

Physical Signs

  • Unexplained injuries or frequent trips to the hospital
  • Abuse-related injuries, such as broken bones and dislocations
  • Bruising of the upper thighs or genital area
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Blood or stains in undergarments
  • Increased difficulty walking or sitting
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Frequent urinary tract infections
  • Malnourishment, dehydration or neglect

Nonphysical Signs

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Guilt or shame
  • Low self-esteem
  • Withdrawal or lack of participation in activities
  • Isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts, behaviors or actions

Any abrupt physical, emotional or behavioral changes in an elderly woman could be a red flag for sexual abuse. If you suspect the sexual abuse of an elderly woman, report it immediately to the correct authorities.

How to Report the Sexual Abuse of Elderly Women

Call 911 if you believe an elderly woman is in imminent danger of sexual abuse. The police can help you protect the survivor, as well as launch an investigation into the incident. The police may also be able to make an arrest if there is probable cause to detain the alleged perpetrator.

Make sure the survivor is in a safe location and connected to professional sexual abuse resources, such as RAINN (800-656-4673). Report elderly sexual abuse to the nursing home or care facility to create an official record of the crime. Then, contact a Los Angeles elder sexual abuse attorney for a free and confidential consultation.

Get Help From an Elder Sexual Abuse Attorney

Connecting with a sexual abuse law firm can help you understand what legal options and rights a survivor has in California. A lawyer can represent an elderly woman who has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a nursing home staff member, caregiver or another party.

A lawyer can give a sexual abuse survivor a voice in the civil justice system while demanding maximum financial compensation from the perpetrator. If you or a loved one is a survivor of elderly sexual abuse, contact Manly, Stewart & Finaldi today for a free, 100% confidential case review.