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If an elderly loved one has the ability to communicate to you about their treatment at the facility, then they can and should relate to you the mistreatment they have suffered, whether that is sexual or physical. However, sometimes they cannot do this, or they may be too shy, humiliated, or embarrassed to do so. Oftentimes, with sexual abuse there is a great deal of shame, humiliation, and even intimidation that can discourage people from speaking about their abuse.

Signs to be alert for if your loved one has suffered sexual abuse are:

  • Bruising in the inner thighs that have no obvious explanation, such as from a fall.
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Behavior that is inconsistent with their normal attitude
  • Emotions they do not normally display, such as crying
  • An unusual desire to be clean, such as wanting to shower or bathe an inordinate amount.

If you have been able to confirm that your loved one has been sexually abused, the best thing to do is immediately call the police, assuming immediate medical care is not needed at the time, notify the nursing home management and notify the Jackman Law Firm so we can begin our investigation. While the police may not be overly eager to investigate, the Jackman Law Firm has the resources to help you when you need help most.


If your loved one has been sexually assaulted inside a nursing home, then you need to understand how negligence laws operate in this state. In order to prevail in a negligence action, you must establish some key elements. First, you have to show the nursing home had a duty not to sexually abuse or assault your elderly loved one. Second, you have to show, with enough evidence, that a member of the staff of the nursing home or a fellow resident did in fact sexually assault your loved, and finally you have to show that your loved one suffered damages, physical or emotional, from this breach of the nursing home’s duty.

There is no question the nursing home or assisted living facility has a duty not to sexually abuse your elderly loved one. If this happens, and again you can produce evidence of this, your case will not be difficult to prove in terms of liability. All you will have to prove is the extent of your elderly loved one’s damages. One way to do this, in addition to presenting physical evidence, is to show that your loved one suffered emotional trauma as well, perhaps by sending your loved one to a counselor or therapist.

However, if your loved one was sexually assaulted by a fellow resident of the nursing home, then you will have to prove that the nursing home either did know or reasonably should have known about the behavior of the fellow resident. This may or may not be easy to prove, depending on the particular circumstances of your case. There may be video evidence of this assault or there may be key witnesses who can prove there is no way the nursing home could not have known about the assault, and worse, they did nothing to stop it. In some cases, the nursing home may have even attempted to conceal the sexual abuse. In any case, once you have established the resident assaulted your loved one sexually and you can show that the nursing home either knew or should have known, then you again have to prove the extent of your loved one’s damages.

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