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Los Angeles Elder Sexual Abuse Attorney

Elder sexual abuse in Los Angeles is an unimaginable crime that impacts more seniors than most people realize. It occurs when a caregiver or someone else violates the trust that they were given to care for an elder to take advantage of him or her for sexual purposes. It is a legal, moral and ethical violation that can have a drastic effect on a victim. If you suspect the sexual abuse of an elder in your family or community, there are actions that you can take to protect him or her and seek justice against the abuser.

What Is Elder Sexual Abuse? What Are Examples?

Elder sexual abuse refers to any type of sexual activity with a senior citizen (65 or older) who does not give consent, who is unable to understand or consent, who is physically restrained or forced, or who is in the care of the perpetrator. There are many examples of sexual abuse that can affect an elder, including:

  • Inappropriate touching
  • Groping
  • Fondling
  • Hugging or kissing
  • Rape or attempted rape
  • Penetration or sodomy
  • Watching the elder get undressed (voyeurism)
  • Exposure of sexual organs to an elder (exhibitionism)

Sexual abuse often goes along with the general mistreatment of the elder, such as neglect, malnourishment, dehydration, physical abuse or emotional abuse. Financial elder abuse and nursing home abuse are also concerns to keep in mind. In all of these elder abuse cases, our attorneys will fight for your loved ones. Elderly abuse is a terrible crime, and we will seek the maximum compensation and punitive damages possible.

Los Angeles Sexual Elder Abuse Attorneys

Who Is at Risk of Elder Sexual Abuse?

While any older person can suffer the crime of sexual abuse or assault, certain populations are more at risk than others due to factors such as a lack of independence, health conditions and their environments. If you have an elderly loved one with any of the following risk factors, be on the lookout for potential sexual abuse:

  • Nursing home residents (especially older residents and females)
  • Residents of hospices or other long-term care facilities
  • Those who live with caregivers or rely on care from others
  • Elders with “new close friends”
  • Elders who are isolated from friends and family
  • Those with physical disabilities
  • Those with dementia, Alzheimer’s or memory impairment

Statistically, the most common sexual abusers of an elder dependent are caregivers or staff at assisted living facilities. The National Council on Aging states that almost 60 percent of people who abuse and neglect the elderly are family members. About two-thirds of cases involve adult children or spouses. Risk factors that can increase the odds of sexual elder abuse by a perpetrator include drugs and alcohol, criminal histories, unsupervised access to the elder, and an imbalance of power.

Signs of Elder Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse or assault against one of the most vulnerable populations can have serious consequences. Survivors may suffer injuries, infections or diseases that diminish their enjoyment of life or are even life-threatening. In addition, sexual abuse often has a psychological effect on victims. In the most severe cases, elder sexual abuse can result in wrongful death or suicide. Elder sexual abuse can show physical, behavioral and emotional signs, such as:

  • Injuries to the genitals or pelvic region
  • Bleeding from the anus or vagina
  • Pain when moving, sitting or walking
  • Bruising on the stomach or upper thighs
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • Bloody or stained undergarments or bedclothes
  • Signs of physical abuse, such as marks, bruises or unexplained injuries
  • Unkempt appearance or signs of neglect
  • Anxiety, depression or panic attacks
  • Social or emotional withdrawal from others
  • Fear of a certain place or person
  • Feelings of guilt or shame
  • Signs of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicidal tendencies or behaviors

A victim of elder sexual abuse may show one, multiple or none of these signs of sexual abuse. Each case is different. The most effective way to detect elder sexual abuse in someone that you know is to visit often, communicate regularly and have open conversations about elder abuse. Frequent contact with the elder – and spreading awareness of the risk of elder sexual abuse – can prevent abuse or enable you to notice changes that may point to an abusive situation.

How to Report Elder Sexual Abuse in Los Angeles

The moment that you suspect elder sexual abuse, take your loved one to a safe location. Speak to the victim and explain that you will believe him or her if there has been a case of abuse or assault. If possible, record the elder’s version of events, with details such as the perpetrator’s name and any known date, times and locations of sexual abuse incidents. Take the victim to a hospital for a physical and psychological checkup. Then, report elder sexual abuse to the proper authorities. This may include:

These agencies can offer information and advice about what to do if someone you know is a victim of elder sexual abuse in Los Angeles. Once the victim has obtained medical care and/or therapy and feels safe, explore his or her legal options by contacting an elder abuse attorney. The victim may be eligible for financial compensation from an individual abuser or an institution such as a nursing home. If so, an attorney can take care of the legal process on the victim’s behalf for the best possible case results.

Can You File a Lawsuit for Elder Sexual Abuse?

Elder sexual abuse is a crime and a tort. This means that a perpetrator can face both criminal and civil penalties. A victim of elder sexual abuse in California can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek financial compensation for his or her losses from a defendant. A successful claim can result in payment for the victim’s necessary medical care, psychological counseling, relocation, the hiring of a new caregiver, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. The value of an elder sexual abuse lawsuit will depend on the specifics, such as the extent of the harm suffered, the actions of the defendant and the insurance coverage available.

How Can an Elder Abuse Attorney Help?

If you or someone you know has experienced elder sexual abuse or any other form of elder abuse, contact Rose, Klein & Marias LLP right away to request a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. Our Los Angeles elder abuse lawyers have years of experience representing clients and demanding justice for despicable crimes against the elderly. We can carefully guide your family through the legal process and help you build a brighter future for a victim of elder sexual abuse. Our law firm has served the elderly in California since 1936.