The unfortunate reality of sexual assault is that it can happen to anyone - no matter their race, age, socio-economic status, or gender. That being said, there are certain groups are more susceptible to being victims of sexual assault, specifically ones who are considered vulnerable populations.
Elderly Populations and Sexual Assault
Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or those who are living in long term care facilities, can be victims of a variety of types of assaults including physical, emotional, financial, psychological, and sexual. Sexual assault or abuse against the elderly can be hard to notice or detect. This is especially true if your loved one in a long term care home feels shame as a survivor of the abuse.
Signs and Symptoms To Look For
Although cases of sexual abuse in elders can be both undetected and underreported, there are some signs and symptoms that you can be aware of. It is important to note that open and honest lines of communication with your loved ones in a long term care home is the best way to have any kinds of abuse they are experiencing brought to your attention. Additionally, here are some signs and symptoms to keep an eye on if you have concerns about your loved one in a long term care home experiencing sexual abuse:
Changes in Behaviour
This can include unusual or sudden changes in behaviour or personality such as heightened fear or anxiety, as well as more noticeable symptoms such as panic attacks or other signs of PTSD. Additionally, if they all of a sudden withdraw from social activities that they once enjoyed or have become withdrawn from others, this could indicate a lingering shame about the assault. Finally, if your loved one seems to be acting fearful or stressed around others, especially the potential assailant, this could be another indicator of assault.
These symptoms can include anything from discomfort when walking or sitting, to irritation and itching in the genital area. Additionally, any unexplained genital infections or sexually transmitted infections are strong warning signs. Noticing that a loved one’s clothes or underwear are torn, stained, or bloody can also be an indicating sign of an assault.
If your loved one has sustained unexplained injuries, this could be a sign of sexual abuse. Specifically, if your loved one has bruises on sensitive areas such as the breasts, inner thighs, or genitalia, this could indicate that there was some abuse that took place. In addition to bruises, any bleeding from sensitive areas can also indicate that there was unwanted sexual contact.
Fighting for Justice
If you have suspicions that a loved one may have been sexually assaulted, you may want to pursue legal action against the perpetrators of this harm and those who employ and supervise them. Although this can not undo the assault, it can help survivors find peace and justice. If this is the case, Beckett can help. Our team of lawyers has specific experience in dealing with both sexual assault cases, as well as long term care negligence cases. We can help explain the specific options that are available for your loved one to find healing and justice.
Beckett lawyers have extensive experience in the field of personal injury and we’re ready to help you through your unique case and fight for you. If you're ready to take the next step, reach out to Beckett today or fill out our contact us form for a free case evaluation.
Published on July 28, 2022